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'Next Level'

Phil Kane

phil kane

fullforce next level

Right, you just got in after a bitch of a day. Work's stress fest circus of twats has left you wired and in desperate need to vent some steam. Yes? Well here is an album that is more than capable of drowning out yer screams of rage and anguish as you vent your spleen all over your room.

Fullforce are a Swedish supergroup of sorts with Cloudscape's Mike Andersson and Stefan Rosqvist, Tommy Larsson (ex-Heed) and the former Malmsteen/Hammerfall members Stefan Elmgren and Anders Johansson. A lesser supergroup perhaps but they have still managed to put out a cracking melodic rock album that loiters with intent around the fringes of Metal.

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Befitting the group's standing in the grand scheme of things, 'Next Level' is not as stupendous as it could have been but it is probably one of the better albums to see the light of day this year. What makes it so is the fact that rather than trying to outdo everybody else, the band has concentrated on just getting the job done right.

Workaholic Anderson's vocal is very good, though not exceptional and he has mercifully tempered the Metal singer's urge to over sing and the songs benefit accordingly. The same goes for the guitars who keep things chugging and satisfyingly gritty, keeping the shred at a very respectable arms length. The engine room of bass and drums are exactly that providing a rock solid base for the others to sit on.

'Back To Life', 'Broken Dreams', 'Love, Hate, Drop It', 'Whispers' and 'Awesomeness' (yes I know, but it is rather good) are bloody great tracks and overall the album shunts like a bastard. It does get a bit cheesy at times, 'Break It, Crack It, Destroy It' for instance, and the ballads are not only annoying but over abundant yet these are small distractions.

This is Fullforce's second album and overall it is a marvellous demonstration on how to make a bloody good melodic rock album. It may not be an absolute killer itself but with some care and attention the next one should be an absolute Metal monster.




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