Arctic Rain are the Swedish band which made an impact in 2020 with their debut album ‘The One’.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Arctic Rain
LABEL: Frontiers SRL
SERIAL: FRCD 1291
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Tobias Jonsson – vocals * Magnus Berglund – guitars * Kaspar Dahlqvist – keyboards * Gert Daun – bass * Richard Tonyson – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 One World * 02 Unity * 03 Fire In My Eyes * 04 Peace Of Mind * 05 Laughing In The Rain * 06 Believe * 07 Out Of Time * 08 Kings Of The Radio * 09 When We Were Young * 10 Time for A Miracle * 11 The Road Goes On
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Arctic Rain are the Swedish band which made an impact in 2020 with their debut album ‘The One’. I really enjoyed that album, suffice to say it made it into my top 10 albums of that year. The band have returned, but there have been some personnel changes along the way. Kaspar Dahlqvist (formerly of bands Sahara, Dionysus and Code Red) is the new keyboardist while Richard Tonyson now occupies the drum seat vacated by Jonas Jonsson.
The sound of Arctic Rain reinforces what they were all about back in 2020, which was 80’s influenced hard rock with a hint of metal about them. ‘Unity’ was released on January 27th, and sees singer Tobias Jonsson and guitarist Magnus Berglund leading the way once more. Previously I compared them to countrymen Perfect Plan but I’m not sure that comparison is valid anymore.
Listening to Arctic Rain and their contemporaries over the last three years, I reckon they are closer in style to Gathering Of Kings, not so much the vocals as GOK tend to interchange singers on their songs, but more in the guitar and keyboard arrangements.
Though in saying that, listen to the chorus on the title track ‘Unity’, where they have stolen the vocal chant from GOK’s song ‘Vagabond Rise’ (Enigmatic). This is just one example. I’m not complaining as I enjoy both bands, it’s just an observation. Check the video below. The other video is for ‘Fire In My Eyes’, a full-on guitar rocker which seems to be a song based on war and conflict. The guitar and synth solo parts are great.
‘Peace Of Mind’ is a brighter sounding track rather than the dense minor key laden material that other bands tend to write. This track is comparable to the late great Grand Illusion. ‘Laughing In The Rain’ is a highlight for me, Berglund imparting some super clean guitar parts leading me to believe he is a guitar hero in the making. ‘Believe’ is the first ballad, and adds to Arctic Rain’s songwriting arsenal. Very good.
‘Out Of Time’ is led by Dahlqvist’s synth prowess the whole thing an ambient affair under a set of headphones, while ‘Kings Of The Radio’ is an enjoyable romp recalling the heyday of the 70’s and 80’s. ‘When We Were Young’ keeps things ticking over, Berglund and Dahlqvist tearing up their respective solos like a boss. ‘Time for A Miracle’ is the second ballad, though ramping up to mid tempo in parts, the chorus notably lifting. Piano leads the way on ‘The Road Goes On’, the song itself mostly kept safe throughout without any big bombast to sign off with.
Arctic Rain deliver another high quality offering, though I will say I have to play the album quite a bit to get to the bottom of it as it’s not an immediate listen. But like all good things, it does take time. Stick with it. One of the better bands coming out of Sweden that’s for sure.
Fire In My Eyes