Every year putting together a top 10 list becomes harder and harder. There were so many outstanding releases in 2011, there were far too many to do a top 10 list. Below are my top 20 Hard Rock & Metal Releases of 2011. Agree or disagree? Let us know what you think!
20. The Poodles – Performocracy
Can anyone take a band seriously with the name, The Poodles? Maybe, not, but the band’s latest album Performocracy
is cram packed with excellent hard & melodic rock tunes that you should take notice of.
19. Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
Five Finger Death Punch may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this heavy metal band has been putting out some of the best
new music from a newer metal band. Their third effort American Capitalist does not disappoint in the least.
18. Anvil – Juggernaut of Justice
Anvil’s Juggernaut of Justice came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I never expect to enjoy an Anvil CD so much, and JOJ is easily
one of Anvil’s best releases yet.
17. Chickenfoot – III
Sammy Hagar & company turned in another outstanding CD with their sophomore effort III. This CD is much better than the band’s debut.
16. Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle – Broken Heart Syndrome
Sinner/Primal Fear/Voodoo Circle guitarist Alex Beyrodt has released a killer CD with classic influences that include
Whitesnake & Rainbow. Every hard rock fan needs to give Broken Heart Syndrome a listen.
15. King Kobra – S/T
For King Kobra to come in at position 15 tells you just how good the music is in front of it. King Kobra’s reunion
effort, with Paul Shortino on vocals, is easily one of the best in King Kobra’s catalog.
14. Emphatic – Damage
I am not a huge modern rock fan, but every year there are some outstanding releases that deserve attention. Emphatic
simply outdid their Peers (Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman, Pop Evil) with their debut effort Damage.
13. Tora Tora – Revolution Day
It seems like every year a long-lost CD that was buried due to record company politics, finally gets a proper release.
Tora Tora’s third CD Revolution Day was released by FNA Records, and carries on the excellent bluesy hard rock
that Tora Tora is known for.
12. Coldspell – Out From the Cold
Coldspell has already released two outstanding CD’s with Infinite Stargaze & Out From The Cold. I can’t wait to hear
the next set of tunes from Coldspell. Out From The Cold should not be missed.
11. Havok – Time is Up
Havok is one of the new bands leading the Retro-Thrash Metal movement. Time is Up is their second effort and easily their
best. If you are a thrash metal fan, you need to seek out Time is Up now!
10. Michael Monroe – Sensory Overdrive
I have been a Michael Monroe fan forever but I never expected one of his solo CD’s to be THIS good. Sensory Overdrive is easily
the best Michael Monroe CD since 1989’s Not Fakin It.
09. Warrant – Rockaholic
Warrant’s Rockaholic is easily my favorite Warrant CD since the band’s 1992 effort, Dog Eat Dog. The late Jani Lane will always
be missed, but Robert Mason is an outstanding singer, and he may be the best vocalist Warrant has ever had. Rockaholic will
make people take notice of Warrant again.
08. Sixx A.M. – This is Gonna Hurt
With the recent news from the Motley Crue camp as of late, it sounds like a farewell tour may be coming from the band soon. If this
is truly the case, Nikki Sixx can carry on his band Sixx A.M. This is Gonna Hurt took a while to grow on me, but it has become a favorite of mine
over the last few months.
07. Black Country Communion – 2
Out of all of the supergroups, Black Country Communion outdid them all with their second effort 2. 60-year-old Glenn Hughes could (and probably
should) give a clinic to young rockers, on how to rock. He is still getting it done.
06. Anthrax – Worship Music
You would think that Joey Belladonna returning to Antrax would be create a major amount of excitement, and it has. Belladonna’s vocals are
not the high point of Worship Music. This is easily Anthrax’s best CD from a musical standpoint, and the best thrash metal CD of 2011.
05. Whitesnake – Forevermore
If Doug Aldrich & Reb Beach keep helping David Coverdale put out CD’s like Good To Be Band and Forevermore, folks may forget about the
band’s monster hits from the 80’s. Forevermore is another outstanding effort from the Whitesnake camp.
