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Melodic and heavy. - 85%

Immortally_Insane, January 29th, 2013

Black Rose is a Swedish hard rocking heavy metal band has been putting out killer heavy metal tunes since 1990. The band, flying under the radar and fighting a few lineup changes but remaining stable, is releasing their latest album, “Turn on the Night”, in January 2013. The man credited for their record deal is none other than Christian Liljegren (Narnia, Divine Fire, Golden Resurrection…) so it must be expected to be epic and powerful music. Lately, the Doolittle Group is utterly on fire with some great melodic metal, and Black Rose is no exception!

The sound of Black Rose is extremely difficult to explain. It’s melodic hard rock, with some seriously talented musicians capable of playing the heaviest of metal. The vocals resemble those of Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), yet hold onto a softness that can only be heard to understand. Turn on the Night begins with a strong opening track “My Enemies” that has an eerie war-like drum intro that shatters into a riff that is a straight blast from the 80’s heavy metal past. The intro of the following song, “Rise Again” caused another “What decade was this album produced?” moment. The song structure is very similar to the singles of the 80’s rock scene and creates quite a unique, enjoyable listen.

And cue the Def Leppard-like ballad with the track “We Were Winners” which has this somber self-reflective tone to it that makes it difficult to not relate to. The lyrics are beautiful, and the chorus is strong, one of the most memorable moments on the album hands down. This track really shows off the softness that Peder is capable of. The rough throat-style vocals are difficult to perfect. Peder is most definitely talented, but the vocals are definitely more enjoyable with the mellow singing found throughout this song. The high notes hit at the end are incredible. The guitar solo is fantastic, sounding as if there are two guitars conversing with one another; all the while the band only has one guitarist. Production is spot on.

The album has some serious single worthy tunes, like “Hunter” that boast a catchy verse riff and chorus, driving drum and bass, and killer guitar work. However the album has its lackluster moments as well with “The Bold & the Beauty” being the least impressive track on the album. The vocal work is lost and flattened in the chorus and makes it difficult to listen to. The musicianship throughout the song is great and dynamic, but that chorus doesn’t fit. It’s really the only moment on the album I don’t thoroughly enjoy.

Peder Thederan and Thomas Berg both supply vocals throughout the album and the layering and harmonies are spot on and quite enjoyable. The guitar work of Berg is fantastic as he is a true heavy/speed metal player. The bass is mixed in at good volume, so the strings are heard running along with those drums quite well. Black Rose is a solid heavy metal machine, and with 23 years to fine-tune and perfect it, they’ve really managed to record a fantastic metal album.