Captain Black Beard
Neon Sunrise

Label: Mighty Music/Target Group
Three similar bands: Journey/Foreigner/The Night Flight Orchestra

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Flamenco
2. We’re The Forgiven
3. Physical
4. Moment Of Truth
5. Wasted Heart
6. Night Reaction
7. Chains Of Love
8. Burning Daylight
9. Break (Into Forever)
10. Invincible
11. State Of Denial
12. Neon Sunrise

Christian Ek - guitar
Martin Holsner - vocals
Daniel Krakowski - guitar
Robert Majd - bass
Yngve Strömberg - drums

Captain Black Beard (2011)
Before Plastic (2014)
It's A Mouthful (2016)
Struck by Lightning (2018)

Sonic Forces (2020)



Released 2022-10-07
Reviewed 2022-12-30


mighty music

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Disco- AOR is a labelling I read that some have given to Swedish band Captain Black Beard, I also read in the press material that they have their own take on the genre. They have done a few and I have reviewed a few of the, four to be exact and I don’t think that I have noticed anything particularly original about them. The cover of their latest effort Neon Sunrise looks great though, could be worth getting the vinyl just because it looks so great. I have liked the previous efforts by them, so it wouldn’t be taking that much of a risk, or would it?

Musically they make AOR with the regular ingredients, like catchy choruses, strong melodies, keyboards, etc. There are some touches of Disco there, a bit of ABBA perhaps. It is certainly catchy, and upbeat, as such it is nice. Easy to like. Familiar to anyone who knows the earlier work of the captain, I don’t think they do anything different compared with what they did before. Good sound and production, but with a dozen tracks it gets a bit long, clearly, they could have made the 46 minutes to 36 and taken away two of the tracks without losing anything worthwhile – more is rarely better in music.

Kind of like expected, it is good, quite enjoyable with good and catchy songs. Easy to like. Fans of the band will certainly not be disappointed with Neon Sunrise as it presses the same buttons as the previous works of Captain Black Beard, I have enjoyed listening to it and would have no problem letting it spin in the background as it is a fine effort by a really solid band. Still, one could hope for something a little more spectacular, something a bit more exciting, something more original, you can hardly claim that Captain Black Beard brings anything really exciting to the AOR scene, but they do bring some good songs and solid AOR.

Fans of the band should not miss Neon Sunrise as it presses all the same, and all the good buttons that the predecessors did – might be their best produced work to date. If you are less of a fan, or don’t really know Captain Black Beard, it isn’t a very exciting album, and you will grow tired with it rather quickly. It may not be as tired as the genre in general, but there are better and more exciting AOR albums to be found out there.