04. Mr. Big – What If…
Mr. Big’s reunion CD What If is the band’s best CD since 1993’s Bump Ahead. You SHOULD NOT miss What If…!
03. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Alice Cooper’s reunion with producer Bob Ezrin was a very good one. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is an outstanding sequel that should not be missed.
02. Vain – Enough Rope
I can not say enough good things about Vain’s latest CD, Enough Rope.If you liked Vain’s debut, No Regrets, you need to seek out the band’s latest
effort Enough Rope. It is quality all the way through, and easily to my ears one of 2011’s best.
01. Electric Boys – And Them Boys Done Swang
I never would have thought The Electric Boys could have outdone their debut, but with And Them Boys Done Swang, they have done just that.
Sure, some of the lyrics are somewhat cheesy, but the band has every bit of the Funk that was found in their debut.
The Japanese edition has some excellent bonus tracks which pushes this one over the top.
Rival Sons – Pressure & Time
Black Stone Cherry – Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea
Megadeth – Th1rt3en
Badmouth – Heavy Metal Parking Lot
Motorhead – The World is Yours
Riot – Immortal Soul
House of Lords – Big Money
The Answer – Revival
Pop Evil – War of Angels
Beggars & Thieves – We Are The Broken Hearted
George Lynch – Kill All Control
Michael Schenker – Temple of Rock
Want more Top 10 lists? You can find them at the following websites:
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
The Poodles have released their second video, ” I Want It All” from their up and coming CD, Performocracy, due out May 3rd.
Check out the videos for “I Want It All” and “Cuts Like A Knife ” below!
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of the highly anticipated fourth album from THE POODLES entitled “Performocracy” on April 15th in Europe and May 5th in North America.
The title of the album is a combination of the words “Performance” and “Democracy”, meaning “The power of Performance” or “Rule by Performance”. The album was again produced by Mats Valentin, but this time Tobias Lindell (Europe, Mustasch) mixed the 12 outstanding tracks that make up the cd. “I think we have followed through on what we started with the last album, “Clash of the Elements”, explains singer Jakob Samuel. “Besides continuing to work with producer extraordinaire, Mats Valentin, we took a step further with some of the material that was hinted at on “Clash of the Elements”. On “Performocracy” there is a more epic and darker character to some of the songs that we wanted to explore in more detail. Having said this, we have definitely stayed with a lot of the signature melodic elements that are trademark of the band”.
The first single off “Performocracy” is “Cuts like a knife”, which promises to entice both Poodles fans and anyone with a passion for rock n’ roll. The song will impact at radio on February 21st and the single will be released digitally only on March 3rd. A video produced by Steve Ravic, who also shot and produced the band’s landmark DVD release “In the Flesh”, will accompany the release of the first single. After the gold and platinum records that the band was able to achieve in their home country Sweden, now it is time for them to take on the world !
“One important aspect of having a few releases in the bag is that you know more what you want as a band” adds bassist Pontus Egberg. “Someone once said that “if you want to dream big, you have to dream in great detail”. To us this means that we take all the knowledge and experience that we have acquired from our previous efforts and use that to plan ahead and make our dreams bigger.”
As the album title suggests, performing songs live is the reason for what The Poodles are as a band. A full European tour is planned for the early fall of 2011 and in conjunction to this The Poodles will also head to South America and Japan to support the release of “Performocracy”. For the summer of 2011 The Poodles will take part to festivals and shows with a focus on Sweden.
“Performocracy” will include the following tracks: I Want It All; Until Our Kingdom Falls; Father To A Son; I Believe In You; Cuts Like A Knife; As Time Is Passing; Love Is All; Your Time Is Now; Action!; Bring Back The Night; Vampire’s Call; Into The Quiet Night; Don’t Tell Me (Bonus Track).
Heavy Metal has never been more exciting and the new album promises to be a milestone in rock n’ roll history!
Jakob Samuel – vocals
Pontus Egberg – bass
Christian Lundqvist – drums
Henrik Bergqvist – guitars
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of THE POODLES live package including the “No Quarter” CD and “In The Flesh” DVD on November 5th 2010.
