Eclipse // ‘Viva La Victouria’ // Album Review

Eclipse are the epitome of that great 80’s rock sound – soaring guitars, great melodies, and a fantastic vocal, but until now the only way to capture them live was to go to a gig. However, this release is their first live album after seven studio releases. In that time the core of the band has remained consistent with vocals and first guitar duties from Erik Mårtensson and second guitarist Magnus Henriksson.

The album was recorded in Gothenburg, Sweden on 21st December 2019 whilst supporting their latest release, `Paradigm’. The album is split into eighteen live tracks with an additional three studio tracks. The first of which is a new song called `Driving One Of Your Cars’ which a cover of a song written by fellow Swede Lisa Miskovsky plus acoustic versions of `The Downfall Of Eden’ and `When The Winter Ends’. The CD format version also has a further three live tracks from the Live From The Quarantine gig at Studio Grondahl in Stockholm in 2020.

From the first bars of `Viva La Victoria’, it’s obvious that the band is at the top of their game and truly on fire with audience participation kicking in right from the start. `Mary Leigh’ has the crowd eating from the palm of Mårtensson’s hand and it has to be said that there must be something in Sweden’s water that helps them produce such high-quality vocalists as this where the bands strength lies. Mårtensson is powerful, melodic, and friendly in delivery which only adds to the upbeat, fast-paced, and lyrically brilliant material these guys produce.

`Vertigo’, `Jaded’, `Battlegrounds’, and the singalong `Wake Me Up When The Winter Ends’ all have the crowd, singing, chanting, and bouncing along to these faultlessly delivered epic anthems. `Black Rain’ takes no prisoners and hits you straight between the eyes with its sheer live power.

Throughout there are glorious guitar solos from both players that aren’t the usual self-indulgent affairs but that actually add something to the songs. The main set ends on a high with `Never Look Back’ before their studio cover of `Driving One Of Your Cars’ kicks in. They have stayed true to the original whilst giving it the Eclipse rock edge. The two acoustic tracks follow, which whilst they are nice enough, they detract from the live buzz of the other tracks found here. We finish with the three tracks from their 2020 Grondahl gig which bring things back on course and leaves the listener with that unmistakable live buzz.

In these difficult times at present, getting to a live gig is difficult, if not impossible for many of us, so releases like this alongside streaming is perhaps the best we can hope for at the moment. Suffice to say that Eclipse has delivered a sparkling, powerful, and engaging performance here which is sure to please their existing fans and most likely gain them new ones.

Eclipse – ‘Viva La Victouria’ is out now via Frontiers

 

Review: Paul Sabin

Tracklist:

CD1
Viva La Victoria
Mary Leigh
Blood Wants Blood
The Storm
Vertigo
Jaded
Shelter Me
United
The Downfall Of Eden
When The Winter Ends
Take Me Home
Battlegrounds

CD2
Black Rain
Blood Enemies
Stand On Your Feet
Runaways
I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry
Never Look Back
Driving One Of Your Cars (Studio Version)
The Downfall Of Eden (Acoustic Version)
When The Winter Ends (Acoustic Version)
Battlegrounds (Quarantine Live)
Driving One Of Your Cars (Quarantine Live)
Delirious (Quarantine Live)

LP bonus tracks:
Mary Leigh (Quarantine Live)
Hurt (Quarantine Live)

DVD / BR bonus contents:
Documentary

Line-up:
Erik Mårtensson – Vocals
Magnus Henriksson – Guitars
Philip Crusner – Drums
Victor Crusner – Bass

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