Friday, July 30, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

EUROPE "Europe" (1983)

If you only know Europe very well from their crucial award-winning "The Final Countdown", then it's wise to start backtracking their old catalogue as this eponymous debut marked the awakening of the mighty Swedish melodic metal giant, featuring the youthful aura and enthusiasm of singer Joey Tempest and guitarist John Norum. Europe opened the new chapter of their career by winning the local rock competition that sealed them a contract deal with Hot Records and also rewarded Best Singer and Guitarist Award respectively to both Tempest and Norum.

Early Europe's music is pure traditional heavy metal and you can listen to the evident tracks such as "In The Future To Come", "Farewell", "Children of This Time" or "Seven Doors Hotel". The latter mentioned song is their best track here and the first single that's successfully turned out as a huge hit in Japan. Other tracks that I like are: "The King Will Return", a typical 70s bluesy hard rock track, "Boyazont" that puts Norum at the spotlight with its killer shred, and a nice acoustical/keyboard power ballad, "Words of Wisdom".

The production is raw and not very good, and aside from a thin and quite sound, the album felt way too short. "Future" and "Hotel" are probably their most memorable tracks from this album, but you also can't miss several other underrated tracks that you can't get from a greatest hits collection. If you like classic hard rock or early 80s heavy metal, Europe's debut is a pleasant pick. Good start!

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.