Having carved in stone their reputation as prime time entertainers with the release of three acclaimed studio albums and over 350 shows in the entire Europe in the past few years, not counting Gold and Platinum record awards in their home country, THE POODLES close the first chapter of their musical adventure and set their sails for the next step.
As a tribute to the first years on the road, THE POODLES offer the fans a live package including a CD and a DVD recorded during the “Clash of the Elements” tour in 2009, which portrays the band in the most natural environment: the live show. “The high points for us as a band is anytime we go on stage”, says guitar player Henrik Bergqvist. “This may sound like somewhat of a cliché but it is no less true. It doesn’t matter if we play a crowd of 10.000 people at Graspop or in front of a handful on a rainy November Monday in Copenhagen, those are the moments we relish and live for. We’ve had so many special moments on stage over the past couple of years that it seems impossible to single even a few of them out. Having said this, some special moments can certainly be seen on the live DVD and heard on the live CD”.
“We are very proud of how the live CD and live DVD turned out and we feel that they really shows what the band is like on stage” continues Bergqvist, “being able to watch a DVD of your favourite band is great and there are a few really nice ones out there, but the connection that takes place between the band and the crowd during live shows cannot be formatted to the screen. You can catch a glimpse of it, but to experience a band live will always be different from listening to or viewing a recording of that band. Have a look and see for yourselves, though!”
Aptly titled “In The Flesh” the DVD is a real in deep look at the Poodles style of life with in-deep interviews, that present each band member, behind-the stage instant footage and a collection of the promo videoclips shot for the “Clash of the Elements” promotion. In addition, a selection of the band’s classic cuts performed live shows that the Poodles are delivering the goods when the play live. The live cd, soundtrack of the DVD, plus the song “Lullaby For Jimmy” as cd exclusive, shows that behind the look and the words there is a solid band playing great music!
Henrik concludes: “The future plans for The Poodles is closely connected to the band’s cooperation with Frontiers Records. The band expects to play for an ever expanding audience as a result of it and take the mission of Heavy Metal to virgin lands. We want to see our beloved fans again on the road and make new friends too. The future is bright for us, and that’s good because we already wear shades!”
The live CD “No Quarter” tracklisting includes:
Too Much Of Everything; Caroline; Seven Seas; Metal Will Stand Tall; Like No Tomorrow; One Out Of Ten; Lullaby For Jimmy; Drum Solo; Echoes From The Past; Thunderball; I Rule The Night; Night Of Passion; Flesh & Blood; Line Of Fire.
The Live DVD “In The Flesh” table of contents include:
Movie: Introduction; Stockholm, Party & Fun; About The Poodles; Metal Standing Tall; The Director & Crew; Being On Top; Jakob; Henrik; Pontus; Kicken; The First Five Rows; Tribute To The Fans; End Credits.
Concert: Too Much Of Everything; Caroline; Seven Seas; Metal Will Stand Tall; Like No Tomorrow; One Out Of Ten; Echoes From The Past; Thunderball; I Rule The Night; Night Of Passion; Flesh & Blood; Line Of Fire.
Extras: Like No Tomorrow (Video); I Rule The Night (Video); In The Flesh (Video); Warrior (The Movie Trailer); Majestic Film And Metal Warriors
The DVD will be released in NTSC Region Free format with Screen 16:9 and Mix in 2.0.
There will also be a limited release of a luxury packaging including the live CD “No Quarter” and the DVD “In The Flesh” is a luxury digipak edition.
“In The Flesh” trailer can be enjoyed below!
The songs “One Out Of Ten” and “Caroline” can exclusively be listened in full in streaming on the Frontiers Web radio. Tune in at: www.frontiers.it/webradio
* Jakob Samuel – vocals
* Pontus Egberg – bass
* Christian Lundqvist – drums
* Henrik Bergqvist – guitars
Frontiers Records are proud to announce their new worldwide partnership with Swedish Rockers THE POODLES, which will kick off with the world wide release of the group’s long awaited live-DVD, “In the Flesh” and the accompanying live-album “No Quarter” before the end of 2010, followed by The Poodles’ fourth studio album in early 2011.
