Published on April 23rd, 2018 | by Justin G.
W.E.T: Earthrage (Frontiers)
When W.E.T drops an album this early in the year you almost have to feel bad for any melodic rock band with a release scheduled after it. The band, which features vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (see 40-page discography), guitarist/vocalist/bassist/songwriter/producer Erik Martensson (Eclipse) and keyboardist Robert Sall (Work of Art) as well as Eclipse alumni Magnus Henriksson and Robban Back, brings together some of the brightest stars in melodic rock, and any new release from them is an automatic contender for album of the year.
W.E.T’s latest album is titled Earthrage, and it comes a full five years after their last studio offering (the excellent Rise Up). Earthrage wastes no time getting right to that signature Eclipse sound. Leadoff rocker “Watch the Fire” sets the tone for the album, and is one of the rare moments where Soto and Martensson trade lead vocals. It works well enough to make you wish for another 3-4 songs like that. “Burn” and “The Burning Pain of Love” continue the fire theme, and both have a strong Eclipse vibe. Soto breaks it down all soulful on “Elegantly Wasted,” a laid back, Martensson-penned tune that takes full advantage of Soto’s versatility. “Urgent” isn’t a cover of the Foreigner hit, but it does have that classic melodic rock sound down well enough. “Dangerous” is another highlight on Earthrage, with some of the catchiest melodies and vocal lines on the album (which is saying something). Honestly, there isn’t a weak moment to be found here.
As of this writing, Earthrage is THE melodic rock album of 2018, and it’s going to take something truly amazing to dethrone it. It’s loaded with unforgettable melodies, catchy choruses and some of the best vocal harmonies you’ll find anywhere. The chemistry these guys have together is undeniable, and the fact that they’ve made essentially three perfect melodic rock albums is just amazing. No one who loved W.E.T and Rise Up will be remotely disappointed by Earthrage, and if by some miracle you still haven’t heard this band, this album will make you a believer.
Summary: This was worth the wait, and immediately goes to the top of the list.