WILDNESS – Wildness (2017)
Excellent German label AOR Heaven will release the self-titled debut album by Swedish Melodic Rock group WILDNESS on November 24, one of the best ‘newcomer’ of the year.
Formed by drummer and songwriter Erik Modin in 2013, WILDNESS independently released their self-produced debut single ‘Collide’ (featured here in one of our Advanced Singles Sampler) which immediately gained a lot of spins at various digital platforms such as a number of online radio stations focused on AOR and Melodic Rock.
Live performances (with WHITE WIDDOW, DYNAZTY and more) that followed showed that the band was capable to deliver on stage as well. The singles caught the attention of AOR Heaven who signed the band and sent them to the studio.
“Wildness” was produced, mixed, and mastered by Erik Wigelius (Wigelius, Care Of Night), so expect a pristine sound.
WILDNESS plays ’80s inspired melodic hard rock with a little edge and then neatly packaged with an AOR feel here and there. Much of the ‘edge’ comes from the brisk and assertive twin guitar riffage, yet without losing the essential and necessary twin guitar harmony. Following the riffs, the guitar solos are abundant and immense throughout this album.
The hard rock groove comes from a steady and heavy rhythm section that has all the subtleness of a sonic boom. All this hard n’ heavy bravado is tempered by catchy melodies and choruses, clean vocals and fine vocal harmonies, and a sweet dash synths for embellishment and atmosphere in the song arrangements.
You can expect racing rockers with ‘War Inside My Head’, ‘Stranger’, ‘Falling Down’, and ‘Highlands’. Those latter two songs have swift pacing which may remind some melodic metal bands from the ’80s.
For numbers with a larger synth presence look to ‘Alibi’, ‘Down In The City’, or ‘Turning The Pages’ where both orchestration and piano are essential elements. With ‘Welcome The Night’, you get a light acoustic guitar. But don’t be fooled, the song rips into a rocker with some stinging solos to start.
Finally, the ballad ‘The Flame’ (not the Cheap Trick song) features a strong piano line before giving way to a crescendo of rising riffs and a large soaring guitar solo.
Mixing muscular (yet extremely polished) riffs and melody galore, Wildness’s debut album is a really, really strong first effort, a bright slice of classic AOR-tuned melodic hard rock with an edge.
Listening to the album, a typical Scandinavian feel come from the speakers (namely Erik Mårtensson’s ECLIPSE), punchy and melodious at the same time.
01. War inside my head
07. Your last romance
08. Down In the city
09. Falling down
10. The flame
11. Welcome the night
12. Turning the pages
Gabriel Lindmark – Lead vocals
Adam Holmström – Guitars
Pontus Sköld – Guitars
Erik Modin – Drums, vocals