Power of Metal.dk Review

Next Level
Style: Power Metal
Release date: 29 October, 2012
Playing time: 51:05

I am so sorry that I have to give another album a high rating again. Either I am a just lucky bastard that gets some of the best hard rock releases this fall or it is an irony of fate that resulted in that I had to listen to some delicious productions and also had the honor to review.

Fullforce is a Swedish project with the fantastic vocalist Mike Andersson (who I recently wrote about in the band: Cloudscape), Stefan Rosqvist (Cloudscape) - guitar, Tommy Larsson (ex-Heed) on bass, and the former Malmsteen/Hammerfall members Stefan Elmgren (guitar) and Anders Johansson (drums). Their debut album (One) was released only 18 month's ago so the name is right on this piece of art.

'Next Level' is really a step up in quality and intensity contra 'One'. With a more clear melodic direction and even more powerful vocals from the workaholic Andersson than on the narrow debut album. With half of Cloudscape involved one would think that there would be a similar sound, but Mike's voice is so variable that it is no obstacle. There are less progressive parts than in Cloudscape and it is much straighter, simpler, and rhythmic and has a clear line in the tracks composition. Pompous rock and big bombastic elements are apparent in the tracks. Mike's vocals are higher in pitch, and it is the right and proper sound if Fullforce shall be a power metal band to be reckoned with.

Similarities with bands like Hammerfall, Dream Evil and Gamma Ray are obviously easy to hear. 'Next Level' is a dazzling creation with only a few songs, which won't remain in my 'save folder'. Otherwise there is a very well-cooked and strongly flavored guitar playing, which is the essential and unique ingredient that lifts the disc's tracks to the higher level in the rating scale.

When all these ingredients are interwoven, the result is a mature and strong album that will appeal to the loyal fans of Power Metal.

01. Broken Dreams
Break It, Crack It, Destroy It
Back To Life
A Night To Remember
Smile At The World
Hate Love Drop It
Course Of Life
12. Mysterious Ways
13. Strongest Thing Of All
Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Distribution: Playground Music
Artwork rating: 86/100
Reviewed by: Patrik Skoglund
Date: 20 October, 2012
Website: www.fullforce.se