Eclipse - Bleed and Scream
Frontiers Records
Hard Rock
11 songs (48'08)
Release year: 2012
Eclipse, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the year

When I first reviewed H.E.A.T new album, I really thought I was reviewing the best Hard Rock release of 2012. Boy was I wrong (way way wrong) ! Enter Eclipse, a Swedish Hard Rock band with their new album Bleed and Scream, apparently their fourth release. In any case, this has to be one of the biggest surprise of the year for me, and it will be in my list of the year's best comes next January.

The album starts with Wake Me Up, and it's great opener, the great thing about this song is that you immediately know that you're gonna like these guys. The strong heavy riffs, the great production, pure powerful sound, great vocals and catchy melodies and songs. The funny thing about this song is that it's not even a highlight (or maybe it is :) ), it's one of the simplest song (still effective and a great headbanger) on the album. The second and title track Bleed and Scream is a magnum opus of Hard Rock songs, it kills on every level, riffing, melodies, catchy and powerful chorus, guitar solo, you name it, this song has it all ! I'm amazed by the band's ability to take the sounds of the eighties and nineties and give a fresh take, with a powerful sound and amazing production. Bleed and Scream chorus will stay carved into your memory forever after just one listen, it's that powerful ! But the more you listen to the album, the more you'll want to head bang and sing along. I also love the forth song, Battlegrounds, that reminds sounds like a Gary Moore song, so much so it could be a classic if it was one, instead it's a classic Eclipse song for sure. Falling Down is amazingly powerful (near the end it sounds like a Power Metal song thanks to the fast double bass drums), and reminds me of Bonfire. The album has other faster songs (Take Back the Fear) , great mid-tempos (S.O.S is majestically beautiful !) and the obligatory ballad (the beautiful About To Break that sounds as good as any of Bon Jovi's best ballads). I could do a song by song review but I'm no gonna, you need to discover the surprises that this album had to offer on your own (boy you're in for a true "rocket" ride, pun intended !). I will just say that I'm amazed by how good everything sounds, from the riffs, to the guitar solos, the vocals, the rhythm section (sometimes reaching Power Metal levels), the amazing choruses (with and without choirs), everything is fraking perfect and the band achieves a cohesion very few bands manage to achieve in their lifetime ! What is interesting is that every song is different, there is never a feel of repetition here, as a matter of fact this album feels like a best of the 80's-90's Hard Rock albums that came before it, and that alone is quite a feat if you ask me. I don't need to make a best of Hard Rock compilation now, thanks to Eclipse, when I want the absolute best of 80-90's Hard Rock, all I have to do is pop out Bleed & Scream, it's that simple ! To tell you the truth, at 95 out of 100 points I feel like I'm underquoting this masterpiece (even though many will jump and shout heresy at me, I've got little doubts about that. But if they truly love Hard Rock they will arrive at the same conclusion I'm sure).

It's my brother Danny who described them best, Europe meets Pretty Maids, and somehow I have to agree (to a certain level), with a song actually reminding me a Yellow Rain (Unspoken Heroes), but it is so much more than just a mix between these two great bands. There is so much more to their sound than this and trying to pin them down to existing band would be unfair, it is clear that the bands mentioned in this review must have played a role as far as inspiration but Eclipse brings flair, panache and in-your-face power and melodies to their songs that they have their own identity as far as I'm concerned (today they are the true kings of the current Hard Rock scene with this album !). See, when Edguy decided to make Hard-Rock, I've tried to remain open minded and trying to accept the album for what they were becoming (Hard Rock albums basically with some lost Power Metal infused here and there), but there are bands out there that can do this it much better, and Eclipse is one such band. Bleed and Scream totally and utterly obliterates anything Edguy have done since HellFire Club (but then the band was still Power Metal). But Eclipse isn't trying to retreat from Power Metal to Hard Rock, nope, they play Hard Rock at their core, even though there are some Power Metal in their sound sometimes, and that's all the better, as it gives them a little edge. The end result is one of the best Hard Rock albums I've heard since Kane Roberts' Saints and Sinner (which is my one if not my favorite Hard Rock album of all times)! (that's two decades guys !). I have to dig their older offerings, though I doubt they approach this masterpiece, and I can't wait to hear if the band will be able to best it (I am doubtful, but who knows ?). A buy or die album for every Hard Rock fan out there, no questions asked !

Killing Songs :
Absolutely all of them, every second of this masterpiece is pure unadulterated Hard Rock pleasure.
Chris quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Eclipse that we have reviewed:
Eclipse - Wired reviewed by Ben and quoted 62 / 100
Eclipse - Armageddonize reviewed by Chris and quoted 95 / 100
Eclipse - Are You Ready To Rock reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
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