A superb melodic rock album

Rockers Eclipse continue to improve with each album release. Their formula is honed to the fine typically Swedish songwriting art, a quick approach to get to the chorus, excellent use of backing vocals, harmonies and spatial production. After over two decades, their eighth studio album, the suitably titled Wired, comes after 2019’s Paradigm set them up for some high chart positions.

Lead singles Saturday Night (Hallelujah) and Bite the Bullet gave eager fans a taste of the album. Suffice to say, should a solid guitar riff and singalong chorus be the key ingredient to bring you into the Eclipse fold, this latest album will do the job nicely. The guitar interplay between founding members Magnus Henriksson and front man Erik Mårtensson are sensational throughout.

Opening the album with Roses on Your Grave, a circular guitar riff that alters slightly with the keyboards figure soon has a twin guitar attack, bouncing along to a pop rock chorus that would make Bon Jovi envious. When the full band kicks in, the arrangements and dynamics are perfect, sonically mixed with great clarity. A middle eight figure guitar solo ends with harmonised guitars and some succinct yet judicious virtuosity, and some drum rolls with a dash of reverb flair.

Dying Breed presents a call to arms with another light, fleet footed vibe partially embellished with a finger picked guitar part. On the superb Saturday Night (Hallelujah) the pop angle gets heavier with a fast paced delivery adding a live feel. Again, straight into chorus with some percussive guitar before chords swell with slicing chords. A party anthem maybe, but with a great guitar tone and excellent vocal harmonies. The guitar solo finishes with a harmonised twin figure before returning to the chorus. No reinventing the wheel here, just a fun, fast paced, energetic tune.

Run for Cover utilises some Celtic melodies, a subtle application of effects and some brief surf guitar. The next few songs have a nuanced variance in style or approach but are equally entertaining. Two ballads, titled Carved in Stone and Poison Inside My Heart, bookend a vocal driven, rock track called Twilight which benefits from the twin guitar method in bolstering melodies and a snippet of Beethoven’s 9th.

Bite the Bullet is an album highlight. The guitar tone is reminiscent of great moments from The Cult and D.A.D. with that open, Gretsch guitar chiming with additional Bigsby tremolo. Back into chorus, the vocal energy is evident in the delivery. This is an impeccable track.

Rounding out the album We Didn’t Come to Lose and Things We Love, the melodic Celtic feel again appears, more so in the latter track. Floor toms, snare cracks and vocals are clear with plentiful full band choruses and doubled guitar parts. A musical interlude is extended with a big, guitar harmonised part, acting as a bridge to the chorus.

Wired is a superb melodic rock album that takes Eclipse up a notch on the road to rock greatness. Prepare to be knocked sideways.

*The track list below refers to the CD and digital release track order. The vinyl version is a little different .

Roses on Your Grave
Dying Breed
Saturday Night (Hallelujah)
Run for Cover
Carved in Stone
Twilight
Poison Inside My Heart
Bite the Bullet
We Didn’t Come to Lose
Things We Love
Dead Inside