Swedish band Alien have graced us with their third album of the new century, their previous one was back in 2014, and as we hear it, ‘In The Future’ is hard out melodic rock than pure AOR.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Into The Future
LABEL: AOR Heaven
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Jim Jidhed – vocals * Tony Borg – guitars * Toby Tarrach – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 You Still Burn * 02 Night Of Fire * 03 War Scars * 04 Time Is Right * 05 What Are We Fighting For * 06 Into The Future * 07 Freedom Wind * 08 Really Wheeling It * 09 Fallin’ Way Down * 10 In Her Eyes * 11 Children
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Swedish band Alien have graced us with their third album of the new century, their previous one ‘Eternity’ was back in 2014, and prior to that we had ‘Dark Eyes’ from 2005. As we hear it, ‘In The Future’ is more blatant hard rock than pure AOR.
It certainly sounds a lot different than how you might remember them by, but to be fair the band has operated mostly in the hard rock realm during the majority of their career. Unfortunately, most AOR fans remember them from their 1988 debut album only, which, as it turns out is the odd man out of their decades old discography.
So like Marty McFly and Doc Brown, it’s off into the future we go with the three members of Alien. Sci-fi imagery and a heavier but still melodic sound. There’s a faint whiff of ivories but mostly it’s all about Tony Borg’s six-string attack and Jim’s evergreen vocals, which still sound fantastic.
The opening brace of ‘You Still Burn’ and ‘Night Of Fire’ ensures the pyromaniacs among you are adequately covered. The latter features a prominent celtic backbeat which will impress our Irish brethren no end.
‘War Scars’ takes a more dour approach topped by the gang-chants on the chorus. Meanwhile, ‘Time Is Right’ takes the melodic road, the synth motif could be Creye or One Desire on any other day, though Alien don’t completely sell out to AOR.
Borg’s guitar is prominent on the anthem ‘What Are We Fighting For’, with big shout-out chorus vocals, featured organ work and a prowling presence throughout. The title track ‘Into The Future’ is perhaps the heaviest I’ve ever heard from the band, sounding like a prog metal outfit. No kidding.
‘Freedom Wind’ is one of my highlights, the song just flows nicely with more of a focus on Jim’s vocal with the guitar not so upfront. Good solo too. ‘Really Wheeling It’ reinforces Alien’s newfound heaviness. It’s Ok, it is what it is.
Getting towards the tail of the album now, and still no sign of a ballad. ‘Fallin’ Way Down’ is not it, the song sitting pretty in melodic rock territory with Jim pulling out a Steve Perry moment or two. ‘In Her Eyes’ continues the melodic rock stand, the trio appearing to mellow as they near the finish line.
Finally, our closing track ‘Children’ is our missing ballad. Somehow I knew it would turn up eventually. The middle section features a soaring guitar solo, poking its nose above the mostly piano oriented arrangement.
I’ll admit that many of us have followed the band for decades, but I doubt I’ll be the only one saying that this album is not a return to the 80’s AOR. Let’s just leave that thought in the past shall we and focus on the future, because that’s what this album is all about both in the music and in the album title.
Not all songs work for me, but there are a handful that I really liked. ‘You Still Burn’, ‘Time Is Right’, ‘Freedom Wind’ and ‘Fallin’ Way Down’ are my pick of the bunch. Give it a listen and see what you think.
Night Of Fire