220 VOLT – Walking In Starlight [re-release +2] (2018)
Originally released via AOR Heaven Records some time ago, “Walking In Starlight” is 220 VOLT comeback album after 13 years of studio silence. Now the band has a new label, and are re-releasing the album 2018 plus a previously unreleased track and a new song (from the upcoming album) featuring new vocalist Göran Nyström.
I still remember clearly in the very early ’80s, I was in my school time when I have just discovered the Scandinavian metal / hard rock movement with illustrious bands such as 220 VOLT, Pretty Maids, Fate, TNT and later Europe or Treat and obviously the mighty Yngwie’s Rising Force.
Since the beginning I was hooked by this sound, their unique and incomparable melodic styling was a revelation, this Nordic wave was everything to me as a young Headbanger it quite rapidly changed my life forever…
On “Walking In Starlight” the band play superbly and their Swedish singularity is still prominent and addictive. Even more; their versatility is exacerbated, and it’s really impressive how they manage to preserve their melodic personality even while switching from Classic Hard Rock to modernized Melodic Metal (like the epic ‘Through The Wastelands’) with a great constancy in an obvious finesse.
The title track and album opener is a real burning slice of Scandinavian Melodic Hard Rock with a fierce attitude and a superb construction in a highly bombastic method, at the same time majestic and attractive, something like House Of Lords meets Rainbow, yep believe me, it’s this kind of noble anthemic song.
‘Get Me Out’ or ‘Blind’ contains a serious dose of convincing riffage under a contemporary rumbling mania, indeed not far from Lions Share style, while the energetic ‘System Overload’ sounds like the best of Europe‘s equivalence in their mid ’90’s Prisoners In Paradise era.
Perhaps with ‘Alive’ they add to this recipe a slight Saxon overtone, still magnificent on the softer side: ‘Stranded’, ‘One Good Reason’ or ‘Take A Good Look’ are pure classic hard rock with a Whitesnake / Thunder feeling.
The reminiscence of the old 220 Volt AOR colors are founded in the title ‘Burning Heart’ and also in the chorus of the keyboard driven ‘Broken Promises’ even if the band provides a darkest tint to this cut.
The orchestrated number ‘Guiding Light’ with it’s amazing string quartet arrangement is once again in obvious concordance with Tempest & Co. in their most acoustic moments.
This reissue includes two bonus tracks; one is the strangely sub-titled ‘The Harder They Come (2013 rehearsal version)’. I mean, this is a re-recording of the band’s 1988 track appeared into their killer album ‘Eye To Eye’, but not a ‘rehearsal version’ at all. It’s fully produced, and a great melodic hard rock tune.
The other bonus is the new song ‘Fair Enough’, recorded with the new vocalist and a taste from the upcoming album in the making.
With “Walking In Starlight” 220 VOLT returned with another great album.
All the lights are set on green to predict a triumph, all the ingredients are improved in their best perfection, they even succeed in outmatching themselves and their glorious past by reaching an unexpected level of excellency under an hyper catchy songwriting method.
The main feature of “Walking In The Starlight” is the surprising variety of styles the band draws from, be it melodic hard rock similar to their early efforts, contemporary straight-in-your-face hard rock or some light shades of blues.
01 – Walking In Starlight
02 – System Overload
03 – Broken Promises
04 – Alive
05 – Blind
06 – Stranded
07 – Get Me Out
08 – The Waiting
09 – Through The Wastelands
10 – Burning Heart
11 – Take A Good Look
12 – One Good Reason
13 – Guiding Light
14 – The Harder They Come (2013 rehearsal version)
15 – Fair Enough (new song)
Thomas Drevin (guitar)
Mats Karlsson (guitar)
Peter Hermansson (drums)
Mats Vassfjord (bass)
Anders Engberg (vocals)
Göran Nyström (vocals on new track)
BUY IT !