Album Reviews

Gotthard – 13 Review

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Hard Rock

Release Date: March 13th, 2020

 

Line-up:

Nic Maeder – vocals

Leo Leoni – guitar

Freddy Scherer – guitar

Marc Lynn – bass

Hena Habegger – drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Bad News

2. Everytime I Die

3. Missteria

4. 10.000 Faces

5. S.O.S

6. Another last Time

7. Better than Love

8. Save the Date

9. Marry You

10. Man on a Mission

11. No time to Cry

12. I can say I´m Sorry

13. Rescue Me

 

 

‘13’ in general isn’t known as a lucky number, only thinking about all the myth around any Friday 13. Swiss hard rockers Gotthard try to give the figure a new meaning while entitling their new album simply ‘#13’.

Time is flying if you have fun and it’s amazing that the new Gotthard record is already the thirteenth they add to their music delivery. Furthermore, the album contains 13 songs. So it’s a lot of stuff about the ‘scary’ number.

What’s not scary at all though is the music on Gotthard’s new album. The band picks up where they left off three years ago with their latest album ‘Silver’. Leo, Nic, Freddy, Marc, and Hena didn’t change a lot when it comes to Gotthard’s sound. The quintet still builds on their success formula that fortunately shows a bit more of a harder approach for a few years. Let’s start with the weaker spots though. With ‘Marry You’, done in collaboration with Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) the album features a soulful ballad, aiming for John Doe and so does ‘I Can’t Say I’m Sorry’. The songs are sugar-coated and I guess that the guys don’t get away without having these kinds of tunes on the album. However, it’s a bit off-the-shelf material that creates an understanding of why Leo Leoni needs Coreleoni as an outlet for music with some more edges. But let’s focus now more on the cool stuff ‘#13’ brings to the plate.

I mentioned already the participation of Eric Bazilian and it seems that Leoni/Maeder can make even more use of their contribution to Rock Meets Classic in 2018. Bazilian was one part of this line-up and Status Quo main man Francis Rossi was another veteran that joined the 2018 edition. Gotthard co-wrote already ‘Bye Bye Caroline’ with the iconic guitarist/singer and with ‘Missteria’ also the new record carries a track that mentions Rossi in the credits section. The song, also released as a single, is a cool rocking one with a strong beat as a base.

Also, the start of the album is promising. The band unleashes with ‘Bad News’ their Rock’n’Roll spirit and the uptempo ‘Every Time I Die’ belongs to the highlights on the album. A modern expression and a solid groove is what ’10,000 Faces’ offers while the bottom part of the tracklist comes more with the softer tracks. ‘Better Than Love’ is still a good rocker and ‘Save the Date’ comes with a good Rock-vibe too, but also the mentioned standard songs are part of the second half of the album. Interesting is the choice of the cover version that comes with ‘#13’. Gotthard took ABBA’s ‘SOS’ and turned it into a rocking half-ballad with singer Nic Maeder presenting his entire vocal range.

The Gotthard interpretation isn’t far away from the original version from 1975 and still contains a special Gotthard vibe. Well done. If a band releases 13 they must do something right. In the case of Gotthard, they probably do more than just one thing right with their new album being one example. They handle the balancing act between hard and mainstream very well, partly even too well. However, fans of solid Rock music will find songs on the album they will like and so do Gotthard fans that are more related to the mainstream.

 

Written by: Markus Wiedenmann

Ratings:  (8/10)

 

 

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