No matter how bad things seem to be going in the real World – and right now I’m sure you’ll agree things seem to be going pretty bad – you can always be sure that, somewhere in Sweden, little groups of uber-talented musicians will be banding together to write music to transport you back to a time when rock and roll dreams really did win through…
The latest of these is the excellent Perpetual Etude, a tasty little combo formed around Air Raid guitarist Magnus Mild, who seem to be dedicated to recreating the glory mid-to-late-eighties days of Yngwie J. Malmsteen; Mild is a great guitarist, although sensibly he doesn’t unleash the full fury here, preferring to set his fluid soloing within the context of each song without trying to overpower it totally. And of course, Malmsteen was nothing without superb vocalists like Jeff Scott Soto and Joe Lynn Turner. Remarkably, Mild has found a vocalist, Kristian Fyhr, who sits bang in the middle of these two titans and is a real find.
One of those ‘sing the phonebook’ type vocalists, Fyhr gobbles up melodic hard rockers like Show Me and Straight Through The Heart, turning them into epic, heart-rending behemoths that would have levelled stadia had they been written in 1987. His phrasing is spine-tingling, and should the hugely overused Ronnie Romero ever find himself sidelined due to strained vocal chords Fyhr would be a more than adequate replacement. More than adequate.
Once We Were and Hell Fire Burn are blazing Euro power metal anthems of the purest kind, but the band save the best til last with the absolutely corking Our Love. This is old school songwriting absolutely out of the top draw, peerlessly weaving muscular riffage, razor-sharp lead work and goosebump-inducing melodies to create pure audial nirvana. It’s one of the best tracks of it’s kind I’ve heard in a long, long time, so much so that I found myself wracking my brains to see whether it wasn’t actually an obscure cover version of some kind… it really is that good.
Now Is The Time releases on October 15th.