A follow up to their 2015’s War of Kings, EUROPE is back with their new album Walk the Earth on Hell & Back Recordings (Silver Lining Music). This disc perfectly displays their powerful talent and relevancy. They are a band that has easily stood the test of time, maintaining their best line-up that brought them their biggest ever, The Final Countdown. The title track “Walk the Earth” starts things off with power and ferocity. Joey Tempest’s voice is one of a few that has aged like fine wine. It seems to get better from year to year, never faltering or wavering. John Norum’s guitar skills are definitely still top notch as well with an aptly fitting guitar solo for this song.
“The Siege” starts off much heavier with deep bass from John Leven. Overall there’s an alluring dark tone to it that is simply entrancing. It leads perfectly into “Kingdom United” that is still as heavy, but with a higher energy. These two seem to go great together, showing that they not only play music amazingly well but are also very adept at album sequencing. Even more energy comes from “Election Day,” which is arguably one of the most head bangable songs on the whole thing. The chorus showcases the incredible melodic nature of Joey’s voice. Ian Haugland’s drums, and Mic Michaeli’s keyboards complete and round out this track to its utmost potential.
The ferocity continues with “GTO,” making you want to start bouncing and moving about from the sheer level of liveliness. With the combination of Ian hitting the drums with fervor, the reaching vocals from Joey, and the virtuosic solo by John Norum, this one will definitely have you aching to see them live. The final number “Turn to Dust,” closes off the record just as it started, with power and passion. Both the message and the melodic drive of this one wrap up the album fittingly. Towards the end it stops suddenly, then for the last 30 seconds they give you a sort of…surprise. Listen to find out. It is interesting to say the least.
While I was excited for a new release from EUROPE, I honestly believe that War of Kings ranks higher than this one. That is not to say Walk the Earth is a bad album; it is still great, just maybe not their best. This record absolutely showcases how well this band can arrange and put together a collection, each track flowing into the next like it is supposed to. And one thing they have always excelled at is making albums that are more or less meant to be listened to cover to cover. Everyone in the group is still top notch as expected. As always, I will be looking forward to see what they do next as they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Walk the Earth,” “GTO,” “Turn to Dust”