The band promises that the forthcoming studio album will be something extraordinary; a modern take on a classic rock n’ roll epic. Fans of the band will recognize themselves while the journey will take them to unchartered waters. Non-believers will get an opportunity to reappraise their beliefs and take the music of The Poodles to their hearts. The producer of “Clash of the Elements”, Mats Valentin, is once again the Captain of the new adventure and will take the band further along the road they started on together in 2009.
Since the release of The Poodles’ third studio effort, “Clash of the Elements”, the band has received and discussed several offers from potential collaborators in anticipation of future releases. After long and careful consideration, the band chose to go with Frontiers Records, a powerful independent label with a strong passion for rock music and an equally strong desire to work with The Poodles and to develop the band’s presence in all territories.
The Poodles are excited and eager to see the new business venture unfold and they have high expectations on what the partnership will bring in the near future. Jake Samuel, the lead singer of The Poodles says that “The most important thing in any collaboration is a shared vision of what one wants to accomplish. In our case, that vision must come from a deep love for rock n’ roll, mutual respect and willingness to do whatever it takes to reach your goals. I think we have found those qualities in Frontiers Records”.
Tonight from 10 P.M. EST – 1 A.M. (9 P.M. – 12:00 CST), the Hard Rock Hideout Radio show will take over the airwaves at KACV FM 90 in Amarillo, TX. Listen online at www.kacvfm.org.
The show this week will feature new music from Black Robot (featuring former members of Buckcherry), The Poodles, Reckless Love, (Brent Muscat) Sin City Sinners, Broken Teeth, Jetboy, Airbourne, Krokus and our pick of the week, Taking Dawn!
Don’t miss out on this great night of rock!
After two great weeks on the road The Poodles are sad to announce the cancellation of the rest of the tour. Jakob has become very sick and his illness is unfortunately preventing us from continuing. After struggling through the last two shows on pure will and heavy medication the doctors have given him strict orders to rest and to not strain his voice.
Today The Poodles have announced the band Dynazty as support for the upcoming Clash Of The Elements Tour of Europe.
Check below for dates!
Oct 24 – FireFest-Nottingham (GB)
Oct 30 – Norrköping (S)
Oct 31 – Munich (D)
Nov 2 – Mannheim (D)
Nov 3 – Hamburg (D)
Nov 4 – Ludwigsburg (D)
Nov 6 – Bilbao (ES)
Nov 7 – Barcelona (ES)
Nov 8 – Madrid (ES)
Nov 11 – Bruchsal (D)
Nov 12 – Essen (D)
Nov 13 – Offenburg (D)
Nov 15 – Bergamo (IT)
Nov 16 – Rome (IT)
Nov 18 – Ingolstadt (D)
Nov 19 – Bern (CH)
Nov 20 – Kerkrade (NL)
THE POODLES are happy to announce the Clash Of The Elements Tour of Europe 2009. In support of the release of their brand new album the band will set off on a three week journey through Europe starting October 31st. The band is eagerly awaiting the tour and is very much looking forward to meeting their fans in mainland Europe once again.
Confirmed dates are:
31.10.09 Metropolis Music Hall, München, Germany
02.11.09 Capitol, Mannheim, Germany
03.11.09 Circus Maximus, Koblenz, Germany
04.11.09 Rockfabrik, Ludwigsburg, Germany
06.11.09 Sala Totem, Navvara/Bilbao, Spain
07.11.09 Salamandra 1, Barcelona, Spain
08.11.09 Caracol, Madrid, Spain
11.11.09 Fabrik, Bruchsal, Germany
12.11.09 Sounds, Essen, Germany
13.11.09 November Rock’s Festival, Offenburg, Germany
14.11.09 Soundtrack Arcene, Bergamo, Italy
15.11.09 Sottotetto, Bolonga, Italy
19.11.09 Tibis Downstairs Club, Bern, Switzerland
20.11.09 The Rock Temple, Kerkrade, Netherlands
For those who have not heard the Poodles, you have no idea what an amazing band you are missing out on. The band has released two stellar albums in Europe “Metal Will Stand Tall” and “Sweet Trade”. With the release of their amazing new album “Clash of the Elements” the band hopes to finally break into the American music scene and once they do I think the sky is the limit for these Swedes. I recently had the opportunity to talk to bassist Pontus Egberg to tell me all about “the Poodles”.
