REACH – The Great Divine (2018)
Swedish melodic hard rockers REACH surprised us with a great album years ago, now reduced as a three-piece, the guys are back with ”The Great Divine”, their fresh CD to be released March 3rd.
Produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) and mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe), this is a ‘new’ REACH, where guitarist Ludvig Turner has taken over the lead vocal duties / songwriting, and musically everything turns more modern and ‘big’.
Soundwise, the classic melodic hard rock from the debut akin Danger Danger, Black´n´Blue, etc, has been tweaked into a much modern sound, still retaining the essence of the genre yet with a modernized patina.
“Into Tomorrow” opens this new record with a blast; it’s a fast-paced melodic hard rock song that features heavy guitars, powerful vocals and an overall ‘punchier’ sound that makes you think of the last ART NATION.
Next, title track “The Great Divine” is more groovy, plenty of ‘oh-ohs’ but not in the hair metal fashion, it’s build over a modern riff, and while I am not completely convinced, it works pretty well.
With “Live Or Die” the deep bass lines continues, the verses are poppy and the chorus is strong (bring to mind the modern side of WIGELIUS), followed by the darker midtempo “Nightmare”, with an atmosphere not dissimilar to some new millennium WINGER.
The ultra-melodic “Off The Edge” has some VEGA on it which is good thing, however I found the calmer rhythm of “One Life” a bit uninspired and toooo much NICKELBACK for my tastes.
Things get much better with the commercial “Running On Empty”, a well crafted modern Scandi melodic rocker, in “Shame” the band try something different with a little proggy feel and busy intrumentation, while “You Say” rocks fine with a cool rhythm section.
Definitely you’ll find a ‘new’ REACH, different band in “The Great Divine”. I guess the album title should have been The Great Divide, because fans of the first record may result deeply disappointed with this fresh effort.
If you love the band’s debut, you need to open your mind to listen to “The Great Divine”; it’s catchy at places yet different, modern. And for those new to these Swedes, expect a current sound from the Scandinavian factory, aiming to radio.
01. Into Tomorrow
02. The Great Divine
03. Live or Die
05. Off the Edge
06. One Life
07. Running on Empty
09. You Say
10. River Deep
Ludvig Turner – Guitars, Vocals
Soufian Ma’Aoui – Bass
Marcus Johansson – Drums
produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T)
mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe)