This month, I was treated with an amazing assortment of albums to review from the mighty Frontiers Music Srl! With the latest release from Sweden’s Rian queued up and ready to go, my mission continues…
If you lever wondered what melodic hard rock greats of yesteryear such as Hardline, Journey or Bad English would sound like if they were somehow blended with one of today’s greats such as H.E.A.T. or Crazy Lixx, then I have great news for you. Rian’s latest offering, TWENTY-THREE, is what you’re looking for! The music is exactly what you would expect given the above ingredients: outstanding vocals provided by Richard Andermyr (I swear, at times he sounds just like Erik Grönwall from H.E.A.T. !) wrapped in crunchy guitars (also supplied by Andermyr) poured over the rock-solid bass playing and drumming of Jonas Melin and Jan Johansson respectively. Add fiery melodic guitar solos from lead guitarist Tobias Jakobsson along with crystal clear production, and you have an impressive sophomore album that stands head and shoulders above its debut predecessor, OUT OF THE DARKNESS.
While there are really no weak tracks to be found here, standout tracks are definitely the slightly heavier ones. The album starts with the outstanding quadruple attack of “Stop”, “In The Dark”, “Where Do we Run”, and the exceptional title track, “Twenty Three”. Other standout tracks include “We Belong” and “The Passenger”, both with outstanding lead work from Jakobsson. All -these particular tunes truly represent the essence of Rian in 2021.
Melodic hard rock dominates TWENTY THREE from start to finish. With terrific vocals, punchy rhythm section and excellent solo guitar work, this album should please even the most casual melodic hard rock fan. If you liked their debut album, then you’ll love this collection. If you’ve never had a chance to hear Rian, I strongly urge you to check these guys out!