Even though Swedish melodic hard rockers Eclipse have been around for quite a few years by now, they are a somewhat new acquaintance for me. It was with their most recent album Armageddonize from 2015 that got me hooked on the band. Since then I have given every single record of theirs a shot and I must admit that I find some of them pretty uneven but albums like Bleed And Scream (2012) and the somewhat cliché named Are You Ready To Rock (2008, but I prefer the remixed and remastered version with extra tracks from 2014 version) are both really good. The band became known to mainstream Sweden when they participated in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish part of the Eurovision Song Contest, a contest they didn’t win, but it sure gave them some great exposure. I have seen the band live once before, at the Väsby Rock Festival last year and I thought they were a killer live act so I was looking forward to their appearance at this year’s Sweden Rock. And they sure didn’t disappoint me even though I had some really big expectations on them. The opening with “I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry”, “Stand On Your Feet” and “Wake Me Up” was both intense and highly energetic. The extremely catchy “The Storm” followed and raised a whole lot of singing voices from the audience and “Battlegrounds” sure did kick up some dust with its metal influenced melodic rock vibe. There are some small twists of power metal in both “Breakdown” and “Blood Enemies” but even though I have a hard time with power metal it doesn’t affect the quality of the songs one bit and they’re both perfect for the stage. By now Eclipse have won me over – again – long ago and it’s no denying in that this band is an awesome live force. “Ain’t Dead Yet” and “Bleed And Scream” would have broken down the little doubt that was left, if there was any (it wasn’t) and the song they participated in the contest with, “Runaway”, turned out to be a live killer as well. When “Breaking My Heart Again” rang out, Eclipse stood as winners and I’d be surprised if anyone present at the concert didn’t enjoy their powerful show. Ok, so the sound might have left a bit to be desired, but the guys are such great musicians and singer Erik Mårtensson (also with W.E.T., Ammunition and Nordic Union) is not only an amazing song writer, he also happens to be brilliant frontman who knows how to work an audience. No matter if you have heard a single note from this band or not, if they play somewhere near your household, do not miss them!
Photo by Hanna Henrikson