Europe

Secret Society

Written by: JM on 01/11/2006 01:25:36

Europe have returned with another album after their comeback album "Start From The Dark" in 2004. Despite this recent album most people still know them for their old material, especially for their huge hit "The Final Countdown" released in 1986. The main issue for most people is probably whether the five guys from the suburbs of Stockholm have still got it in them. Is this going to be as inspiring as their old and more famous material? Will it be a repeat of their old material or a totally new adventure? Those were some of my main questions when I first threw the CD into my stereo.

The first track, "Secret Society", was initiated with high expectations, also being the title track. Unfortunately it did not come close to any of those expectations and quite frankly turned out to be the worst track on the album. It was totally misplaced and did not fit in with my anticipations, nor with the rest of the album. To its defense it did contain some good guitar solos, but these were not enough to make up for the various intermingeled yet disconnected parts of the track and some horrific lyrics. Perhaps some people will find the utterly annoying scream of "Running against the line, running against the time" enjoyable, but personally the effect of dragging out the sentence simply became very irritating. After this initial disappointment the album gets better and turns out to be quite a good album all together. The album overall displays a good solid basis of quality music, mastering and mixing. All the songs, with the exception of the first one, I would consider good songs, but with some better than others. The track that really stands out is actually the second track "Always The Pretenders", though this feeling could initially have been a result of it being immediately after the worse track. Yet I have discovered it has the best lasting effect of all the tracks, as it was the most memorable on the album.

This brings us to a major hurdle for "Secret Society", which is that it lacks the real hit like "The Final Countdown". Despite the song "Always The Pretenders" making a close attempt, the album still lacks a track that really shines. It is full of above-average songs, but simply missing the crown jewel. But still, it is a genuinely good example of classic hardrock of the Led Zeppelin kind. The album is abounding in guitar solos scattered across every track and plentiful in guitar riffs with heavy distortion effects. It both brings back many of the elements Europe that made Europe famous, yet also contribute something new. "Secret Society" could be described as more personal and thought through than their previous albums. They manage to touch many common themes such as God, Love, Life and many more. Ok so that doesn't necessarily sound that deep, but several of the songs contain lyrics with deeper lyrics than I recall hearing from Europe in the past. A certain improvement in my opinion, yet I'm still scouting for that shiny crown jewel and their opening track "Secret Society" also drags their overall score down. The quality of recording and mastering is very good and the sound quality pouring through my stereo is definitely at a very high level. Overall a good album with the vast majority of tracks above average, but lacking the one brilliant song to knock the album up into the higher categories.

7

Download: Always The Pretenders, Wish I Could Believe
For The Fans Of: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden
Listen: MySpace

Release date 30.10.2006
Sanctuary
Provided by Target ApS

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