This is the latest album by Swiss rock band Gotthard. They have a massive back catalogue of 14 studio and live albums and have received multiple platinum and gold awards over the 25 years they have been going. They have toured the world extensively with Bon Jovi, AC/DC to name but a few. Silver was released on the 13th January 2017. The band is made up of Leon Leoni on guitar, Freddy Scherer on guitar, Hena Habegger on drums and Nic Maeder on vocals / guitar.
I have to confess that Gotthard was not a name that I recognised but when I heard the music I realised that I had heard them before. This is classic rock done so sweetly that your ears will really appreciate it. They have a 70’s / 80’s classic rock band vibe for me that is faintly reminiscent of Whitesnake and Deep Purple. If this is how you like your rock, with fabulous riffs and licks, changes in mood and flow and songs that you can sing along to then this is the band for you.
The album starts with 'Silver River' which shimmers into existence but morphs into heavy guitars and drums. The change in tempo then happens at the chorus where everything becomes more energetic. There are beautifully played riffs with crashing drums in the middle of the track which reinforces that this is a band whose musicianship is not in question. Nic Maeder’s silky smooth vocals are really impressive.
'Electrified' starts with a harder rock vibe filled with great bass line with chugging, distorted guitars. This is a powerhouse of sound that comes out of the speakers at a fast pace. The guitars wail and rise over the vocals with precision, whilst the fuzzy bass draws you in. There are changes of tempo which are serenaded by the drums and lead into sustained, rising riffs.
The much softer 'Stay With Me' builds into the chorus which asks “If I could be someone else would you stay with me?” There is a poignancy to lyrics and the pleading vocals. The track rises and falls with appealing drums and beautifully cutting guitars.
“I turned off the news today, I needed something beautiful” is a lyric that will resonate with many of us in these changing times. 'Beautiful' has percussive drum beat, with bass lines that build up. This reminded me slightly of The Answer “Spectacular” in sentiment. If this was played in a stadium it would get the crowds singing along and would leave them with a huge smile on their faces. It is a feel good song on an epic scale.
'Everything Inside' starts with harder guitars that muscle in with rich and commanding rock sound. These powerful lush guitars that snarl and scream as you are beseeched not to keep everything inside.
'Reasons For This' has a great melody with soaring guitars, thundering bass and a head nodding drum beat. This is another track that would sound great on the radio, with its catchy chorus.
Which is then followed by the acoustic track 'Not Fooling Anyone' and another opportunity to hear the quality of Nic’s voice. This is a really atmospheric and beautiful track that reminds me slightly of The Eagles.
'Miss Me' starts with a snake rattle backed up with weighty drums and rich bass line which continue throughout this darker track. It has a sorrowful sound that swirls and ebbs, as Nic, lamenting, asks “I want you to miss me and to lose your mind thinking about me”
Then it is back to dramatic full on rock with great pauses in the opening of 'Tequila Symphony No 5'. This develops into a hard-hitting recurring drum line, dramatic melody with focused riffs that is really catchy.
Why starts with an acoustic guitar, the track slowly builds to ramp up the intensity into the chorus, with mesmeric drums and haunting guitar riffs over fat and full bass.
'Only Love Is Real' asks “What if we start the day with a time machine, what if we change the past, like on a silver screen, what if we changed the world right now”. This song has an orchestral feel with sweetly singing guitars.
'My Oh My' follows and is another harder, riff saturated track. The guitars weave in with raspy, full riffs which are reinforced by the compelling drum and interesting bass. This track has it all, licks, riffs, wonderful bass line with interesting drumming backed up by a rocking melody and vocals.
'Blame On Me' is a furiously paced, blues feel track with its squealing guitars, fuzzy bass and frantic drums. There are driving riffs as this track thunders along, keeping you moving along with it. It is a powerful end to a great album.
For me this album has it all, great riffs, ballads mixed in with fast and full on rock tracks. This album left me with a smile on my face and a desire to replay the album from the beginning, which is exactly what I did.