War of Kings

01. War of Kings
02.Hole in My Pocket
03. Second Day
04. Praise You
05. Nothin to Ya
06. California 405
07. Days of Rock n Roll
08. Children of the Mind
09. Rainbow Bridge
10. Angels (With Broken Hearts)
11. Light it Up
Bonus track: Vasastan (Instrumental)

Joey Tempest – lead vocals
John Norum – guitars
John Levén – bass
Mic Michaeli – keyboards
Ian Haugland – drums

Europe (1983)
Wings of Tomorrow (1984)
The Final Countdown (1986)
Out of This World (1988)
Prisoners in Paradise (1991)
Start from the Dark (2004)
Secret Society (2006)
Last Look at Eden (2009)
Bag of Bones (2012)


Produced by Dave Cobb
Engineered by John Netti

Released 2015-03-06
Reviewed 2015-02-25

udr music

I think that most have heard about Europe, after all it is the continent with the most evolved population in the world – especially that part called Scandinavia where a band called Europe hails from. Joey Tempest and his guys are making it ten releases with this album and it is the fourth since their comeback in the early 2000s as they are looking to restore Europe to their former glory and by that I mean the band, not the continent. War of Kings they call the album and judging by the cover art it is the kings of the chessboards that are at war with one another. Moreover they say that it is the album they have wanted to do ever since they were young and listened to Deep Purple, Zeppelin and Sabbath – if I had a dime for every time I read that kind of thing. Fortunately that doesn’t mean that they are making covers of said bands, which would have been truly bad.

You who are expecting something in line with The Final Countdown will be a bit disappointed as this is not really styled that way. It is melodic metal/hardrock with a touch of arena rock elements, quite powerful yet melodic. Nothing that stands out as overly different from what most bands in that kind of genre does and the production is in the higher reaches of the genre but nothing that stands out in the way a band with the resources of Europe should stands out. Joey Tempest sings fairly well but those of you who know said countdown album will hear that he has lost quite a bit of edge in his voice, the tracks of this album are however of such a nature that it doesn’t matter too much and I would say that he fits very well into the music of this album. Music that feels quite familiar and it can be seen as a little bit disappointing that they don’t break more ground.

There is a bit of variation over the album’s dozen of tracks, up to the point that it at times feels a bit incoherent. I think however, that this is a quite good album with nice catchy songs and a bit of old-fashioned metallic sense, at the same time it feels a bit dated. The songs are generally good but one cannot help but thinking that this could have been better and is it so that it is the name of the band that matters rather than the quality of their music these days. I think that there are several bands in the same genre today that does a lot better than these guys, just look back one day at White Limo who are fairly near in genre but has a lot more exciting music – but of these bands, guess which one will sell most records. Still, it wouldn’t be unfair to Europe if they sell a few albums as they do make a solid album with this one.

The opening title track is one of the best of the album, sets a good tone and opens the album really well. However, I think that the seventh track Days of Rock n Roll is the real highlight with its catchiness and uptempo style, that I like and in the end I can conclude that Europe does fairly well with this album, it is good but I highly doubt that it will go down in history or be amongst the best albums when the year is about to be summarised.



Label: UDR Music
Three similar bands: Whitesnake/Deep Purple/Rainbow

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

läs på svenska