Album Reviews
Band: Sunstrike

Title: Rock Your World

Label: AOR Heaven

  

Formed in late 2012 by Astral Doors guitarist Joachim Nordlund and drummer Johan Lindstedt, the pair were joined by singer Christian Hedgren (Twilight Force, The Theander Expression) and so Sunstrike was born.

 

The trio started work immediately on a sound that is pure Melodic Hard Rock.  Initially Nordlund provided keyboards for the first few songs, but the trio needed a full time keyboard player, this is when Fredrik Plahn (Prey) joined the fold.  A couple of weeks later and a second guitar player Mats Gesar (Thalamus) and bass player Björn Lundqvist (Twilight Force) also joined and finally Sunstrike was now complete.

 

In 2013 the twelve songs that became 'Rock Your World' were complete, mixing and mastering was undertaken by who else but fellow Swede Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T). 

 

There has been a real glut of quality bands and albums in recent years coming out of Scandinavia and Sunstrike keep that traditional going with this debut.

 

The album opens up with the wonderful ‘Power Of The Dreams’, that opens up with a catchy keyboard that makes you feel are going to break into 'Living on a Prayer' at any moment, but instead it builds into a great slice of Melodic Hard Rock, with a huge chorus to boot. 

 

The title track ‘Rock Your World’ is pure Hard Rock that has quality written all over it.  The driving riffs and thumping back-beat will have your feet tapping from the opening chords.  Those big hitting rockers continue with one my favourite tracks off the album, the excellent ‘Fireball’.

 

The quality tunes just keep coming with the stunning riff infused ‘Right Track’, before the soaring AOR guitar fuelled ‘Roll The Dice’, but if I had to pick the standout tracks from the many on this album then ‘Rock It Out’ would be amongst the top three.  It has an air of the epic about it.  This is modern Melodic Rock at its very best.

 

It's back to the more shall we say traditional Melodic Rock vibe with ‘Never Let You Go’, before bringing another of my top three tracks the excellent ‘Higher’.  A song that goes above and beyond Power Ballad and just oozes vocal harmonies out of every pore and for me is Hedgren’s finest vocal of the album.

 

It's back to the big licks and driving keyboards for the all out rocker ‘Scream And Shout’, before the more modern edged ‘Into The Night’ and ‘Edge of Life’, before this superb album closes in style with the third of my top three tracks the excellent ‘Heat Of The Night’.  A song that brings that 80’s Melodic Rock sound kicking and screaming into the now and wraps up a stunning album that once again highlights the talent coming out of Sweden and the neighbouring Scandinavian countries in recent years.  There has to be something in the water in the fiords, if they could bottle it the Melodic Rock would once again be the dominant musical force is was the 80’s! 

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1. Power Of The Dream
2. Rock Your World
3. Fireball
4. Right Track
5. Roll The Dice
6. Rock It Out
7. Never Let You Go
8. Higher
9. Scream And Shout
10. Into The Light
11. Edge Of Life
12. Heat Of The Night

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