Eclipse doing what they do best, but better.
Release Date: 1st September 2023
Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.
Format: CD / digital / LP
A couple of years ago, Eclipse released Wired, declaring it tried and trusted. You know what you’re going to get with Eclipse. The AC/DC of the melodic hard rock world. And then just when you settle down for another set of hard-to-fault, hook-laden, irresistably riffing songs, Eclipse go and raise the bar.
Maybe it’s when they revert to a ‘made up name’ album title – a ‘portmanteau’ if you will -that we get Eclipse at their finest. Ever since Bleed And Scream broke through for the Swedes, they (or should we say Erik Mårtensson) have poured a relentless stream of melodic hard rock, gradually building their audience worldwide while keeping themselves at arm’s length from superstardom.
Megalomanium (they’ve done Armageddonize and Monumentum – see what they’re doing?) sees them not beating about the bush. Eleven songs are steamrollered out in 35 minutes, with writer/guitarist/singer Erik Mårtensson explaining: “If Wired was a collection of our favorite 11 beers at the time, Megalomanium is an album riddled with the full DNA of the band, a fearless dive into the deep end of the pool – or in this case – the Lake Siljan surrounding the island in the middle of Sweden where we record all our music.”
And like Springsteen once (kind of) said, you learn more from these three and half minute songs than you’d ever learn in school. They don’t teach you this in music lessons; Erik must have gotten his chops from some divine source. Megalomanium ensures we’re never more than a few moments from one of his massive hooks whether it’s in the breakneck pace of Got It!, or the anthemic chorus of the Celtic cowboy country of, erm, Anthem. The Broken follows a similar course – “we’ve got nothing to lose, we are the broken” revels in providing a rallying cry for the downtrodden and abused. A case of playing all the trump cards early? Nooo chance.
Children Of The Night, in name and sound, sees them channeling some Sabbath influences, Erik even capturing some Dio-esque phrasing at a couple of points to accompany the heavier riffs. A fearsome intro proves perhaps as far down the heavy path as Eclipse have gone but good on them for pushing their boundaries. Album closer, One Step Closer might even acknowledge the Metal influences via the famous Maiden gallop. Otherwise, the relentless pace and enthusiasm is infectious. While the likes of Bon Jovi and their fellow big-hair AOR buddies struggle to keep up the momentum (or should it be monumentum?) of their halcyon days, Eclipse simply ease away with an effortless confidence.
Just when you thought Eclipse might have exhausted their sources or have done it once too often, they thrill you all over again. Forever armed with boundless swathes of irresistible rock. Megalomanium is mega music for heroes.
Here’s Got It! – get it!