Released by: AOR Heaven
Release date: 29 January 2016
Genre: Melodic Rock
Anders Wigelius – Vocals
Jakob Svensson – Guitars
Erik Wigelius – Drums
Patrik Janson – Bass
01. Do It All Again
02. Déjà vu
03. These Tears I Cry
04. Long Way From Home
05. Set Me Free
06. Yesterday’s News
07. Time Well Wasted
08. 9 Out Of 10
09. Run With Me
10. Love Is The Key
11. Please Please Please
12. Ma Cherie
Wigelius was formed in late 2011 by Anders and Erik Wigelius, after an appearance on a Swedish TV show that gained him a record deal with Frontiers. The idea at the time was to deliver 80’s rock with a modern twist. When their debut album “Reinventions” was released in 2012, it received immediate attention from the AOR scene. In turn it left fans waiting patiently for this their sophomore release. “Tabula Nasa” was mixed & mastered and produced by Erik Wigelius, with Anders Wigelius and Jakob Svensson as co-producers. Because of their previous work there is a lot expected from this album. The band has the potential and the pedigree necessary to deliver on expectations. But would we be left melting in a state of melodic daze, or just simply left in a blank state staring at a ‘blank slate’, let us find out.
Track 1: ‘Do It All Again’. With almost an African sounding chant, we start this album off with a scream. The track features some great vocals throughout and is held together by a smooth bass line and drumbeat. This in turn helps us along to a nice little guitar solo. What a great opener. It provides us with a solid foundation for the remainder of the album to deliver on our expectations.
Track 2: ‘Deja Vu’. Silent keys start us off, which soon give way to the drum beat. The guitar leads into a great melodic anthem with chops and licks a plenty. Then the track fades out again with the silent keys.
Track 3: ‘These Tears I Cry’. This track is an upbeat ballad which features a great sing-along chorus. The track has some great licks and a smooth bass line. The keys are ever present even though you can hear them in the background. This all makes for a killer track and certainly a contender worthy of a title shot.
Track 4: ‘Long Way From Home’. We get harder and dirtier. With a few ‘Hey’s’, a dirty guitar and bass we are led into a melodic frenzy. We try to juggle air guitars with a bottle of Jack, while yelling like a rebel: ”I’m A Long Long Way From Home”.
Track 5: ‘Set Me Free’. Starting with some smooth vocals, the hard drums and bass soon join in. Although slightly less aggressive than the previous track, we rock in and out of a melodic stupor as we reach for that bottle of Jack giving us courage to scream at the top of our lungs once again. But this time uttering: ‘Set Me Free’, as we get sucked deeper into this track.
Track 6: ‘Yesterday’s News’. Starts off with a banshee screech which Mr Roth himself would be proud of. This track has a bit of a pop rock vibe to it. It features some great vocals and a matching backing track. The track leads us into a great solo before tethering into a crescendo of keys.
Track 7: ‘Time Well Wasted’. Wasting no time the crunching guitars opens track 7. It can be best described as an anthemic pop rock song. The ever present keys are held together with some nice chops and a thunderous bass line. The harmonious backing vocals are thrown into the mix providing a few ‘Heys’.
Track 8: ‘9 Out Of 10′. This is an acoustic driven ballad. For me it is the standout track of the album. The song draws your attention to Anders’ great vocals. It is a great rock ballad that will have you singing along to the chorus in seconds.
Track 9: ‘Run With Me’. This track sets a slightly raised pace. It not only features a solo midway through but we are also treated to another solo close after. Both solos sandwiches the vocals and backing track to perfection.
Track 10: ‘Love Is The Key’. With a few ‘Ahhhs’ Anders neatly prepares us for this track. Along with a few other tracks, this song features the hallmarks of a pop rock’esque style. The great bass line keeps the rhythm and another sing along chorus certainly is another winner.
Track 11: ‘Please Please Please’. It is driven by some upbeat vocals. Another one of those pop rockers. It emphasizes Anders’ great vocals while all held together by the great rhythm section. ‘Jakob Svensson’ performs a great solo on the guitars.
Track 12: ‘Ma Cherie’. The closing track is a piano driven anthemic power ballad. If we ever were in doubt, the considerable talent of vocalist ‘Anders Wigelius’ is continually show-cased. He leads the track to a climax, which is a great way to close off what is an outstanding album.
This album will definitely leave you in a Melodic Meltdown. You will be screaming for more. ‘Tabula Rasa’ ticks all the right boxes and then some. Well Done Boys, it could just contend for the Album of the year title…
Written by: Shane Bradley
Rating: Shane 10/10