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Eclipse: The Borderline, London
Saturday 23rd April 2017

brian boyle
Words: Dave Bonney, Pictures: Adrian Hextall


I was quite looking forward to seeing the revamped and new look Borderline, and although the dark and dingy environment of the 'old' venue provided a unique ambience, it quite clearly needed a lick of paint.

Tonight Swedish melodic rockers Eclipse are in town with a new album in tow and they weren't shy in letting us know about it, with no less than seven songs off the album in the set.

Opening up with the first two songs from the album shows the confidence these guys have in the new material, and rightly so. 'Vertigo' kicked off proceedings, quite apt really, given that a trip to the gents in the new layout almost causes the peripheral version; those in attendance will know exactly what I mean.


'Never Look Back' was next up and with it's infectious chorus it is destined to become a set staple and crowd favourite for quite some time.

What happened next was a roadie took to the stage to inform the band and the audience that there had been a fire alarm and the building had to be evacuated. After about twenty minutes and with around three hundred people mulling around outside in Manette street, London's finest fire bobbies confirmed it was indeed a false alarm.

With my place at the front reclaimed, I was half hoping the band would come back on to the tune of the Trumpton theme with Erik Martensson impersonating Captain Flack barking out "Pugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb." Unfortunately he didn't; ah well, I suppose he didn't have a whistle, either that or Trumpton hasn't aired in Sweden yet.


Instead the band kicked off for a second time with 'The Storm' which unbelievably opens up with the lyric: "This is an emergency..." You couldn't make it up.

Three of the next four songs were newies, culminating in the obligatory ballad 'Hurt' and this glorious arrangement has more cheese than a 24-pack of Wotsits.

Next up was the drum solo and with Philip Crusner being one of the most energetic and entertaining sticksmen around and his routine being based around the dramatic and theatrical 'O Fortuna', there was more than enough about it to keep your attention.

An unplugged version of 'Battlegrounds' gave Martensson and fellow guitarist Magnus Henriksson the chance for a sit down and though the crowd clearly enjoyed it, joining in loudly to the chorus with Martensson keeping to the theme of things by telling the crowd "you're on fire", tonight would have benefited from the tempo of the electric version.

The run of songs leading up to the end of the show started with 'The Downfall Of Eden' with its 'Celtic' feel and ending with the rabble rousing 'Runaways' with 'Black Rain', 'Blood Enemies' and 'Stand On Your Feet' sandwiched in between.

This just left an encore with the title track of the 2012 album 'Bleed And Scream' and the wonderful 'I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry' with its killer riff; this song has more hooks than a butcher's larder.


The new album is aptly titled 'Momentum' and that is exactly what the band are gaining right now, though they have been around since before the millennium, so quite how it's taken them until now to reach this level of performance is anyone's guess. Tonight's set was culled from their last three albums, completely ignoring the first three, so maybe there's a clue in there somewhere.

The strength of the song writing on offer at the moment is astounding, with Martensson in particular gaining a huge reputation in the genre, writing the bulk of material for melodic rock supergroup side project W.E.T. with Jeff Scott Soto. He also makes an appearance on support band One Desire's debut album with the song in question 'Buried Alive' closing an impressive set from the Finns.

All in all, it was a great evening of Melodic Rock/AOR/Pomp, call it what you will. I call it a bloody good time with the added bonus of a great find in 'One Desire' who are Frontier Records' labelmates of 'Eclipse'. Here's hoping they come back soon armed with a longer set.


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26th April 2017


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