MARCUS KEMP / SAMANTHA LLOYD
What happens when you take three great Swedish bands (WORK OF ART, ECLIPSE and TALISMAN) and meld them into one supergroup full of great music and superb songwriting? I’ll tell you. You get a melodic rock supergroup called W.E.T.
It’s nearly been a decade since their debut self titled album was released in 2009, and 5 years since their sophomore album ‘Rise Up’ in 2013, and now it’s time for this supergroup to throw another album at us in the form of ‘Earthrage’ due for release on March 23rd on Frontiers Records.
‘Watch the Fire’ starts off with a slow build of synth keys and mellow guitar riffs before unleashing a harder tone of crunchy, heavy guitars and pounding drums. The combined vocal prowess of Jeff Scott Soto (TALISMAN) and Erik Martensson (ECLIPSE) meander through this opening track with an air of uplifting, and simply put, stunning vocals, complemented by the huge chorus that the track offers making this an awesome introduction to the album.
‘Burn’ is a powerhouse track with an intro of competing symphonic keyboard and dynamic guitars that cranks up the energy to 11 and beyond. The vigorous drums and the superb vocals that sing their heart out with such raw passion help to amplify the energy of the track. The mid point of the track offers a blistering guitar solo that pushes the track along until it hits a respite of relaxing and mellow guitars. The slow build back to the
thundering guitars and drums is dramatised by the low whispering repetition of the track title “Burn, Burn, Burn” before the final onslaught of technical prowess of Magnus Henriksson’s guitar sees the track through to its end.
‘Kings On Thunder Road’ starts with chugging guitars, enriched with euphonious melodies that span the whole track. Lyrically, it’s a reminiscent song that seem to tell a story of looking back on the good old days, thinking of all the good memories shared with friends. The instrumentation complements the track with anthemic vocals that soar with intensity, the backing vocal harmonies and the catchy guitar riffs when all brought together create an instantly memorable track that will leave a long lasting impression after the first listen.
‘Elegantly Wasted’ gives off a QUEEN vibe in the intro with the orchestral sounding keyboards provided by Robert Sall and the ‘I Want To Break Free’ style vocals by Soto. Even if this vibe or homage wasn’t intended, it’s a cool little nod to one of the greatest classic rock bands of all time. Henriksson’s bluesy guitars and Robban Back’s (ex-ECLIPSE) finely tuned but still strong drums help the aforementioned keys and vocals to make a great song that is incredibly catchy with its enticing hooks and memorable chorus. The final line of the track just sums up how adults cope with life “Elegantly wasted, another glass of wine and I’ll be fine, tonight.”
‘Urgent’ is one of the heavier songs on the album. The intro has a gritty edge to it with thunderous guitars and powerful drums, the time has come to get those horns up in the air and rock out to this one! Unleashing slightly heavier vocals and displaying a greater vocal range Soto completely commands this track from start to finish. And, as if all that heaviness wasn’t enough, W.E.T. brought along Thomas Larsson (best known for his work with Glenn Hughes) to provide an additional and electrifying guitar solo to add to the sheer enormity of the track.
‘Dangerous’ starts slow, the building of the pace adding to the overall feel of the track that pushes an energetic rhythm throughout. The catchy vibe accompanied by dynamic guitars and intense drumming pulsate through the track, vocals soar high on this one assisted by the sonorous keys which help to add to the energetically short but sweet track.
‘Calling Out Your Name’ has a beautiful intro. The relaxing and soothing melodic keyboards and soft vocals that slowly intensify after the first minute before exploding with powerful euphonic instrumentation that is guaranteed to give you goosebumps. From here Soto’s vocals work overtime, accompanied by fantastic backing vocals and symphonic keys. Back’s galloping drum rhythm and the blistering solos add to the overall epic vibe that will be a huge crowd pleaser on the live circuit, it’s a pure symphonic headbanger that reminds me a little of some of ECLIPSE’s more heavier songs.
The ballad ‘Heart Is On The Line’ is delivered with such beautiful lyrics and atmospheric keys that really get you in the feels, sending luxurious chills down the spine from the moment the song begins. The beautiful composition is amplified by the melancholic yet sweet-sounding acoustic and electric guitars and soft drumming, which help to make this a truly captivating W.E.T. ballad. I’d add it to the list of one of those many uplifting and powerful love songs that you can have for your first dance at a wedding.
'I Don't Wanna Play That Game' reminds me a little of Joe Perry (AEROSMITH) style guitar playing and encompasses a Bluesy feel vibe which makes for a great change in the mood of the album. The guitar riffs are delivered brilliantly throughout the whole track while the consistently smooth and soft vocals are complemented by the sturdy drumming and guitar melodies. This is a perfectly crafted easy listening track that makes you want to kick back and relax.
‘The Burning Pain Of Love’ starts off with a fade in guitar, mellow vocals and a rhythmic bass before launching into a passionate chorus where the lyrics convey a strong message of acceptance and love having no boundaries, “Doesn’t matter if you’re rich, Don’t matter if you’re poor, Cause we all face the silence alone”. In today’s society we seem to forget that we all face the same fate no matter what walk of life you hail from. The symphonious backing vocals, melodic keys and dynamic drumming work in harmony to convey the aforementioned message to create a very strong and impactful song.
The final track ‘The Neverending Retraceable Dream’ begins with slide guitar riffs and and a slow rhythm before a more upbeat and steady rhythm takes over. Naturally, the final track needs to leave you with a strong lasting impression, the kind that makes you want to press repeat and listen to the album all over again. This track does that perfectly, delivering the immediate repeat response that every band aims to exude from their listeners. The composition immediately reminds of ‘If I Fall’, from the bands debut album, as there’s something about the mellifluous keyboards and supreme guitars that strike a familiar chord with me.
To sum up, this is definitely a worthy follow up to the second album and it shows that this group can only get stronger from here on out with their songwriting. That’s no surprise really as when you combine fantastic talent from three great bands, you are always guaranteed to get better and stronger songs every time. W.E.T. have once again proven that with this album, so make sure you pick this up when it comes out. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Watch The Fire
Kings On Thunder Road
Calling Out Your Name
Heart Is On The Line
I Don’t Wanna Play That Game
The Burning Pain Of Love
The Neverending Retraceable Dream
Erik Mårtensson - Guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
Jeff Scott Soto - Vocals
Robert Säll - Keyboards
Magnus Henriksson - Guitar
Robban Bäck - Drums
W.E.T. Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/wetofficialpage/
Jeff Scott Soto Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jeffscottsoto
Eclipse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/eclipsesweden
Work Of Art Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/musicofworkofart/
Frontiers Records Shop - https://www.frontiers.shop/new-releases/648/w.e.t.-earthrage-cd-jewelcase