HRH: For people that may not be familiar with the Poodles could you give us a brief history of the band?
Pontus: The band was formed in late 2005 when we had the opportunity to perform in the Swedish leg of the Eurovision Song Contest. For those of you who are not familiar with the Eurovision it is a contest for new music all over Europe, it’s a very big thing back home in Sweden, something like half the population of Sweden sit and watch the final on TV.
After the appearance in this contest the wheels started moving quite rapidly for The Poodles and in the spring of 2006 we released of debut album “Metal Will Stand Tall”. The rest of that year we basically spent on the roads in Sweden and in January of 2007 “Metal Will Stand Tall” was released all over Europe and we headed out on tour together with Hammerfall and Krokus, a trip that took us all over Europe with something like 31 shows in 35 days.
Back from that journey we started recording our sophomore album and with some touring back home in Sweden coming in between the album “Sweet Trade” was released in September of 2007. Right after the release we headed out on another journey through Europe, this time together with Swiss rockers Gotthard. During the spring of 2008 we hit the roads of Europe once again and this time as the headline act. The tour carried on through the summer back home in Sweden and after that we started the preparations for recording our third album.
“Clash Of The Elements” was released on the Swedish market May 20th of 2009, the early fall will see the European release and we really hope we will be able to officially release the album, or all of our albums, in the states really soon.
HRH: The new album is titled “Clash of the Elements” is there a story behind the title?
Pontus: No, not really, it actually came up when we were discussing the album cover design. Someone had the idea to use the old symbols for the four different elements, earth, water, fire and air, and to do something with that. Then the title “Clash Of The Elements” came up and it fits really well with everything we do. First of all we’re four musicians and when we clash together sweet music comes out and we’ve always liked to mix different styles and to use elements in our music may not be typical for our style of music so that can also be a clash of the elements that ends up in something great, hopefully.
HRH: This is the first album with Henrik Bergqvist and his playing is amazing. What was it like going into the studio with a new guitarist?
Pontus: It’s always a bit nerve wrecking, of course. We’d done two albums with our former guitar player and we weren’t sure what thing were going to sound like with Henrik but as you say yourself, his playing is simply amazing, he did a really good job. We weren’t that worried though, I must say, we had done quite a few live shows with Henrik and he had already blended in to the band in a fantastic way so we were pretty sure it was going to turn out great.
HRH: Was the band surprised when Pontus Norgren announced he was leaving the band to join Hammerfall?
Pontus: Yeah, we were all taken a bit by surprise I guess but now, a little more than a year later, when Henrik has found his place in the band we’re all really happy. Henrik fills the spot of guitar player in The Poodles in the best possible way and I talk regularly to Pontus and it seems like he’s really happy in his new band.
HRH: When it came time to find a replacement for Pontus did the band already have Henrik in mind or was there an audition process? If so how many guitarists did you audition before deciding on Henrik?
Pontus: Yes and yes. Henrik was one of the first names that came up but we had quite a few applicants for the spot so we sorted out the top four names, Henrik was one of them, and held auditions. After a day in the rehearsal studio playing with the different guys it was pretty clear that our first hunch had been right and Henrik was asked if he wanted the job and he accepted.
HRH: When I compare “Sweet Trade” to “Clash of the Elements” I can here a big difference and growth in the songwriting. What was the songwriting process like for the band with the new album?
Pontus: The song writing process actually looked pretty much the same as on our previous albums. We’ve always liked to work with different songwriters in order to try to get the best possible song on our albums. We all contribute and I guess you could say Jakob is the common denominator to all of it because he’s involved in most of the songs in one way or the other. Then we sit with a whole bunch of songs and are having trouble choosing the top songs for the album. It usually works out pretty well though, no big fights or anything like that.
HRH: Was Henrik involved in the writing process for “Clash of the Elements”?
