FullForce Next Level (2012)

Following a strong debut in album One, FullForce is back with new recording simply called Next Level. Being an ensemble cast of notable musicians in European metal scenes consisct of ex-Hammerfall founder, I wait eagerly when they announced this project several months ago. Unfortunately the original line up with Carl Johann Grimmark is now replaced by Cloudscape's guitarist Stefan Rosqvist. This mean fans of CJ need to find him on another project to follow up his post-Narnia career. While enthusiast of Stefan Elmgren post-Hammerfall and Full Strike will find him ever stronger in this album. Notable different between Next Level and One is up in the air too. One is somewhat progressive and heavier, while Next Level lend to softer tunes and even hard rock, mix with power metal riff.

A two minutes Broken Dreams keep the moment hanging with a nice power metal starter, but in Break It, Crack It, Destroy It the direction is clearer. FullForce is exploring to heavy / hard rock territory now. The peak of this is an almost AOR song in A Night To Remember, which is good one with singer Michael Andersson voice in a Journey like mid tempo ballad. Then in Karma the power metal / heavy sounds back in full force. Then in Visions the trace of progressive infuence as Cloudscape members on board is there. There are thirteen songs altogether, spanning wide from AOR, power metal to heavy progressive song to guitar ballad. The last four songs gone to rather non standard feel that hard to put in a group, which mean simply called melodic metal. Strongest Thing Of All close the album in a beautiful arranged acoustic ballad song.

Of the guitar parts, expected beautiful solos among songs. Stefan Elmgren and Rosqvist sure a nice combo to paired, especially with an album with this great potential melody. Interesting licks exchanged, influence by Hammerfal era, suspect that acoustic ballads track, to Cloudscape. In Next Level, we get something like different side of FullForce, pretty much away from their debut which is heavier. On top of all, it is good to hear FullForce will remain working as a band, although the member looks like all hired gun, except Stefan Elmgren is now back to his musical passion.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

FullForce Next Level 2012
buy it here at Amazon

01. Broken Dreams (2:47)
02. Break It, Crack It, Destroy It (3:45)
03. Back To Life (3:08)
04. A Night To Remember (3:38)
05. Karma (4:43)
06. Whispers (3:14)
07. Smile At The World (3:44)
08. Hate...Love...Drop It! (4:37)
09. Visions (5:09)
10. Course Of Life (3:41)
11. Awesomeness (3:13)
12. Mysterious Ways (5:13)
13. Strongest Thing Of All (4:13) 

Line Up:
Stefan Elmgren - Guitars
(ex-Full Strike, ex-Cans, ex-HammerFall, ex-Lost Horizon ) 
Michael Andersson - Vocals
(Act 3, Cloudscape, Silent Memorial, Planet Alliance, ex-Zaninez) 
Anders Johansson - Drums
(HammerFall, Planet Alliance, ex-Johansson, ex-Silver Mountain, ex-Jens Johansson, ex-The Johansson Brothers, ex-Empire, ex-Yngwie J. Malmsteen, ex-Keegan) 
Stefan Rosqvist - Guitars
(Cloudscape, Dawn of Oblivion) 
Tommy Larsson - Bass
(ex-Heed, ex-Dream Evil, ex-Jaggernaut)

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