ECLIPSE – Monumentum
A premiere act in the melodic hard rock/AOR genre, Eclipse have been successful due to the right combination of stellar musicianship and keen songwriting, knowing how to keep the focus on proper hooks, melodies, and memorable choruses. "Monumentum" continues the benchmark output, as album number four contains another eleven tracks that would have easily given the group multiple rock radio favorites and major video airplay.
Between Erik Martensson’s expressive, wide ranging vocals and his guitar play with Magnus Henriksson, the songs elevate people out of their seats and send this vibrancy into the atmosphere that makes you very happy. Even when there are some cultural textures like the Gary Moore/Irish inflections for "The Downfall of Eden", the quartet make sure to inject that gritty edge while bristling with stunning, catchy harmonies. When they choose to go down a ballad route for "Hurt", the drumming contains more adventurous moves and doesn’t necessarily follow normal buildups for emotional attachment – in the end making this one of the highlights of the record. The guitar work has that Whitesnake/Blue Murder texture, put through a Pink Cream 69/ Journey sheen, sure to make listeners smile as "Born to Lead" and "Vertigo" charge from your favorite listening device. Many times on records like this, you’ll hear great tracks to start and then the quality subsides – not the case for Eclipse, as "No Way Back" contains one of those sing-a-long choruses and hyper friendly guitar breaks perfect for taking the top off the convertible and flooring the gas pedal. Keyboards act as an enhancement tool, never overshadowing the electric action within – the orchestral touches building the anticipation for closer "Black Rain", another stunner that recalls self-titled Whitesnake album magic.
Those already familiar with Eclipse will automatically add "Monumentum" to their collection. For the fence sitters, this is a great starting point for the fruits of melodic hard rock and AOR reside in newer bands creating material that stacks up well with the originators – and here is one of the best.