Published on December 10th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Snakes in Paradise: Step Into the Light (Frontiers)
It’s been 16 years since we last heard from Swedish melodic rock band Snakes in Paradise. The band, which features vocalist Steffan Berggren (also with Company of Snakes) took more than a few cues from the classic Whitesnake sound while adding that Swedish AOR polish to things. Their first couple of albums – 1994’s Snakes in Paradise and 1998’s Garden of Eden – were bright spots in an otherwise depressing time for melodic rock, so it’s good to see them back in business in this new era.
The latest Snakes in Paradise album, the band’s fourth effort, is called Step Into the Light, and if you think it’s another “Whitesnake meets AOR” album, you…actually you’re right on the money. This band has always managed to polish the early Whitesnake sound for a really smooth AOR experience, and this is no exception. It’s unusual to see bluesy rock and AOR mixed so well. Gotthard did it best, but Snakes in Paradise is pretty great at it too. Step Into the Light never gets too heavy or too bluesy. It’s just a smooth melodic rock album with plenty of staying power. “Wings of Steel,” “If I Ever See The Sun” and “After the Fire Is Gone” are a few favorites, but this is one of those albums where the whole thing is satisfying.
It’s not one of those “OMG this is amazing” kind of albums that set the world on fire, but Step Into the Light is exactly what you expect from Snakes in Paradise, even after all these years. Steffan Berggren and company provide real heart and soul to a well-written, well-executed AOR album with just enough Whitesnake influence to tug at the nostalgia strings without being completely derivative. If soulful, blues-influenced melodic rock is your thing, you’ll want to hear this.
Summary: One smooth 'snake