ART NATION – Liberation (2017)
ART NATION, the fast rising melodic rock act from Gothenburg, Sweden, will release its highly anticipated second album “Liberation” tomorrow, April 28th, via Sony Music / Gain and AOR Heaven Records.
This time around, the songs have more versatility and finesse, together with the melodies, catchy hooks, and stellar instrumental performances that Art Nation’s followers have come to expect. The band has been working closely together with selected external songwriters, bringing diversity to the album.
One thing about the Melodic Rock genre as a whole is that even though there is a large number of artists all pumping out amazing material, you may think that it all sounds the same.
You’d be very wrong as actually it’s a very diverse genre as there are always ways you can experiment with your tones, your melodies and your songs to give the music you create a very unique sound that is exclusive for your band and your band alone.
An example of this is Art Nation.
Already having experience fronting the excellent (now defunct) act Diamond Dawn, Swedish singer Alexander Strandell was already known in the genre for his amazing vocal range and energetic stage presence when playing shows and so after leaving his former band, his obvious love for this type of music drove him to carry on and form a new band.
That dream was soon made a reality as he was able to gain a bass player in the form of Simon Gudmundsson, with guitarist Christoffer Borg, and keyboardist Theodor Hedström (who also co-produced the album) joining soon after.
Following several live shows and TV appearances later and a second guitarist (Johan Gustavsson) and drummer (Carl Tudén) was found for the band and soon they had everything they needed to record “Revolution”.
“Ghost Town” is just perfect the perfect melodic-hard opener, punchy, vibrant and with a killer contagious chorus. “Maniac” add a big groove to it, plus a clever chant that reminds me of H.E.A.T. “I’m Alive” starts slowly with a haunting melody and then, when it comes to the chorus, it explodes onto a kicking melodic rock ball of fire.
With “Kiss Up & Kick Down” you’ll be hit by a monstrous modern melodic rock anthem, then ‘Paralyzed’ and ‘A Thousand Charades’ are beautifully polished nuggets of hard driving poppy melodic rock, a smash-down-the-barricades stance reflected in the buoyant ‘One Nation’.
All of the songs on this album are not just well written and well produced but they also have some amazing melodies to them. Art Nation are very clever at the arrangements, and in many ways, this factor set them apart from the Melodic Rock scene.
Their sound is familiar, but the guys add their own spin and the entire “Liberation” feels pretty unique.
One of the best Melodic Hard Rock albums of the year for sure.
01 – Ghost Town
02 – Maniac
03 – The Real Me
04 – Kiss Up & Kick Down
05 – When Stars Align
06 – One Nation
07 – A Thousand Charades
08 – Take Me Home
09 – I’m Alive
10 – Paralyzed
11 – What Do You Want
Alexander Strandell – Vocals
Christoffer Borg – Guitar
Johan Gustavsson – Guitar
Simon Gudmundsson – Bass
Theodor Hedström – Keyboards
Carl Tudén – Drums