Pontus: Yes, Henrik and I wrote a few songs together that we put in to the pile of music and one of them, Don’t Rescue Me, ended up on the album.
HRH: When I listen to “Clash of the Elements” as well as “Sweet Trade” and “Metal Will Stand Tall” I hear Queen and Gotthard influence. Are they influences of the band? What are some of the other bands that have influenced the Poodles music?
Pontus: We’re all pretty much brought up on the classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal of the ‘70s and ‘80s so I guess involuntarily we have a lot of influences from that style of music, bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, and many, many more. Queen is definitely one of those bands. Gotthard though I had personally never heard before we toured with them in 2007. It’s a fantastic band so I don’t mind if there seems to be some of them in our music but that’s definitely unintentional. Apart from that, as I mentioned earlier, we really like and listen to and take influences from a lot of different styles of music, pop, classical, anything.
HRH: I love every song on “Clash of the Elements” but “No Tomorrow”, “Don’t Rescue Me”, “Give Me A Sign”, and “Dream To Follow” are my favorites. What is your favorite song off the new album? What is your favorite song overall to play live?
Pontus: Thank you! I think you made some very good choices there. I guess I could add “I Rule The Night”, “Heart Of Gold” and “Too Much Of Everything”. Favorite song to play live varies a bit from one night to the other but I would say, personally, that my favorite is probably “Thunderball”.
HRH: What are the tour plans in supporting the new album? Is there any chance your fans in the U.S. will get to see you live?
Pontus: We are currently on tour back home in Sweden all through the summer and a tour of Europe is currently being put together and that is planed to start in October and will probably be a going on for a month or so. About the US, we would definitely like to come over and play for you guys and we are looking in to different options on how get our music properly released over there. If that falls in to place the way we want, who knows. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
HRH: How many songs off “Clash of the Elements” will the band try to fit into the live set this time around?
Pontus: We currently play five songs from the new album in our live set, “Too Much Of Everything”, “Caroline”, “Like No Tomorrow”, “One Out Of Ten” and “I Rule The Night”. During the European tour this fall we will probably add one or two more songs from “Clash Of The Elements”
HRH: When I wrote my review for “Clash of the Elements” I mentioned there was not an American A&R rep smart enough to sign the Poodles to an American recording contract. Has the band had any talks with U.S. record companies about getting your albums released here in the states?
Pontus: First of all let me say I really like that comment and yes, we’ve had talks and talks are still going on, right now as a matter a fact, and we really hope to get something together for the US this time around.
HRH: “Metal Will Stand Tall” and “Sweet Trade” are both available for download from I-Tunes and “Metal Will Stand Tall” is available as a digital download on Amazon. Any idea when “Clash of the Elements” will be available for download on I-Tunes or Amazon?
Pontus: No, actually I don’t. Real soon I hope.
HRH: Over the last few years the Swedish hard rock scene has just exploded to the point that it seems like there is a new Swedish hard rock band releasing an album practically every week. What do you think is the reason for the popularity of Swedish hard rock bands?
Pontus: I actually have no idea what the reason for this is but I love it, it’s a great thing and I think the popularity of this style of music is growing, not only in Sweden, but in a lot of other places as well and that is a really good thing for anyone who plays or just enjoys this kind of music.
HRH: Is there a lot of competition between the different bands or is there camaraderie between the bands?
Pontus: A bit of competition is just a healthy thing I think but mostly I would say everyone is supportive; basically we all have the same goal and the same mission. We all work hard to reach out with our music.
HRH: Did you know “Clash of the Elements” is the first and only album I have ever given a 10 guitar review for?
Pontus: No, I didn’t know this. Thanks a lot, I read the review and I’m still blushing. It’s really great to know that there are people on your side of the Atlantic who enjoy our music and it makes us want to come over there and play even more.
HRH: Is there anything else you would like to say to Poodle fans before we let you go?
Pontus: I would like to encourage you, if you like our music, to help us spread the word, talk to your local radio station or what ever and help us get The Poodles’ music out there. Then maybe some A&R rep will see things clearly and offer The Poodles a proper record deal in the States and we can come over and play for you all. We are certainly up for it.
