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Alien | Eternity

by Alexandra Mrozowska
– Columnist —

ALIEN - EternityYears before such hybrid genre-related terms as New Wave Of Swedish Sleaze Metal were coined, Scandinavia was a very fruitful land for a different genre to flourish. And no talking about black metal here – think the 1980s, think Treat, Da Vinci, Bad Habit, Baltimoore, 220 Volt… From the Scandi AOR-melodic rock acts of the era, Gothenburg-based Alien was undoubtedly one of the finest, their self-titled debut album now being a cult classic among the fans of the genre. Hence, the recent original line-up reunion and their subsequent live performances (on Firefest, Sweden Rock etc.) were received more than enthusiastically. This encouraged Alien to seal their return with a new album Eternity… or, if to express it more precisely, to take their listeners back to the ‘80s.

Facts are that every music genre evolves and changes – AOR-melodic rock being no exception to the rule. But with Eternity, Alien managed to turn back time – at least for a little while – making an album which could have been recorded as well thirty years ago to the same stellar effect. From the keyboard-driven opener “In Love We Trust” to the soaring acoustic ballad “In Truth”, it’s never too far from an original Alien sound one knows – which one missed for far too long. A handful of infectious, polished melodies, a few catchy keyboard hooks, fine lead guitar work and vocal harmonies – who could ask for more…? Rocking to the groovy keyboard-driven mid-tempos such as “Love Will Lead Me Home” or “What Goes Up”, walking down the memory lane with the nostalgic pomp rock piece “Summer Of Love” or shedding a tear of emotion when the soaring ballad “I Believe” explodes with its massive chorus… song by song, you’ll find yourself lost in the band’s vintage fusion of melodic keyboard hooks and guitar-laden rock back-beat and re-discover it’s much more to this than just a nostalgic impulse.

The Swedish group enters 2010s with the very classy and solid release both in terms of music performance and songwriting. Another thing is that many bands, genre and period in time irrelevant, tried to bring back the magic of their first album, while just a few succeeded. Sounding as if they rolled straight out of 1988, Alien is definitely one of these who did. Their new material Eternity is a melodic rock masterpiece; full of dynamic keyboard and guitar duels framed in hooky melodies, it leaves a listener with a simple choice of either loving it or hating it, depending on how deep AOR’s engraved into one’s heart. It deserves to be placed between Signal’s 1989 Loud And Clear and Survivor’s 1984 Vital Signs in the record collection of every self-respecting AOR fan. Much recommended.

Genre: AOR, Melodic Rock, Pomp Rock

Jim Jidhed – vocals
Tony Borg – guitars
Jimmy Wandroph – keyboards
Ken Sandin – bass
Toby Tarrach – drums

Track List:
1. In Love We Trust
2. Unbroken
3. Love Will Lead Me Home
4. I Believe
5. Summer Of Love
6. What Goes Up
7. I’m A Fighter
8. Wildheart
9. Liar, Liar
10. Look At Us Now
11. Burning Heart
12. In Truth

Label: AOR Heaven


Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10