After releasing the compilation 'Divine Invitation' in 2007 they come with their follow-up to their third album 'The Fallen Empire' (2006). Singer Taage Laiho has been replaced by Marco Luponero, who also play the bass. Musically the band didn't change that much, they still play a kind of mainstream hard rock with sporadic power metal influences.
"Alterior Motive" starts rather up-tempo and new singer Marco fits perfectly to the music, he is an average metal singer, but isn't a real topper. "Warrior" is more a melodic hard rock song. The band has chosen a path that lies between melodic hard rock and melodic power metal. That is in my opinion also the weakest point and after a few songs I miss the real power. The melodic hard rock sometimes sounds a little to sweet, take for example the song "Steal Your Thunder": the song with the very commercial refrain could easily be broadcasted on the radio.
Fortunately there are also some songs that have a bit more power ("Pride & Desire", "Wind Beneath My Wings"), but in general I find the refrains too simple and too easy to sing-a-long. The band has been compared with Stratovarius in the past, but in my opinion they miss the power for that. They are more mainstream and I think that fans of bands like Gotthard and the heavier songs of White Lion will dig this album too. I miss the real power and I put the blame for that on the commercial refrains. Fortunately there are some good guitar solos and the heavy riffs save the album from being redundant.
Perhaps I expected the album to be more powerful and that's why I'm a little disappointed. That's why I recommend you to take a listen first.