I got on the ECLIPSE train a little late, like 2015 late. Armageddonize was the first album I got, and I was instantly enamored. Erik Mårtensson is not only a phenomenal vocalist, but as a writer and arranger he is just fucking amazing. My son Mini-Amps loves them too, and whenever I play “Wide Open” from that album, man does he go nuts. That’s also my personal favorite track from the band; it’s perfect in every way. That said, I liked, didn’t love 2017’s Momentum album. There was something lacking for me, who knows. I’m nuts. So now here we are with new record Paradigm, out now on Frontiers Music. Welp…what’s the story, Maestro? By the way, no one is asking that, just so you know.
Right away I could tell we were in for something special with opener “Viva La Victoria.” You can just feel the band coming together in a way others can only dream of. The fact this group isn’t huge in the U.S. is so ridiculous it borders on disgusting. “Mary Leigh” keeps the groove running with a sick riff courtesy of Magnus Henriksson and Mårtensson while providing a big singalong hook and super-tasty guitar solo. “United” is 100% an anthem that needs to be played loud and often, while “Delirious” takes the ball and runs it into the endzone. The riffs rock, the hook hooks, and once again the band just slays on both tracks.
One of the best songs on the album, and one that I keep coming back to though, is “When the Winter Ends.” That melody and those vocals are just perfect, and all I can think about is hearing it live one day, hopefully. “38 or 44” is a riff-laden tune that will grab you by the fucking throat and not let go till it’s done with you. It also happens to be catchy as Hell, and you’ll be humming it for hours, days even after it ends. “Never Gonna Be Like You” kicks down the door, gets in your kitchen, and rearranges everything but the sink. “The Masquerade” is my other favorite on this disc, and it’s now one of my favorites in the band’s repertoire. If you don’t feel this one, you’re fucking dead inside.
Closing us out is “Take Me Home”, a number that makes you want to raise your glass and sway back and forth in the spirit of coming home. A majestic track, it’s a fitting way to end the record. Armageddonize used to be my favorite album from this band. That has now changed, because this new one is even more fantastic from first note to last. If you haven’t purchased Paradigm from ECLIPSE by now, I clearly need to ask what the Hell your major malfunction is. Go get it, fer fuck’s sake!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM