Forever known for recording 'that' song, Swedish rockers Europe have finally made the album that's been in their blood throughout their thirty year career.
After the global success they achieved in the late eighties, Europe have always been pushed into making accessible commercial rock, but finally they have made the album that they have always wanted to. Fans of the band who have seen Europe live know what the band are capable of, but 'Bag Of Bones' is going to surprise the doubters, because this album rocks hard.
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Produced by Kevin Shirley who has pushed the band to the boundaries, all of Europe's influences can be clearly heard on this album.
Opener 'Rags To Riches' tears the speakers apart with some wah wah guitar from John Norum as if he is trying to outshine Mick Box from Uriah Heep. 'Not Supposed To Sing The Blues' has elements of Rainbow buried deep within and there's some mystical Lep Zeppelin influences with the sitar on 'Firebox'.
How about some Deep Purple Mark III on 'Demon Head' with more menacing riffs, Blackmore style but sounding more hungry than he did on 'Stormbringer' or Coverdale/Page on 'Drink And A Smile'. And let's not forget that Joe Bonamassa contributes some excellent slide to the fine title track.
Not that Europe are guilty of plagiarism. No sir! Europe have made an album bringing the heavy seventies rock right up to date sounding fully refreshed and knocking many of today's melodic rock bands into dust.
Joey Tempest has the cleanest set of pipes and has never sounded so good. John Norum really lets rip all over this album. The only parping you'll hear from this album is myself raving on about how good it really is.
Buy 'Bag Of Bones' and invite your friends around to your house and watch their jaw drop when you tell them it's the new album from Europe.
Europe can finally be seen in a different light. Believe me brother, Europe have not only made the best album of their career, but this could well be the album of the year.
Mark interviewed Joey Tempest recently and you can listen it it by clicking here.