HRH: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, we really appreciate it.
Pontus: It’s been a pleasure and thanks for the support!!!
On more than one occasion when writing reviews there have been times when I struggle to find the words to describe a particular album, even though I may love the album the words just don’t come to mind. Fortunately with the Poodles third release “Clash of the Elements” that is not the case, without beating around the bush “Clash of the Elements” is absolutely AMAZING!!! These Swedish rockers have released hands down the best album I have heard all year. I liked the band’s two previous releases “Metal Will Stand Tall” and “Sweet Trade” but Jakob Samuel – Vocals, Christian Lundqvist – Drums, Pontus Egberg – Bass and Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar have unleashed a monster of an album, this time around filled with great harmonies, great playing and anthems tailor made for the stadiums.
“Clash of the Elements” opens with the epic “Too Much of Everything” filled with strings, piano, and is very reminiscent of Queen in their heyday. It flows flawlessly into “Caroline” which is a hard driving foot stomping rocker with a sing along chorus perfect for summer. Henrik Bergqvist definitely makes his mark on his debut with the band replacing the departed Pontus Norgren with some tight outstanding playing. “No Tomorrow” is an anthem in every since of the word, catchy, foot stomping, daring you to try and resist from singing along with Samuel’s soaring vocals along with the rest of the band’s background vocals. “One Out of Ten” is a piano power ballad that picks up after the first verse, Samuel’s vocals again sound great on this song, and I love that fact that a metal band is not afraid to use piano and strings on their songs giving them a fuller sound. “I Rule The Night” is another anthem with a little heavier vibe than “No Tomorrow” but just as good nonetheless, “Give Me A Sign” is a melodic rocker with a great chrous and some nice keyboards, Bergqvist goes off on the solo for this song too, very impressive. “Sweet Enemy” is a slow, heavy rocker that pulls you in and will not let go. “Seven Days & Seven Nights” is a rocker through and through with a honky- tonk piano opening before it kicks in along with “No Tomorrow” one of the catchiest songs on “Clash of the Elements”. On “Pilot of the Storm” Jakob Samuel is channeling David Coverdale at his best. “Don’t Rescue Me” is another outstanding melodic rocker which should earn the band some airplay on rock radio. “Dream To Follow” is one more awesome anthem with a great chorus and absolutely smoking guitar by Bergqvist, ready made for the stadium.
With 14 tracks “Clash of the Elements” has something for every rock fan to enjoy. Any fan of Queen, Scorpions, Gotthard, and even Whitesnake SHOULD have this album in their collection. If there is a downside to “Clash of the Elements” it is the fact that this is an import because there is not an American A&R rep smart enough to sign the Poodles to an American record deal. But please do not let this stop you from buying “Clash of the Elements” you will be cheating yourself out of hearing the absolute best album of 2009.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Too Much Of Everything
03. No Tomorrow
04. One Out Of Ten
05. I Rule The Night
06. Give Me A Sign
07. Sweet Enemy
08. Seven Days & Seven Nights
09. Pilot Of The Storm
10. Cant Let You Go
11. Dont Rescue Me
12. Heart Of Gold
13. Dream To Follow
14. Wings Of Destiny
The Poodles are:
Jakob Samuel – Vocals
Christian Lundqvist – Drums
Pontus Egberg – Bass
Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar
For you last minute Mother’s Day Shoppers, here are 5 ideas for your Hard Rocking Moms!
5. For that mom who is still a bad girl, buy her the new Whitesnake CD, Good To Be Bad. No rocker mom will be unhappy with this gift.
4. If your mom prefers a little sparkly, get her the new Def Leppard CD, Songs From the Sparkle Lounge.
3. Does your mom like a lot of affection? Get her the Kissology DVD sets 1 – 3. You can’t go wrong with a bunch of kisses.
2. Is your mom a dog lover? Pick her up a copy of The Poodles CD, Sweet Trade, and avoid those untimely accidents to her carpet.
1. For the traveling mom, get her tickets for the Rocklahoma Music Festival in July.