Released by: Escape Music
Release Date: September 20th, 2013
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Niclas Swedentorp – lead vocals
Micke Larsson – guitars
Matti Eklund – keyboard/hammond
Chris Goldsmith – bass
Perra Johansson – drums
2. Angel of the World
3. Life Has Just Begun
4. Goin’ All the Way
6. Life 2 Live
7. On the Run
10. Dark Reflections
My main review forte is live shows. It’s my passion, and something I find easy to talk about because I love seeing bands live and the shows I go to are the shows I choose to attend, therefore automatically bands I’m at least somewhat knowledgeable about. My album reviews on the other hand can be a challenge at times. Sure, there are plenty of albums from bands or members of past bands that I am familiar with and already know that I will like. It’s the newer bands that make my writing process easy or a living hell. When I started doing album reviews I pretty much wrote about every album that I listened to, whether I loved it, hated it, or had no opinion about it. I hate writing bad reviews because having been a musician I know it’s never easy to take criticism. So when my friend and editor Denys suggested a band called Coldspell to review, being the dutiful writer I am, I jumped at the chance.
To be frank I had never heard of the band before and had no idea what to expect. When I was younger I was a lot more adventurous about new bands than I tend to be now, outside of my “job” as album reviewer. This is apparently their second album, and its entitled Frozen Paradise. I knew from the instant the music started this was going to be an easy review to write. Right off the bat I was captivated by their sound and style. An excellent mix of late 80’s hard rock, melodic AOR, and current hard rock sensibilities- three bands popped in my head instantly that they seemed an amalgamation of: Whitesnake, Alter Bridge, and hints of Lizzy Borden. First the voice of Niklas Swendentorp is like a mix of David Coverdale, Myles Kennedy, Jorn Lande, and Lizzy Borden (usually during the chorus and harmony vocals for the Borden comparison) – deep and soulful one moment to high and soaring the next. Guitarist Michael Larrson supplies down and dirty grooves and stunning leads. The blending of the guitar and voice work to perfection for the two, and sound as if they have been working together forever. Everything that was good about the late 80’s hard rock scene is exemplified by Coldspell yet their music doesn’t sound dated. Laying down the backbone of the songs and groove are drummer Perra Johnason, bassist Anders Lindmark, as well as texture with keyboards provided my Matti Eklund. The songs are as seasoned as the performers with standouts like “On the Run,” “Angel of the World,” “Alive,” and “Goin’ All the Way” really laying down the greatness that is this band and album.
I’m very impressed with this release. Frozen Paradise and Coldspell would’ve been instant hits back in the day, and will hopefully make some noise in this current age. It’s so hard for bands of this type to get any where which is a crying shame as their sound is so spectacular and deserving of people’s adulation. If you love melodic, catchy songs with strong chorus’ and great guitar solos, fantastic vocals and a groove then Coldspell is your band and Frozen Paradise is your album.
Written by Chris Martin