Singer/ guitarist Tommy ReinXeed came up with this concept in 2011- to record a lot of the biggest songs in pop music from Sweden and take them in a metal direction. Successfully charting the record in Sweden and Japan, he would form a full band that would tour and perform at a few festivals. Now we have "Volume II" – 12 more tracks that include their takes on material from Robyn, Da Buzz, Meja, Loreen, The Cardigans, and of course the mighty ABBA – the latter getting the lion’s share of coverage with 7 songs on here.

It’s taking the material into a faster power metal direction that makes "I’m Alive" from Da Buzz very entertaining, as who knew an electronic dance oriented song could be given a 360 degree makeover – Tommy naturally singing very high and also delivering a shred happy lead break. "All About the Money" by Meja is more of an acoustic singer/ songwriter style song with a catchy chorus and electronic accents – Tommy and company just adding a little more speed and heaviness without sacrificing the charming, melodic chorus and keeping it more mid-tempo in structure. Ending on a more dramatic, symphonic note for the gallop galvanizing "My Favourite Game" by The Cardigans, drummer Andreas Johansson and bassist Sebastian Roos get a chance to flex a little bit of their technique at different paces while the multi-part vocal harmonies carry the key hooks home.

And then there is the almighty ABBA – how can you go wrong with "Rock Me", "Voulez-Vous", "Take a Chance on Me", and the classic hit "Dancing Queen"? The hope is that some of the bleed over from fans of this Swedish juggernaut will understand that even in a power metal context, these songs stand the test of time – and I believe Tommy and the quintet of Swedish Hitz Goes Metal is not making any light of this, paying careful attention to the hooks, harmonies, and dominant chords that drive this material for millions.

Another fun record – get out and enjoy!