Momentum is defined as the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes. A better title could not be found for the sixth album from Sweden’s melodic hard rockers Eclipse, who release their latest opus, Momentum, on March 24, 2017 on Frontiers Records. It has been 2 years since main songwriters Erik Mårtensson (guitars, vocals) and Magnus Henriksson’s (guitars) last opus, Armageddonize, and they have picked up right where they left off in 2015 with another collection of songs with huge melodies, razor sharp guitar riffs, and soaring vocals.
The band toured extensively in support of Armageddonize, performing in America, Japan, Australia, and throughout Europe and then returned to Erik’s studio in Sweden to work on the daunting task of creating a follow up to Armageddonize (my review can be found here).
Quite like Eclipse’s last two albums, Bleed and Scream and the afore mentioned Armageddonize, Momentum surges forward with 11 brand new tracks ranging from metal-tinged anthems to tender AOR ballads. Vertigo kicks things off in style with a hook laden melodic hard rocker with a fist-raising chorus. The next track, Never Look Back is an uncompromising chugging rock anthem with a sing-a-long refrain that was meant to be played live.
Killing Me is a mid-tempo song that builds with intensity during the verses until it reaches a crescendo with a soaring chorus and a ripping guitar solo. The Downfall of Eden is a lighter melodic AOR track with an infectious chorus and powerful heartfelt vocals from Mårtensson. The album slows down for the tender ballad of lost love, appropriately titled, Hurt. Mårtensson does a great job of conveying the emotional pain and turmoil of a relationship that is ending.
Jaded brings back the power with a pop-infused punky rocker with a great hook while Born To Lead has a classic Jake E. Lee-esque main guitar riff with a driving rhythm and anthemic chorus. For Better Or Worse is classic Eclipse, an AOR masterpiece of melody, powerful guitar riffs, and a strong, catchy chorus that brings classic Journey to mind.
Henriksson’s incendiary guitar solo signals the intro of Never Look Back, a heavy rock track with the trademark melody, more screaming guitar solos, and soaring vocals that Eclipse fans have come to expect and they deliver in spades!
The band leaves its heaviest songs for last with the fist pumping metallic riffs and rhythmic pounding of Night Comes Crawling featuring a stellar chorus and vocals and closing the album is the epic Black Rain, a song that starts slowly, building in intensity to a mid-tempo headbanger of a song with swagger and style in the vocals of Mårtensson, tmy personal favorite guitar solos on the album, and a chorus which reminds me of current Pretty Maids. This is the way to close an album, leaving the listener on a high note and craving for more. In the final analysis, fans of the band will be ecstatic with the new album as Eclipse continues their Momentum toward the top of the mountain in the world of hard rock music.