Reviewed: November 2022
Released: 2022, Mighty Music
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann
Statement are a Danish hard rock band on the Mighty Music label who released their fourth album ‘Dreams From The Darkest Side’ on 7th October, 2022. They are for fans of acts ranging from Scorpions, Metallica, Accept and Disturbed, and their lyrics are inspired by the members’ experiences with depression, demonic thoughts, the struggles to achieve their dreams, and their search for love. Consequently, their material is both intense and fragile. In fact, it is their most ambitious and personal effort so far. It was produced by Soren Andersen, a man who has worked with Mike Tramp, Artillery and Tygers of Pan Tang.
Wow, with Statement you get solid Def Leppard style riffs, plenty of very tasty guitar fills, AND expert classic rock soloing that is played with genuine style without being annoyingly self-indulgent. Think Slash combined with Joe Satriani in his relatively (!!) melodic moments and when he doesn’t feel the need to meander up and down the fretboard as quickly as possible (and do his trademark pick tapping). But to be clear, the soloing is actually mostly pretty fast. Just not THAT fast. Other times you get heavier groove metal ideas, but still they aren’t so heavy, they spoil the mood. Instead, they just add more layers. Despite the lyrical themes, the music is fun and positive, and far from depressing. Saying the music is demonic is demented. There are some darker moments, ‘The Reaper’ has some tight root note chugs and a pounding blues-metal chord progression, but don’t think for a moment that it’s truly scary. Rather, it’s as accessible as the topic of the grim reaper/typical reaper or metaphorical reaper will ever get. Judging by the music video, the song’s about killing people in a fun way. I’m presuming it’s not based on the musician’s experiences.
I say the band are for fans of Metallica, but think their Load/Reload era, certainly not Master of Puppets. There are some mid-tempo double kick drum patterns, but they are a million miles away from thrash metal style. The beats are more like Pantera’s. The singer has a bit of harshness to his voice, (sometimes more so than others) but in more of a rock ’n’ roll style. Maybe he can be compared to a softer version of Blind Guardian’s vocalist at times. The riffs and solos may be all nicely executed, but the vocal melodies are often a little blander and less memorable. A stand out track is ‘Sacrifice’ when it comes to singing. Its up-tempo, feel-good nature is highly addictive. The clean guitar harmonies often have a dreaminess about them, whilst the distorted guitars heard at the same time provide the power. It’s a very interesting combination. I’m ever so slightly reminded of some Racer X music in terms of tone. Maybe their ‘Technical Difficulties’ album. Their ‘Fire of Rock’ is a speedy and hard yet dreamy song, I think.
In conclusion, this is very strong heavy rock music. Most of the big things are done well, and the small details are the icing on the cake. If anything, the neat guitar fills were a highlight for me. The songs on the whole are in no way rushed, many of the main riffs go the extra mile to be creative, and whilst such hooks are far from unique, they are performed with such coolness and attitude it doesn’t matter. The only alternative I can think of is weird riffing, and how would that be so cool?? Do you know many cool weirdos? If so, I am more than intrigued. I say the soloing isn’t self-indulgent, but remember I’m used to some fairly extreme guitar playing. Check Michael Angelo Batio’s band ‘Nitro’ out! Lastly, I mention that ‘Sacrifice’ is a standout track, but really the album is a non-stop, relatively light good time-fest. This album is strongly recommended if you’re a fan of more intelligent rock bands such as Sammy Hagar period Van Halen. Great stuff!