Volster is the Swedish band which has hooks into former Glory Daze faves Masquerade, ‘Arise’ being their second late 2020 release for Greek label Rock Of Angels Records (ROAR).
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Roar Of Angels Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Ulf Andersson – vocals, guitars * Henrik Lundberg – bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 Revolution * 02 Arise * 03 Hanging On * 04 Come Undone * 05 Turn The Tide * 06 End Of The World * 07 Gravity * 08 I Wish * 09 Follow You * 10 Sign Of The Times * 11 Highroad * 12 Till The End Of Time
WEBLINKS: FB Page
Glory Daze first became acquainted with Volster back in 2018, thanks to their debut record ‘Perfect Storm’. Our interest was piqued due to the inclusion of former Masquerade personnel Andersson and Lundberg. Of course that band were a huge drawcard for some during the early 90’s, and so it continues decades later.
The last time I checked the band were a four piece, now they are a duo though strangely enough they sound as loud and heavy as they did two years ago. What’s the story? Nothing unusual that I can perceive, I’m just happy that there’s a new album out that I can have a listen to and write it up for Glory Daze.
According to their bio, the duo have added new elements to the overall Volster musical ordinance including snippets of AOR and progressive rock. Let’s see if we can spot them.
Strap in for the ride as ‘Revolution’ bursts out of first gear with chugging guitars on red alert. ‘Fast And Furious’ the movie has got nothing on this! Check out the lyrical references to danger – dangerous, fury – furious. The title track ‘Arise’ is propelled by some staggered rhythm guitars, quite steely in sound with some synths hovering in the background. Overall a weighty affair.
‘Hanging On’ is the absolute power ballad on the album, it’s here we detect some traces of friendly melodies, not quite AOR because of some meaty guitar riffs going on but a great track nonetheless. ‘Come Undone’ decreases the tempo but increases the intensity with some smokey guitar to boot.
‘Turn The Tide’ is a grinding type of tune which didn’t hit the spot for me. ‘End Of The World’ was an improvement, still high on intensity but the arrangement was more interesting than the previous track.
‘Gravity’ continues the heavier stream of sound, no light-headed melodies here, the sound meets the songtitle perfectly. ‘I Wish’ is probably the closest that Volster come to progressive rock, the musical passages do interchange between light and heavy, enough to make the comparison.
Acoustic guitar precedes ‘Follow You’, but it’s not long before the electrics kick in. This one reminds me of fellow Swedes JD Miller who released a fantastic album last year. It’s my highlight of the album thus far. ‘Sign Of The Times’ was saved by a superior chorus and a killer guitar solo, otherwise the song would’ve gone south.
Volster lift the tempo noticeably for ‘Highroad’ and sound much better for it. It’s a pity they couldn’t have done more of this on the album. Closing with ‘Till The End Of Time’, the flanger guitar pedal is given a work out, I feel the vibes of Robin Trower sifting through this track.
Somehow I didn’t feel the same highs that I did when listening to their previous album. ‘Arise’ was a weighty affair yes, but I wasn’t reeled in, even if this album did have the occasional highlight. Did I hear traces of the reputed AOR and prog throughout the grooves? Yes but only just, though my ears aren’t the same as others, and in my final summation this gets a good rating rather than a very good rating.
Turn The Tide