Published on January 13th, 2019 | by Justin G.
State of Salazar: Superhero (Frontiers, 2018)
Toto-worshipping Swedish melodic rockers State of Salazar finally delivered a follow-up to their well-received 2014 debut All The Way. Their new album is titled Superhero, and it’s just as polished and old school AOR-sounding as their debut.
Occupying the same arena as bands like Sonic Station and especially Work of Art, State of Salazar takes such an obvious influence from classic AOR bands like Toto and Survivor. They’re basically writing 1984 soundtrack music here, and the results are hard to deny. The musicianship on Superhero is top notch, as is the production, and the songwriting shows that they get what made that era’s AOR so effective. Vocalist Marcus Nygren continues to be the band’s, well, superhero, demonstrating a huge range and delivering a warm, powerful vocal performance reminiscent of Toby Hitchcock and the late Jimi Jamison.
Superhero is a really solid album that doesn’t overstay its welcome. You get 11 tracks, all of which are mid-tempo love songs in the best Eye of the Tiger/The Seventh One tradition. “Masquerade,” “Joanne” and the title track are early favorites, but there are no weak songs here. The single “If You Wait For Me” is another winner, as you can hear below.
If you enjoyed the first State of Salazar album, you’ll find Superhero to be more than worth the wait. It’s the kind of album that fans of the classic AOR bands – especially Toto and Survivor – and the newer breed – Work of Art, Lionville, Sonic Station – will quickly come to love.
Summary: Slick, polished Swedish AOR