ECLIPSE – Armageddonize [Japan SHM-CD Deluxe Edition 2CD]
Without a doubt, Swedes ECLIPSE are one of the most spectacular Melodic Hard Rock acts appeared in the last twenty-five years. Frontiers Music released an expanded, Deluxe Edition of Eclipse’s hit album “Armageddonize” in conjunction with the band’s appearance at Melodifestivalen in Sweden. Titled “Armageddonize (Deluxe Edition)”, this is the Japanese edition pressed on high quality SHM-CD.
This expanded edition includes a brand new song “Runaways”, composed by Eclipse exclusively for their Melodifestivalen appearance at the Gavlerinken Arena in Gävle, Sweden.
Besides the new song “Runaways” added to the main album, the release also includes a bonus CD featuring the first Eclipse record ever, the two tracks “Come Hell Or High Water” & “Into The Fire” only appeared as B-sides on the ‘Bleed and Scream’ CD single for Sweden Rock Magazine, plus 3 acoustic versions previously only released in Japan.
“Armageddonize” starts off with “I Don’t Want To Say I’m Sorry”, a fabulous tone setting track exhibiting a feisty little guitar riff after the slow build up. I guarantee you will start singing along by the second chorus and the melody will be in your head the rest of the day.
The second slot is occupied by “Stand On Your Feet”, another track easily worthy and certainly fitting of the back catalog with its inspirational lyrical message.
The new added song “Runaways” has a super catchy chorus. It was Eclipse‘s entry into Melodifestivalen 2016 competition. The song got them a fifth place finish which begs the question what the other entries sounded like because “Runaways” rocks.
“The Storm” surfaces next following in the same vein, then the guitar work of Magnus Henriksson leads off “Blood Enemies” before the rhythm section explodes and Martensson‘s strong distinctive vocals join the charge.
“Wide Open” blasts off again leading to a melodic chorus for a definite standout on ‘Armageddonize’. The somber beginnings of “Live Like I’m Dying” lay down the trail for this ballad. “Breakdown” brings back the punch, at times a bluesy flavored cut.
“Love Bites” comes out of the gates a full tilt pounding its way through to an infectious chorus and I have to say the strongest inclusion on the record. “One Life-My Life” rips driving home another message to the listener of “don’t take shit from anyone”!
The final inclusion on Armageddonize is “All Died Young”, drawing things to a close on another of many high notes.
Bonus material usually comes in three ways, unreleased studio songs, acoustic versions of songs, or unreleased live tracks or a concert. Usually, you get one or two of these, but on the deluxe version of ‘Armageddonize, you get all three’.
First, there is an 11 song live concert which is basically a greatest hits package from ‘Armageddonize’ and ‘Bleed and Scream.’ While it sounds live, the overall sound quality is excellent and the song selection is a perfect blend of their last two releases.
As far as unreleased material goes sometimes it is easy to hear why certain songs did not make the album. Not here, all three unreleased songs are great.
“Come Hell or High Water” may be the heaviest song on the album, while “Into the Fire” is a fast-paced rocker full of energy.
The last bit of bonus material is the three acoustic songs “The Storm”, “I Don’t Want to Say I’m Sorry” and “Battlegrounds”. The key to a good acoustic version of a song is being able to change arrangement without losing the main idea of the song.
“I Don’t Want to Say I’m Sorry” is a good, very powerful rendition of the original, but “Battlegrounds” takes on a whole new epic identity that is completely different from the original.
“Armageddonize (Deluxe Edition)” is a must, a mandatory addition to any Melodic Hard Rock collection.
Ｍａｒｑｕｅｅ ／ Ａｖａｌｏｎ ～ 【MICP-30070】
01. I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry
02. Stand On Your Feet
03. Runaways (New Track)*
04. The Storm
05. Blood Enemies
06. Wide Open
07. Live Like I’m Dying
09. Love Bites
10. Caught Up In The Rush
11. One Life – My Life
12. All Died Young
* Melodifestivalen song / bonus track
01. I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry (Live)
02. Stand On Your Feet (Live)
03. Wake Me Up (Live)
04. The Storm (Live)
05. Battlegrounds (Live)
06. Breakdown (Live)
07. Wide Open (Live)
08. Blood Enemies (Live)
09. Ain’t Dead Yet (Live)
10. Bleed & Scream (Live)
11. Breaking My Heart Again (Live)
12. Come Hell Or High Water §
13. Into The Fire §
14. The Storm (Acoustic) **
15. I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry (Acoustic) **
16. Battlegrounds (Acoustic) **
§ B-sides, originally Swedish release only
** originally Japan bonus tracks only
Erik Mårtensson – vocals, guitars
Magnus Henriksson – guitars
Magnus Ulfstedt – bass
Philip Crusner – drums
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