Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock
Frontiers Records (Europe) / Blistering Records (USA)
Melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
11 songs (41'42)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Marty
Eclipse is a Stockholm, Sweden based band that was founded in 1999 and after a couple of melodic hard rock AOR releases including their last album Second To None from 2004, the band has returned from a several year hiatus by revving up the guitars and presenting us with the very aptly titled new album Are You Ready To Rock? Vocalist/guitarist/bassist Erik Martensson may also be familiar to you as being one of the lead vocalists on the last Brazen Abbot album, My Resurrection and along with guitarist Magnus Henriksson, form the long-standing nucleus to Eclipse. Rounding out the line-up is keyboardist Johan Berlin and Robert Back on drums.

Fans of the classic big arena rock style of bands like Whitesnake, Dokken and Bon Jovi will find lots to like with this new album. Right out of the gate, the album kicks in with a very Dokken inspired Breaking My Heart Again. With guitar riffs that bounce back and forth between George Lynch and Jake E Lee styles, vocalist Erik Martensson has the sort of Michael Lee Smith (Starz) singing style that gives Eclipse a decidedly "American" feel. Solid melodies, strong vocals and great choruses are key elements of any great melodic hard rock album but Eclipse also infuses a healthy dose of "metalized" riffs along the way to crank up the energy. Hometown Calling, Wylde One, Under The Gun, Hard Time Loving You and the galloping riff dominated Young Guns show the faster and high energy side of the band with more of the soaring vocal melodies and choruses. Speedy riffs, shredding leads and hammering drums even drive a few of these tracks well into heavy metal territory. Other tracks still maintain all of the energy yet, are often more mid tempo and even bigger still in the melodic sense. Million Miles Away fits that bill perfectly with one of the best choruses on the album. Eclipse has wisely opted to skip the obligatory power ballad that you just knew had to be coming somewhere, in favour of track after track of very solid melodic hard rock and heavy metal.

I also hear a clear Scorpions influence with many of the tracks here and like many of the great Scorpions albums from the 80's, this one's meant to be cranked up in the car on a nice sunny day with the windows down and enjoyed for what it is. Easily the best album that this band has ever done, Are You Ready To Rock takes the listener back to the 80's when melodic metal music was in its prime. Clocking in a just over 41 minutes, this album strikes a perfect balance between and enjoyable listening experience and not having to invest well over an hour of your time in the process. Last year saw some pretty solid melodic hard rock/heavy metal releases and Eclipse's Are You Ready To Rock can certainly be added to that list.

Killing Songs :
Breaking My Heart Again, Hometown Calling, Under The Gun, Hard Time Loving You and Million Miles Away
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Eclipse that we have reviewed:
Eclipse - Armageddonize reviewed by Chris and quoted 95 / 100
Eclipse - Bleed and Scream reviewed by Chris and quoted 95 / 100
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