Label: Target/Mighty Music
Release Date: 2019/01/03
User Review( votes)
Although the Nordic countries are mostly associated with many forms of Extreme and Melodic Metal, there are some bands that decide to go in a different direction. No growls, no extremely fast solos, no keyboards and no so-called “Viking” look that Scandinavian Metal is often associated with. Is that still Scandinavia? Couldn’t be any different! Here’s the Copenhagen based Heavy Metal quintet Statement with their third album, titled Force of Life.
The beginning of the opening composition, “The Hero Inside Me,” starts like Classic Rock. But as soon as about ten seconds pass, the band’s heavy sound strikes. Although the group is often compared to such acts as the Scorpions and Accept, there is one band that their music certainly brings to mind even more: Pantera. Tight and heavy riffs combined with solid drumming definitely sound like many of the songs that have the late Abbott brothers in them. Not much melody and catchiness, just pure heaviness. The coarse vocals go really well with the riffs; the band’s singer Jannick Brochdorf is no Ronnie James Dio or Klaus Meine. He sounds much more like Chad Gray of Mudvayne and would probably do well in a band that plays even heavier music. Unfortunately not much can be said about the bass except the fourth track titled “I Wonder Why,” where a really decent bass line can be heard.
One thing on this album that is absolutely spot on, is the guitar solos. Not too short, not too fast and certainly melodic and really deep. Not excessively complex either, but they do have a lot of soul in them and that’s what really matters. Sometimes they really contrast with the rather simple and heavy riffs. Guitar harmonies can be heard in some songs too, for instance in the outro of the second track, “Darkness In Your Eyes.” That’s when it gets really Iron Maiden like and fans of Melodic music will certainly prefer the diverse lead guitar melodies over the rather monotonous rhythm parts.
If there is a song here that does stand out, it is the fourth track, titled “I Wonder Why.” Despite being one of the shortest compositions, it surely is the most diverse one by far. The intro solo is most likely inspired by such bands as the Scorpions and Savatage. Despite the track’s heavy riffs, that might as well be coming from the album The Great Southern Trendkill by Pantera, the composition actually does sound like bands that don’t have much to do with Metal, such as REM or even Red Hot Chili Peppers, although to a lesser extent. Still, it is a lot more powerful, of course! It certainly is the most interesting song on the album.
The band also decided to be creative in a different way and cover a song. The seventh track is the Statement version of “California Dreaming” by The Mamas & The Papas. As much as it is a very interesting arrangement that is far from the original, just as all covers should be, people who really like the 1966 version will be unlikely to fall in love with this one. It is creative, but it is missing a lot of the emotions and the feeling of longing that the original version is full of. But those who really like their music heavy may not care about that and really enjoy listening to what Statement made out of The Mamas & The Papas – after all, it is still good. Just different.
One more composition that differs from the others is the final track, “In This Moment.” It’s significantly less heavy than other songs, which is a positive change after about half an hour of pure heaviness. The effects used in the intro and outro are really interesting and add some mysteriousness to the overall sound of the song. Certainly a good idea for the last track on the album.
Overall, Force of Life is full of quality music and that’s a definite plus. The musicians who made it are no amateurs and that can be heard. There is however one thing this album really lacks. It’s not clean vocals that not many, except singers like Bruce Dickinson, would be capable of doing nor crazily fast guitar solos. It’s simply diversity. Except for the fourth and tenth track on the album, all the songs sound really similar. One could argue it’s the band playing their own style, but having a couple more diverse compositions, like the aforementioned ones, would certainly have not done any harm. But still, this album is worth checking out.