1. Watch The Fire
2. Burn
3. Kings On Thunder Road
4. Elegantly Wasted
5. Urgent
6. Dangerous
7. Calling Out Your Name
8. Heart Is On The Line
9. I Don’t Wanna Play That Game
10. The Burning Pain Of Love
11. The Neverending Retraceable Dream

Erik Mårtensson - Guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
Jeff Scott Soto - Vocals
Robert Säll - Keyboards
Magnus Henriksson - Guitar
Robban Bäck - Drums

W.E.T. (2009)
Rise Up (2013)

Thomas Larsson: Additional guitar solo on “Urgent”

Produced by: Erik Mårtensson
Studio: Blowout Productions
Recorded by: Erik Mårtensson
Mixed by: Erik Mårtensson
Mastered by: Erik Mårtensson

Released 2018-03-23
Reviewed 2018-04-12


The grand masters of melodic rock/AOR return with their third effort called Earthrage, an anticipated album perhaps considering the success of the previous two. Their album Rise Up that was released in 2013 is the only melodic rock/AOR album to receive a full score at hallowed and as we are very restrictive with our ratings I can also point out that very few bands of this genre receives ratings of six on our scale but that is what their first album got. With those albums in mind it is not unrealistic to hope for a challenger to the fantastic Ayreon album that I reviewed not long ago. But they have set the bar extremely high with their first two albums so chances for a disappointment could also be there but the guys from Work of Art, Eclipse and Talisman sure knows their stuff and Earthrage certainly looks the part and will look good in my record collection.

It is an album that can be described as melodic rock or AOR, melodic rock songs with strong hit potential, catchy choruses and excellent production. The sound is among the best I have heard in the genre, and the vocals are great as well. They manage to do the difficult thing of taking something old and tired and make it sound really fresh and exciting, they are a melodic rock band that actually stands out far from their genre competition. And it is a relatively varied album, the eleven tracks keeps you interested from the beginning to the end. Easy to take in and easy to like but with lots of depth so that you can play it over and over and over and over again without growing tired of it. Earthrage is a top-notch production, the sound is excellent and it is an album that you just can’t dislike.

Top-notch album in any which way you want to look at it; it has eleven hit songs, the sound is fantastic and it is one of the best melodic rock/AOR albums that I have ever heard. Perhaps not as exciting and energetic as the predecessor and not quite as good in my view, but if the only weakness is that it is somewhat weaker than a near-perfect predecessor it can’t be said to have any real weaknesses. It is an album that should appeal to anyone, especially those who read this webzine whom I imagine are people who like good music like this album. And with all the tracks being potential standout track it is hard to pick favourites as they are all excellent tracks that can all be played on repeat many times over.

Super album! I would say that Earthrage cements W.E.T.’s position as the most relevant melodic rock/AOR band that I know about. Their music is fresh and exciting in a genre not really known for the usage of terms like fresh or exciting. It is certainly an album you should not miss, I have gotten the vinyl version of this album and strongly recommend that you get yourself a copy of the album as well – it is an album that shouldn’t be missed. And with that said we know that it is great, but is it great enough to challenge Ayreon for the top spot on this year’s top list? Perhaps not but I would say that it is the closest challenger that I have heard so far this year.




Label: Frontiers
Three similar bands: Work of Art/Eclipse/Talisman
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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