Since forming back in 2005, The Poodles have built a substancial following in their home country of Sweden even going on to represent their nation in the Eurovision Song contest. Through extensive touring throughout mainland Europe and growing record sales on their first 4 studio albums, their brand of melodic hard rock has given them a steady platform on which to launch their fifth studio album ‘Tour de Force’ on Frontiers Records.
From the opening track, ‘Misery Loves Company’ you know this album is going to be full of huge choruses and catchy melodies. This is confirmed on the second track ‘Shut-Up!’. The intro guitar work sounding like the love child of Mick Mars and Steve Vai, it’s one of the stand out tracks on the album. ‘Viva Democracy’, Going Down and ‘Kings & Fools’ being the others, and certainly the heaviest tracks of the 13 on offer, with Bergqvist producing a great little solo on the latter of those 4 stand-out songs.
Although as a whole something about the album seems familiar and a little bit predicable. It even has the standard ballad in ’Leaving the Past to Pass’ complete with piano & orchestral arrangement and the middle eastern influenced ‘Only Just Begun’ both of which are excellently performed and indeed Samuel’s vocals excel on these songs in particular.
The album closes with the bonus track ‘En För Alla För En’ (One for All, All For One) which was chosen as the Swedish team song for the 2013 World Ice Hockey Championships, and even though I don’t speak a word of Swedish I found it to be incredibly catchy and you can really see their Eurovision influences coming through loud and clear
As a whole there is a lot to like on this album, there are no rubbish tracks or album fillers. Jacob Samuel is an excellent singer and seems like everything you need from an energetic frontman. The best thing for me though is Henrik Bergqvist’s guitar work, on every track it is exceptional both when covering the rhythm parts and in his solos, they compliment each song perfectly.
If you like your metal with big, catchy choruses, safe melodies and decent guitar hooks, then this might just be worth your while checking out.
- Misery Loves Company
- Shut Up!
- Happily ever After
- Viva Democracy
- Going Down
- Leaving The Past To Pass
- 40 Day and 40 Nights
- Kings & Fools
- Now Is The Time
- Only Just Begun
- En För Alla För En (bonus track)
Jacob Samuel – Vocals
Christian Lundqvist – Drums
Pontus Egberg – Bass
Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar