Eclipse is not just a simple case of a band which came, played, left and there is no tomorrow. This band REALLY means good news when they play live, when they make great records, when they are here for good. “Wired” is their latest release and the feeling is awesome! “Roses on your Grave” introduces us to the new album with the best way. This is the classic Eclipse DNA here, full throttle. Erik Mårtensson is on great form on both vocals and guitars of course, but this is a record where he has definitely improved the way he delivers the lyrics, and it shows from the result. This is a song that could easily open up the band’s live gigs anywhere, and the fans are already warmed up! “Dying Breed” is the perfect example of what this band can do, in terms of blending so nicely heavy riffs, memorable choruses and beautiful melodies, all in their unique trademark way. I can’t believe this is the band’s eighth record and they have already twenty years plus of making such great tunes. Eclipse is a well-established band within the boundaries of hard/melodic rock, AOR, gaining ground with every new release and setting high quality standards for themselves. There has been a fantastic job on the rhythm section (by the Crusner brothers, Phillip and Victor – a great natural bond here), the leads and solos by Magnus Henriksson, who has established his trademark guitar sound too. A guitar player who definitely has a really nice touch, catchy, melodic and heavy. Obviously, they do not reinvent the wheel on “Wired”. They don’t need to do that, as this album sounds so fresh and exciting. The choruses and vocals (yes, I insist!) have this ‘anthemic’ flair, they make me look forward to listen to these songs live! “Carved in Stone” is a lovely power ballad, with the acoustic guitar on the forefront, for the first part of the song, and again beautiful vocals by Erik. “Bite the Bullet” is definitely one of my favorites, a groovy and heavy song, where Magnus and the whole band of course kick ass. This is definitely a signature Eclipse song, one that will be remembered for long I think. It feels like Erik & Co. always have an ace coming from their sleeve. This is becoming an excellent habit! “We Didn’t Come to Lose” is the band’s statement, referring to what is written in the beginning of this review: this band is serious. This band really means it. “Things We Love” opens with a mellow guitar sound and then it rocks all the way, with melodies and a gorgeous overall flow, ‘charming’ the listener and adding to the character of the album. “Dead Inside”, the closing track, has an overall melancholic feeling, great guitars and rhythm section, one of my favorite mid sections where Magnus plays wonderful leads and solos - this is the perfect way to end a really great album! … Anthemic. Solid. Melodic. Heavy. No compromise. This is Eclipse. This is “Wired”. Album by album, the band from Dalarna Region (or Stockholm?) is getting better and better, and we definitely look forward to listening to the new (and old) songs live somewhere out there!

♦ 9/10

Antonis Mantzavinos