Eclipse is the musical child of Swedish songwriter and producer Erik Martensson. In addition to Eclipse, Martensson is also part of Nordic Union with Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins. And a core member of the supergroup W.E.T., which also has Jeff Scott Soto (Sons of Apollo, Talisman) and Robert Sall (Work of Art).
With Paradigm, Martensson said that his goal for this album was to wash away their influences and come up with something original. Formed in 1999 the debut album, The Truth and a Little More came out in 2001 and received a contract with English label Z-Records. Later in 2004, they signed with Frontiers Records. So that would make Paradigm an anniversary album. A 20-year long Eclipse!
In March 2017 the band released the predecessor to Paradigm aptly titled Monumentum. Personally, I find that Paradigm is a shift. Yes the sound is there, and yes there are some great sounding songs, but to my ears, it slipped a little on the hard rock scale. Don’t bash me just yet. There are still some kick-ass tunes here, but not like 2015’s Armageddonize.
Shifting into the Paradigm.
The album kicks off with “Viva La Victoria “. With a Celtic acoustic sound briefly at the start, it quickly gains speed and becomes a classic Eclipse song. The great guitar sound and driving drum beat states why it’s a great lead-off track. Keeping the vibe flowing is “Mary Leigh“. Upbeat and strong with great writing and playing. It almost puts forth an English-styled theme. Maybe it’s the spelling of Leigh and the opening track with Victoria.
“Blood Wants Blood” falls into the third slot. Here we get a basic vocal track. What stands out for me here is the drum beats. Played well with no unnecessary fills, right in the pocket with this one. Also, a melodic guitar solo that showcases all talents of the band. Falling in the fourth slot is “Shelter Me“, and is the first throwaway track for me. Slower paced, well sung but just not audibly exciting to my ears.
“United” is another song that fits with that “English” theme that I mentioned before. However, this track has a great hook and a powerful message. It’s basic, simple, and a prime example of less is more working in a band’s favour. This one is catchy as hell.
Halfway Thru the Eclipse
Halfway through the album, and you get “Delirious“. My absolute worst song on the album. I don’t get it, don’t care for any part of it. Maybe after waiting so long from Monumentum, I had higher expectations. Maybe my hopes were a little high, but hey, this song’s not for me. But I am sure someone else loves it.
Things gain more momentum later in the tenth spot on the album. “Masquerade” is not a scorcher by any means, but the song is well written and performed exceptionally well by the whole gang. The gang vocals and background harmonies are the things that stand out to me. However, the guitar solo in the middle of the tune is a sensational piece of musicianship and is the glory piece of the whole track.
As I mentioned before, I was salivating to get this album in my hands. I sang the praises of Eclipse to anyone that would give me the time of day. When the first signal hit, I was ecstatic. However after finally getting a hold of it and numerous listens, it just wasn’t catching me the ways the others did. So because of that, I could really truly and honestly give this album a solid 7 out of 10, if I was to rate it. Like I’ve said though, the thing about music is one person can dislike something while someone else loves it. That’s the beauty of music…There is something for everyone!
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Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
Email Me at: Trevor “Psychoone” McD
Viva la Victoria
Blood wants blood
When the winter ends
.38 Or .44
Never gonna be like you
Take me home
- Erik Mårtensson
- Magnus Henriksson
- Philip Crusner
- Victor Crusner