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| 27 March 2020 | Reply

Label: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Rating: 88%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are few things in life that will ALWAYS provide stability when the world feels like it is crashing… music seems to be that thing that holds you up, gives you drive, let’s you let it all hang out.  Tripping over the latest from Gotthard is one more musical weapon in my arsenal while self-quarantining.  Disc opener “Bad News” is a killer slice of melodic rock, from the ripping solos and soaring vocals, but even the heavy-handed bottom end that anchors the track is top notch.  The track is a great introduction to the disc and gives us hope that the genre is alive and well.  “Every Time I Die” comes at you hard and fast from the first note and seems to build momentum as the song winds its way through the verses, choruses, and bridges.  Nic Maeder’s vocals are solid and help drive the track underneath Marc Lynn’s thumping bass lines.  “10,000 Faces” unfolds with a cool drum piece that quickly leans to the side and allows the guitar tandem of Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer to control the ebb and flow of the track.  Don’t discount the bottom end, as the drums and bass keep the track from running away from itself at each turn.  “Another Last Time” has a classic rock flavor that permeates the track from the guitar riff that opens the track to the simple main stream cadence from the rhythm section.  The layered vocals on the chorus have an anthemic vibe to them and lend themselves to live performance.  This is one of the more contagious tracks lyrically on the disc.  “Save The Date” has a really cool guitar duel that opens the track before the bass joins the fray and reels everyone in and points the band in a common direction.  Be sure to listen for the drum fills and cymbal work in the back ground on the choruses and bridges.  This is another song that I find myself listening to over an dover.  “Man On A Mission” is another mainstream rocker that benefits from solid guitar riffs and a chugging bass line that adds punch to the track, especially when the rock quotient gets dialed up at the chorus.  The rhythm section is as good on this track as any other and the solo at the bridge stands out as well.  Disc closer “Rescue Me” takes us out with a mellower track that has a really cool acoustic opening that gets better with each note and builds in intensity as the song clicks along.

“Missteria” unfolds with an Eastern flair but soon gets a MOR kick in the ass, thanks to the lead vocals, layered vocals, and the guitars from Leoni and Scherer.  The tribal groove that leads the charge in the track is contagious and gets the head banging, especially when the song gains momentum leading into the choruses.  Every once in a while a really good cover rears its unexpected hear and wows you… “S.O.S.” is one of those covers.  The bands rock take on the ABBA classic is fun and gives you (it did me anyway) a new appreciation for the track.  The layered vocals swirled with the thunderous drumming and tandem guitar leads in the background take this to a new level.  “Better Than Love” is a song I go back to time and time again.  The vocals are rich and welcoming, the guitars are thick and give the song depth, and the drumming is spot on and gives the track drive.  I keep going back to certain sounds and groove on the disc and most of them are related to Marc Lynn’s bass playing – it is phenomenal on this collection of tracks.  “Marry You” is a ballad that leans on the lead vocals and the acoustic talents of the guitarists.  The lyrics are beautiful and poignant, but seem to be a detractor from the rock vibe of the rest of the disc.  “No Time To Cry” is a charging rocker that shifts gears and tempos, but seems to encompass all the energy and vibe of the rest of the disc in one track, without sounding overdone or rehashed.  “I Can Say I’m Sorry” slows the tempo of the disc down, but does so with a classic vibe.  The power ballad fits the sound of the record, but I personally would have rather had another uptempo melodic rocker.  Overall, this is a really good record that benefits from killer riffs, great vocals, and some of the best and most consistent bass work I have heard on a records in a long time.

Tracklisting: Bad News – Every Time I Die – Missteria – 10,000 Faces – S.O.S. – Another Last Time – Better Than Love – Save The Date – Marry You – Man On A Mission – No Time To Cry – I Can Say I’m Sorry – Rescue Me

Lineup: Nic Maeder (vocals) – Leo Leoni (guitars) – Freddy Scherer (guitars) – Marc Lynn (bass)





#13 – ITUNES

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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