Anton Kabanen, Beast In Black‘s guitarist and songwriter was asked in one interview about popularity of 80s music even nowadays. “This music stood the test of time” – he replied and it’s hard to disagree with that. These songs still played on radio and placed at lots of playlists. People know these songs and people love them even 40 years later and even those who wasn’t even born that time. So there is nothing surprising about the fact that new bands play such music. Sweden Arctic Rain, which released its debut album The One is one of those bands.
Arctic Rain is a result of keyboardist and songwriter Pete Alpenborg, guitarist Magnus Berglund and vocalist Tobias Jönsson’s collaboration. Later bassist Gert Daun and drummer Jonas Jonsson joined the band and in the end of 2018 they start to work on their demos. Two years later, in 2020 the band released a debut longplay.
Inspired by such bands like Whitesnake, Toto and Def Leppard, to name a few, Arctic Rain recreates (or revives, if you wish) 80s music using modern technologies and modern approach. As a result, The One became quite simple abs unobtrusive album, very melodic, of course.
When I talk about simplicity, I mean the structure of the songs, which is simple “verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus” and smooth rhythm section, which is maybe not so fancy but still copes with its tasks. Guitar is also quite smooth and sounds pretty heavy (for such genre, of course). In opening “Love Of My Life” guitar riff reminds London or Scorpions and in “Lost” it goes more to Arctic Rain‘s notorious countrymen Europe. Nevertheless, solos are quite technical in the album and fit greatly to the songs, maybe just in a little bit melancholic “Night After Night” it sounds like a smooth song nearly trips over the solo.
Keyboards are various here and play a lot of roles: somewhere they sound as a background and in some songs they play the main melody and the whole song built around them. Anyway, this is Pete who creates the atmosphere in songs and gives them appropriate vibes.
Tobias’ a little bit husky voice fits the music perfectly too. He controls his voice greatly and high pitch vocals, which can be heard oftenly in this album, is not a problem for him at all.
The One is coherent and very steady album. You can hear some mid-paced and quite sprightly songs (“Lift Me Up”), relatively heavy sound (“Gimme All Of Your Love”, “Breakout”) and some radio-friendly things (“Friends”). And of course there is a ballad in this album: self-titled “The One”. But frankly speaking, it’s hard for me to peak out some song: they all sound pleasantly, unobtrusive and with a light sound of nostalgia. Certainly, the band couldn’t avoid some clichés and from time to time you’ll catch yourself thinking “I heard this already somewhere” but with this songs are not tearing away and you don’t want to skip them.
Arctic Rain is an oldtimer band. Musicians transmit the spirit of 80s and the vibes with their music without any blatant plagiarism or something. So, if you miss that times (even if you were born later), The One is definitely your album! Listen to it and you will not be disappointed. If you are not, give it a present to your parents – they will appreciate it for sure.
The One was released on August, 7th via Frontiers Music slr.
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