AIRSTREAM – Kingdom Of Isolation (2015)
AIRSTREAM is the new Swedish combo formed by ex- Sky Of Rage vocalist Staffan ‘Stiff’ Karlsson which after the departure from his previous band contacted former Thunder bassist Micke Höglund to create a new group. “Kingdom Of Isolation” is their debut set for release on Metalville Records.
Additional guitar solos on the album were contributed by guests Kee Marcello (ex- Europe) and Thomas Larsson (ex- Glenn Hughes Band). Those familiar with Karlsson’s work with Sky Of Rage should expect music of equally high standards, as Airstream look to take the concept of Melodic Hard Rock & AOR to new heights.
Packed with some instantly memorable anthems as well as more melodic, almost ‘theatrical’ styled fare, “Kingdom Of Isolation” is an enjoyable collection of songs from start to finish.
Karlsson’s vocals sit somewhere in between Magnum’s Bob Catley / Gary Hughes, and he soars to the heavens on “You Had the World in Your Hands”, an extended tune that has a certain ‘hymn’ feel to it.
Opener “The Power of Music” is the album party tune, a real upbeat melodic hard rocker that will prompt plenty of fist pumps and air guitar madness thanks to an awesome Kee Marcello solo.
Both “We Don’t Look Back” and especially the catchy “Hold On to What We’ve Got” offer plenty of ’80s styled melodic hard rock / AOR hooks for a winning formula.
Those into heavier fare will love the crunchy riffs of “Addicted” with verses akin ’90s Europe, the hard driving “Lost in Fears”, and the dark, menacing tone of “Kingdom of Isolation” which reminds me British TEN.
Perhaps the most intriguing song is “House of Pain”, which features melodic riffs, powerful bluesy vocals and original synths in the background; it’s a strange mix but it works really well.
Less successful is “Oh Mother Oh Father”, as the band attempts progressive arrangements in a theatrical form, but this time the results come across as forced, bloated, and a bit puzzling. Anyway, kudos to the band to try something different.
Airstream mix Euro Hard Rock, ’80s AOR and some progressive elements on “Kingdom Of Isolation”, always with melody in mind. And works, resulting in a very interesting and entertaining product.
Even on the AOR moments, all come out pretty edgy and punchy, with the guitar attack emphasizing the proceedings. Though with a Swedish smell, Airstream sounds pretty British to me.
“Kingdom Of Isolation” it’s a more than solid debut effort from Airstream and shows that this new outfit has plenty to offer to fans of these genres.
Well done guys.
01. The Power Of Music
02. You Had The World In Your Hands
03. Hold On To What We’ve Got
04. Oh Mother Oh Father
05. We Don’t Look Back
07. Kingdom Of Isolation
08. Lost In Fears
09. House Of Pain
Staffan Karlsson (ex-Sky Of Rage) – vocals, keyboards
Mathias Brask – guitar, backing vocals
Mikael Höglund (ex-Thunder) – bass, backing vocals
Tommy Moon – drums, vocals
Kee Marcello (ex- Europe) – guitar
Thomas Larsson (ex- Glenn Hughes Band) – guitar
BUY IT !