Europe - "Walk The Earth" (2017)

"Walk The Earth", the newest platter by Europe was just released. Is it good? Sure it is, at least to me, one who finds something to cheerish in all their albums since the reunion. The guys are definitely commited into becoming more and more the real carriers of classic rock heritage taken off from the pioneers of the genre that inspired them since they started. The record is well produced and sounds consistent. The main flaw, however, is - that it's difficult to write something groundbreaking in this style nowdays, which results in the heavy degree of feeling sort of sonic-deja vu in most of the tracks. Take the title track opening the record: as good as it is, it sounds leaning a tad too much on the famous "Kashmir" track by Well Known Identified Flying Object, billed by followers as Led Zeppelin. This pattern sort of ploddes over and plagues most of the songs, resulting in two cuts only standing-out, but at the same time - being absolutely brilliant. "Pictures" is leaning to the accoustic balladry side with hints of Pink Floyd climate, giving Mic Michaeli a room to feature some charming piano play, but also John Norum gets a chance to shine closer to the end and Joey Tempest is giving his story a passionate vocal round-up. The melody is there and sensuality is there - making the tune a treat. Still, the best here comes last, and again this goes up courtesy of Mic Michaeli. Reportedly an idea that's been hanging with them for years was finally led to be finished on the demand of Tempest. "Turn To Dust" is epic, elegiac and baroque in it's beauty and heaviness. Has all the skills and value to become stand-out cut of Europe's whole career. The leading motive is nothing less but haunting and it's expolited to the maximum potential. It bulids up over bit less than 6 minutes course into mammoth of a sonic beast, sounding at the end like there was orchestra and gospel choir added to the band's sonic armoury. Norum is having a hell of a flanged up bit tone on that - and it all just goes down like a tornado into the finale. Not to mention the fact that it ends with quite a brutal and quirky twist, irronically relating to the song lyrical context dealing with the fact that "the end is the same for all of us". A must-hear this is, for every rock fan. A stunning achievement of such a thrilling close to a still solid effort by one of the most reliable troops in rock nowdays.

Comments

  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 8,199
    So far I have liked what I have heard from this album...
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,145
    I was looking forward to this one. Then I bought their latest live DVD. That took care of that...
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,300

     Zep and Floyd and Europe oh MY!

    Norum as a guitarist, heck YEAH!

    Final Countdown (the song) is a guilty pleasure for me, I always thought the solo was like what I wished Yngwie had been: a speedier and slightly more restrained Highway Star-era Blackmore. Later of course he ended up showing his Gary, which was equally delightful :)


  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 8,199
    Haffner said:

     Zep and Floyd and Europe oh MY!

    Norum as a guitarist, heck YEAH!

    Final Countdown (the song) is a guilty pleasure for me, I always thought the solo was like what I wished Yngwie had been: a speedier and slightly more restrained Highway Star-era Blackmore. Later of course he ended up showing his Gary, which was equally delightful :)


    Norum was the appeal of early Europe. I remember seeing the video premiere for "The Final Countdown" while on summer vacation in '86.....and while I thought the song was cool(had a JLT era Rainbow feel to me)....I was really captivated by John's guitar playing. The solo in that song blew me away. It sounded like a more controlled and more melodic Malmsteen. I also thought John just looked cool....lol. 'The Final Countdown' was a decent radio friendly hard rock album.....but not near as good as 'Wings of Tomorrow', which is an excellent Euro Heavy Metal album. I also thought John's solo work was much better than anything on 'The Final Countdown' record. 'Total Control' blew that stuff away....that was when he really showed his Gary Moore/Thin Lizzy side. John was and still is one of my favorites. Such a classy player.
  • Andy GAndy G Posts: 845
    Norum sounds like his speakers are broken on the new record. Think the retro thing has gone a bit far... This has to be the worst tone I've ever heard from him. Not impressed by the recycled, rushed Zakk Wylde licks either, but that's become standard fare from JN these days. The songs are good though.
  • DonthegreekDonthegreek Posts: 2,520
    Disappointed in the new album. Worst one since they reunited.  Agree with Andy.
  • MelodicGritMelodicGrit Posts: 368
    edited November 1
    Been spinning this a lot this week, it's definitely retro and sounds heavily Purple influenced to me.  I like the songs, Norum's playing is solid if not his best.  I was hoping for more Strat tones, his sound is thick but to my ears it's lacking the highs/presence that I used to enjoy hearing from him.  A little treble never hurt anyone.  Maybe there'll be more of that sound on his next solo album...  His last one "Playyard blues"...some great playing there but the sound...the first time I heard it I remember thinking...did Mike Varney produce this?  It's all mids.
    Post edited by MelodicGrit on
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,145
    I was going to get it because I liked War Of Kings (even if it's very plodding).
    But then I got the Final Countdown 30th Anniversary DVD.
    What a fucking snoozefest.

    I'll just let this one pass me by. If I feel the urge to spin some Europe, I can always listen to one of the first three. When they were actually a kickass band.
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