Upon hearing the opening bass riff of Destiny Calls lead track “Broken”, you just know that something grand is about to happen. Hailing from Sweden with their third release, Destiny Calls finds Naughty Boys hitting their groove and stride as part of the Swedish heavy metal movement. Capturing the sound and power that seems to be steamrolling out of Sweden, Naughty Boys have caught our attention with Destiny Calls.
Rock and roll in the vein of Europe, Dokken, and a slew of 80s keyboard driven metal, Destiny Calls is an ear pleasing album bound to please any fan of slick, pop metal. The guitar work of Hans Olsson makes me feel like I’m in high school all over again, with power chords intertwined with beautiful, layered solos that surround the songs like silk. Guitar solos aren’t the only key features on this album though. Morgan Valentin is allowed to shine on more than a few tracks with glossy piano/keyboard solos that add depth and glam to the music.
Mikael Sandvik is a rocking singer who keeps his range in the lower end of the spectrum until it comes time for a rock scream. That’s when Sandvik steps it up and delivers the wailing vocals that are required of any hard rock singer worth his weight in metal. “Endless Pain” opens with a rock scream that calls out to the glory days of nostalgic heavy music. The song continues in that direction with the sound and feel of glam metal at its finest.
“Broken” is a solid lead track with a heavy opening bass line groove that riffs into an exciting guitar solo and showcases Sandvik’s lower key vocals. Visiting typical themes of being beaten down with feelings of failure, “Broken” shows how to overcome the odds and rise above it all, even when feeling at your worst. Blending into the background, yet standing out when focused upon, are Valentin’s keyboards. They add a nice touch to this song, completing it with a full sound that makes it a stand out track.
The double shot of ballads in the form of “Eternity” followed by “Fly With The Angels” was a nice combination that you don’t see much of anymore. Back to back ballads are very rare, but on Destiny Calls, it helps to raise the album to the next level.
“Eternity” is an ode to a lover, locked in an endless embrace and wanting nothing more than to be by her side forever. This is the weaker of the ballads on the album, not because the song is weak, which it isn’t, but because the lyrics are not as fresh and innovative as the rest of Destiny Calls. “Eternity” is rife with overstated used lines that are uncommon on the rest of the album. The guitar solo is incredible and overall the song is a great one, it’s just that the commoner lyrics stop it from being an absolutely killer song.
“Fly With The Angels” is the best song on the disc. Upon hearing it for the first time, my entire world stopped as I focused in on every lyric, every piano note, and every guitar lick. This is an amazing song that is bound to help Naughty Boys break through from the “sort of known” into the mainstream. Opening with a rip rocking guitar introduction, this is a ballad with power. The song starts with Sandvik singing softly for the first verse before the chorus kicks in with a heavy dose of rock vocal power that demands your attention. “Fly With The Angels” will certainly be played over and over again, possibly before you are even able to get to the end of the disc.
With themes of lost love and heartache, overcoming hard times, and giving your best to rise to stardom, Destiny Calls could be rife with clichés, but that’s what makes the album stand out. It’s not filled with typical overwritten lyrics and rhymes. Naughty Boys have found a way to put a new spin on old standards. While the songs center on the saturated metal material that has been done time and time again, the lyrics are fresh, and the delivery is bold. Naughty Boys have proven that they stand above the rest of the crowd and brought their perfect example of why in the form of their latest record. Destiny Calls is worth your time and money. This is a CD that you should spend some quality time with. It’s 80s metal for the 2010s and an amazing collection of incredible songs.
Rating: Out of 10
- Destiny Calls
- Don’t Turn Around
- Endless Pain
- Fly With The Angels
- Head Held High
- Light Of The Day
- Runaway Train
- Walk Away
Naughty Boys are:
Mikael Sandvik – Vocals
Morgan Valentin – Keyboard
Hans Olsson – Guitar
Jonas Ludvigsson – Drums