Release Date: 4th April 2014
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Are you ready for some accessible Rock music from Switzerland? If you're not, then please leap over to another fine article in the richly rewarding world of MetalTalk.
On the other hand if you're ready to delve in to the depths of the eleventh studio album called 'Bang!' by Swiss muscular melodic rockers Gotthard; then keep reading!
The opening two tracks are ready to party as the title track leads effortlessly in to 'Get Up N'Move...' Then we arrive at the doorstep of the band's more melodic side with 'Feel What I Feel' and thus far all is great with the universe.
'C'est La Vie' offers up the first ballad on the album which as the band have announced elsewhere, was completely written by them all from the very first moment of the song to the very last note. This is all good stuff I have to say. Production values really let these songs share their mojo and I'm thoroughly swaying and enjoying the evident hooks and confident deliveries.
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Since the new lead vocalist Nic Maeder stepped up to replace the sadly missed former vocalist Steve Lee, he's proved to be a highly competent performer and his contributions on 'Bang!' are solid once more.
When 'Jump The Gun' starts up, there is a familiarity about the material but this doesn't mean that it's rubbish. With a mean groove, this track launches in to hook-laden territories and there's some tasty guitar work too. 'Spread Your Wings' isn't anything to do with the Queen classic from their 1977 album 'News of the World'. Moving along with a laid back vibe the song shows a more complex arrangement but retains a good chorus nevertheless.
I suspect the band has been taking in some epic Guns N'Roses moments too, and you may be suspicious too once you've heard the final track called 'Thank You'. It echoes the sort of personality and epic quality as 'November Rain' or 'Estranged'. In complete contrast to such a wonderful and extravagant example of their brilliance they then get bogged down in some average yet pompous material.
'I Won't Look Down' is full of drama and bombast without having that magic ingredient which is a respectable structure. 'My Belief' starts out like a Scorpions riff before some organ brings about some originality and the song then settles in its skin. With a hint of AC/DC right at the beginning of 'Red On A Sleeve' this along with 'My Belief' both provide some groove and some punchy moments.
You can hear the band really striving for some magic and feeling the pressure of the success they achieved with their previous studio album. Interestingly bassist Marc Lynn stated: "We feel we have to and really want to prove that the great quality of 'Firebirth' wasn't just a flash in the pan. And I'm sure we'll show exactly that."
'What You Get' is bursting at the seams with strings and works well as does 'Maybe' which showcases the mellower side of the band, and includes a female lead vocalist adding a different texture. So overall, 'Bang!' is a strong album with perhaps two weak songs to blemish what could have been a truly inspiring release.
This second studio outing for Nic Maeder maintains his strong presence within the line-up and fans will love this album.
Melodies and some solid song-writing combine with their muscular approach. It really could be a case of "bangin' around the world" as Gotthard would have us believe during the title track.
Get Up N'Move...
Feel What I Feel
C'est La Vie
Jump The Gun
Spread Your Wings
I Won't Look Down
Red On A Sleeve
What You Get
Mr. Ticket Man