Released by Melodic Rock Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Melodic Rock
Robin Ericsson – lead vocals bass
Daniel Johansson – guitars, backing vocals
Jesper Adefelt – guitars, backing vocals
Micke Jansson – keyboards
Matts Ericsson – drums
02 Arms Of Misery
03 A Little Bit
04 Captured By The Moment
05 Just Imagine
06 Story Of Life
07 Human Being
08 Color Me
09 Catch The Feeling
10 Keep Me Alive
11 My Fall
12 By Your Side
A few years ago I reviewed the demo of the Swedish band DEGREED and already back then I came to the conclusion that this was a band with a bright future, because their sound was sensational, combining the best of AOR/Melodic Rock and Progressive Rock, sounding both classic and modern at the same time. Well, recently the website melodicrock.com started their own label MELODICROCK RECORDS and one of the first signings was DEGREED. Now the official debut CD of this incredible band has been released and without a doubt we have something special here that will appeal to not only the AOR/Melodic Rockfans, but also Prog and Modern Rock fans will find something of interest here.
This band is combining it all together, sounding catchy, fresh and original at the same time! This album is the most original AOR album in ages, easily beating the somewhat safely played records of H.E.A.T., HOUSTON and even JOURNEY! Think of WORK OF ART, that other Swedish AOR band that also released a slightly original AOR album a few years ago and their debut is now praised as a Classic record of the 2000s! I can assure you that this first DEGREED album will undergo the same treatment, so in a few years time this album will also be seen as an absolute Classic AOR record! 12 songs are included and the sound/production is really excellent.
Happily, the band’s finest song “Catch the feeling” is also included, because this tune alone makes it worth purchasing a copy of the CD, as this is one of the catchiest summer-vibe uptempo AOR rockers I have heard the past 10 years, a really so-called ‘picture perfect’ song that has a chorus one will never get out of the head after hearing it for the first time (EUROPE eat your heart out!)! Superb uptempo Melodic Rockers like “A little bit”, “Story of life” and “Just imagine (3 KILLER CHORUSES!!!) are absolute winners for the people who like ECLIPSE, H.E.A.T. and the very first HAREM SCAREM… and it really doesn’t get any better than this right now in the Melodic Rockworld!
The rest of the material is as already mentioned actually a mix of a tiny bit modern rock (HOOBASTANK, TRAPT, DEEP INSIGHT), some progrock arrangements (VANDENPLAS) and a lot of Classic AOR/Melodic Rock (typical classic 80s Swedish style), always with an instant melodic chorus that the AOR fans are gonna love for sure. Just check out songs like “B.O.D.”, “Arms of misery” and the big surprising STEVE PERRY cover “Captured by the moment”, all very original tunes with very strong AORish choruses. Each track included here is sensational, although perhaps only the ACTish “Human being?” is just good, but after playing this album 5 times in a row in one snowy winter weekend of early December 2010, I am safe to say here that this album should be in everyone’s music collection!
The band has a great clean melodic lead singer (bassist ROBIN ERICSSON), a powerful drummer (MATS ERICSSON), 2 great guitarists (DANIEL JOHANSSON and JESPER ADEFELT) and a keyboardplayer (MIKAEL JANSSON) who is also responsible for some great input here and there. This first DEGREED album sounds better than H.E.A.T. and somehow reminds me of SEVENTH WONDER doing a more JOURNEYeque album, yet with a fresh modern approach, so no dated 80s stuff here! However, do we really have to compare this band, because DEGREED has a sound that should be described as the DEGREED sound, which contains some of the best choruses I have heard in ages!
This album of DEGREED is together with the WORK OF ART debut CD belonging to the best AOR albums released after we went into the 21st century! So at the end of 2010, this first DEGREED album could well become THE album of the year!
Written by Gabor
Ratings Gabor 9/10