I know that I never will grow tired of writing this sentence over and over: there must be something in the water in Sweden because the contant flow of great to freaking incredible albums seems almost infinite. “Like an Everflowing Stream” as old death metal masters Dismember named their debut album. This is another superb debut but the musical direction is far from the bulldozer of brutality that Arctic Rain´s fellow Swedes are known and loved for.
The odds favour Arctic Rain that “The One” will be equally loved and cherished in the future to come as this is a remarkably strong and inspired record. Spearheaded by the amazing vocalist Tobias Jonsson and the duo of virtuosos in nimbly fingered guitarist Magnus Berglund and songwriter/keyboardist Pete Alpenborg, The songs are wonderfully fused together by bassist Gert Daun and drummer Jonas Jönsson.
The album is a heartfelt love letter to 1980s melodic hardrock and AOR. Second track “Lost” is a wet dream for fans of bands like Talisman, Treat and Def Leppard while singer Tobias´ fantastic pipes is a mix of the great, late Steve Lee (Gotthard) and Erik Grönwall (H.E.A.T.). Magnus Berglunds insane skills nods towards the golden age of Yngwie J Malmsteen and his lightning fast runs is a pure joy to experience.
Add to that the natural swagger of Whitesnake, the melodic sense Europe and Journey and the riffing prowess of George Lynch´s era Dokken and you have one hell of a powerful package. The only thing keeping this from getting an even higher rating is a couple of fillers tracks, nothing bad in any way of course but enough to demote the album from instant classic to just, very, very good.
Artist: Arctic Rain
Title: The One
Label: Frontiers Records
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Place of origin: Sweden
Standout track: Lost, Night After Night, Breakout