The Man from the Moon - Rocket Attack
Black Mark
Soft Rock
12 songs (48'54")
Release year: 2008
Black Mark
Reviewed by Alex

I am in big need of someone helping me to explain how The Man from the Moon ended up on a metal label. And not just any label, Black Mark, the label which was a home of sacrosanct Bathory and Edge of Sanity, the one which uncovered one-time gems Lothlorien and Auberon. Yes, Black Mark had its softer moments with the latter days Lake of Tears (just before the split and subsequent reunion), but The Man from the Moon is off the charts. It feels that someone (and the only someone with a voice on Black Mark is Borje “Boss” Forsberg) owed the musician behind The Man from the Moon a favor or knows him personally and so Rocket Attack saw the light of day on a legendary label under the guise of sympho-rock. That musician behind the “band” is one Micke (MIMO) Moberg, who performs, composes and arranges everything associated with The Man from the Moon. The research wasn’t easy, but a few web bits uncovered show Micke to be a guitarist for a few softer side of rock Swedish bands, and the man with its own studio and production aspirations.

Granted, my allegiances shifted from soft rock to metal at the tender age of 14, but I can still enjoy a solid rock anthem just like the next guy. The main trouble I have with Rocket Attack is the album absolutely not winning me in the hook department and, as that happens, a rock album would be inevitably lost for me as a result. A stick-to-basics elementary rhythm structure and mellow crooning Micke’s vocals do not move a nerve inside of me either. Calling Rocket Attack sympho-rock is an exaggeration in and of itself, as some spacey celestial keyboards in the opening title track and Ice Man do not turn The Man from the Moon into Ayreon. The song structure is mostly standard as well, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-refrain/solo-chorus followed pretty faithfully. From slightly stoned 1-2 riffs of Warm Blooded Woman and The Walker, Micke sometimes slips to unashamedly poppish sounds of Ice Man and Dance Mamma. I love ABBA, the Swedish legends Dance Mamma is trying to emulate, but ABBA is genius while Dance Mamma is not.

Micke’s soft music has more substance on Time Gives a Moment, and even has some bouncy Van Halen grit on Eagle Free, but he would be best sticking to the soft balladeering as in the closer My Home Town. On top of it all, Micke dabbles into playful political satire with his lyrics (President of Madness) and loves to moralize about his religious/social stance (Rocket Attack, Revolution, I Am Your God). If the music was engaging I would not mind hearing one more time about President Bush being a first-class SOB, but President of Madness simply does not cut it musicwise.

In the end the best thing about The Man from the Moon is its beautiful digipack layout and a rousing tribute to Quorthon In Love and Memory into which indeed a lot of soul has been poured and it shows. Otherwise, this soft Swedish rock/Foreigner hybrid of a record is a complete miss on my hardened ears. Here is to the anticipated 12 Bathory albums to be reissued by Black Mark, shaken so hard (on a personal level too by Quorthon’s untimely passing). These reissues will certainly rock and will look a lot more in place on this celebrated outlet.

Killing Songs :
Eagle Free, In Love and Memory
Alex quoted 49 / 100
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There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Mon May 26, 2008 12:41 pm
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