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Gotthard: 'Silver'
Released Friday 13th January 2017 (BMG Records)

11th January 2017

Luke Loki Milne
Words: Luke Milne


Y'know, Switzerland's Gotthard have been strutting the hard rock scene for almost as many years as I've been wandering the earth trying to figure out what the fuck is happening and, more importantly, how to stop it. This year, the band will clock up twenty-five years of activity in the music industry, and what better way to celebrate such a milestone than the release of the band's twelfth studio album, 'Silver'.

It's a fitting and perhaps unintentionally clever name for the band's latest release; just as twenty-five years of marriage is traditionally celebrated with a silver anniversary, founding member Leo Leoni celebrates the same sterling level of commitment to Gotthard. As the doors part on the punchy opening track, 'Silver River', vocalist Nic Maeder is welcomed into the church of rock'n'roll by the sweet, swelling sounds of an organ and choral introduction.

'Silver' marks Maeder's third studio offering under the Gotthard banner, having taken up the mantle from the band's original vocalist Steve Lee, following his tragic death in a motorcycle accident at 47-years-old. Perched atop a sprawling backdrop of broad, distorted chord progressions and cracking percussive blasts, Maeder's vocal presence throughout 'Silver' is emotionally charged, drifting comfortably between varied levels of power and precision. Most importantly, the 45-year-old vocalist leads Gotthard's latest release through a fluid and captivating journey, marking the road ahead with a number of familiar (yet wholly welcome) rock music mantras.

There's something for almost every rock fan here amid the dusty, old-school feel of Gotthard's rock sound – and for once I'm not exaggerating. From the classically-inspired 'Tequila Symphony No.5' (which absolutely nicks its main riff from the hands of ol' Beef Oven) to the commercially accessible 'Stay With Me', and all the classically-charged rock laid inbetween, you'll be hard pressed to find something you don't like across the stretch of the album's thirteen tracks... unless you hate fun, that is.

That's what this album screams to me from my speakers; a good, healthy dose of good, old-fashioned fun. For all it's twists and turns, 'Silver' is a bright, colourful and quirky album that is, quite simply, a blast to listen to. It's not the heaviest thing out there (and it's not trying to be) but Gotthard present one of 2017s first rock releases as a listening experience that is light, catchy as hell, impressively packaged and satisfyingly complete; it's epic, beautiful, rockin', powerful and perhaps even spiritual at times.

Normally, and much to the annoyance of MetalTalk's poor editor, I'm a sucker for picking apart every aspect of an album and drawing up a thousand-word, track-by-track analysis of what makes it good, bad or ugly. I really don't feel the need to do that with Gotthard's latest release. Aside from anything else, I don't want to spoil the fun for you. But I guess the killer question is whether or not I recommend that you buy this album.

The answer is no.

I strongly encourage it.

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Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here and listen to previous editions of The Sunday Slam With Luke Milne right here.

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monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


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