Europe
War of Kings


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (277 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2015 | 18 replies


Release Date: 03/06/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Europe prove they still exist, and more importantly, that this isn't their "final countdown".

Has it already been almost thirty years since that decade-defining glam metal number "The Final Countdown" dominated the charts" Had it never been released, there's a great chance Europe wouldn't even exist anymore. Disagree with that if you will, but now the year is 2015, and the Swedish rock veterans are flushing out albums every two years to prove their modern musical career is, if anything, consistent. And whilst Europe will most likely never hit their 80s-winning formula with the same vigour or panache again, it is quite nice to hear the band are plodding on as the years roll by and each member comes closer to death.

2015 sees the release of latest album War of Kings, which, if anything, is undeniably predictable. And is there anything wrong with that" Of course not, because it's common knowledge that what Europe are doing now is the exact same thing as Thunder, Def Leppard and Poison amongst others-They're trying to survive as opposed to fitting in. The tenth studio effort is as remarkable as you want it to be, without ever attempting to alienate fanbases by an abrupt change in genre or simply attempting to create another "Final Countdown". The opening title track is Europe's way of simply saying "We're back!", and it certainly manages to create the image of a band basically enjoying the time they have left. The keyboard-laden rhythm section is decent if a little average, and Tempest's vocals have much the same effect-not just on the title track, but throughout most of the album too. Sure, you can tell Joey's voice is aging as the years roll by, but that's as much of an obvious statement as saying that Europe are, at heart, still an 80s group. Songs like "Hole in My Pocket", "Second Day" and "Days of Rock 'N' Roll" are as a result simply outdated, but they're just what fans would want from a typical Europe album. The guitar solos are appropriately enough the most interesting thing about the instrumentation, and attempt to bring each song out of mediocrity by simply rushing ahead to the end. The softer, more ballad-like tunes here suffer in the same way, plodding at a pace which merely encapsulate Europe's need to change the pop-rock formula a little. "Second Day" and "Angels (With Broken Hearts)" are staples of this, providing a more upbeat mid-section leaving the rest of each song to fizzle out in soppy albeit memorable fashion.

Tempest's vocals here, as said before, are aged and unreliable, yet at the same time give off a strong sense of nostalgia strangely enough. He never hits notes any higher than you would think, and surely enough it makes songs as instrumentally exciting as "Nothin' To Ya" and "Children of the Mind" just drag a little. But this isn't necessarily bad, because he's obviously trying his best to stay relevant. For that reason alone, no-one should be expecting another "The Final Countdown". To complement this however, there a few surprisingly nice moments scattered throughout War of Kings. The most obvious of these are how well integrated the keyboard work is. It's just about the freshest aspect of the general sound here, and at times there are even solos for a more cinematic, epic experience, in particular the brief mid-section of "Praise You" and the slightly more majestic instrumental "Vasastan". Together with a typical rhythm section and predictable vocal delivery then, it works as well as you would want to. Apart from that, the keyboards merely add icing to an otherwise fairly tasty cake, and when all the instruments crunch together to offer a more in-your-face experience, as in the somewhat powerful "Rainbow Bridge", you'll be feeling grateful, if not pleasantly surprised.

War of Kings is more like a continuation of Europe's legacy than anything else. Each band member does their job more or less right, without ever trying to deviate from the norm or even throw the listener off course with abrupt changes in style. For that reason alone, you should already know if you'll like this or not, because it's simply another modern Europe album, and that's that. If you never liked them in the first place, just pass this by and let others who do like it indulge themselves. And if you're one of the true fans, then it does everything on your checklist. 2015 is here, and so are Europe. Welcome back gents.



Recent reviews by this author
Flotsam and Jetsam The End of ChaosMalevolent Creation The 13th Beast
In the Woods... Cease the DayThe Algorithm Compiler Optimization Techniques
A Forest of Stars Grave Mounds and Grave MistakesSiege of Power Warning Blast
user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sabrutin
March 23rd 2015


5945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice, don't know if I'll bother checking but I may do it. I enjoyed the new Toto (see the sound off), I want some more 80s cheese because there is never enough.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 23rd 2015


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review Robert and agreed on the rating.



There are a few Deep Purple and Whitesnake influences on here which is always a good thing but overall I don't know if I'll listen to this album again.

Digging: King Diamond - Songs for the Dead Live

rockandmetaljunkie
March 23rd 2015


7730 Comments


"There are a few Deep Purple and Whitesnake influences on here"

That's exactly what I read from various reviews over the web and that's why I downloaded this album. But in all honesty, I can't see how this will turn out to be an interesting listen.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2015


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I expected this one to be rubbish but it's very decent so agreed, Arcade.

Necrotica
March 28th 2015


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Joey's vocals on here remind me quite a lot of Dio

EVA2015
April 9th 2015


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0



This is one of that reviews in which the writer has already preconceived opinion about the band, in this case bad opinion, due to their past in which many people use their image regardless of which make great music. WAR OF KINGS has nothing to do with the EUROPE of the past ... "Hole in my pocket" is to keep the line of the past? You have no idea. They are quality musicians such as John Norum, exceptional guitarist, Joey's voice is more torn now but still powerful, and the other three musicians are outstanding. You have no idea what is EUROPE, it is clear that you liked the album but can not speak too highly of this band and don't know how to express it. I do not understand you give them a "good" rate and say bad things about the band, as they try to "survive" taking away dignity as a band, or follow the line of the past, when everybody is agree about the musical change of the band. I do not like your review. I think you should be more honest, if you keep thinking EUROPE as the band of the past and do not like, write it, but if you like and has surprised you do not fill the review of negative comments about them and then give a "good". WAR OF KINGS is an amazing album and sounds really great in live, I've seen them with Black Star Riders some weeks ago, and it was really great.

Titan
April 9th 2015


19176 Comments


have a drink on me

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2015


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2015


2586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't quite know how to reply to your "negative" comment EVA, so I'll just say this.



Why not give your own take on the album? The way I see it, it could use a more "positive" write-up.

Digging: Kaleikr - Heart of Lead

Titan
April 10th 2015


19176 Comments


haha he created the account just to comment on your review

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2015


2586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, I feel so special now :D

EVA2015
April 11th 2015


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hello linguist2011, yes! Why not? Here you have my review about WAR OF KINGS for the Rock Web MAXMETAL in Spain: http://www.maxmetal.net/2015/03/europe-war-of-kings/ Is in spanish, but he's the translation of some comments, ... you can you can criticize me, I will understand.



RATE 9/10



" ... Few bands have managed to survive so well to a break and being the owners of an almost global anthem, but EUROPE did it and in a brilliantly way. Since their return in 2004, with all the original members of the band have continued to evolve in a masterly way delving into a rock at times darker how their two fabulous first albums from the meeting "Start from the dark" and "Secret Society" the very well welcomed " Last look at Eden "and its touch-laden blues" Bag of Bones ". Their music is pure classic rock with influences from the 70s and its strong point are their concerts, a Joey Tempest in top form leads a band that runs like clockwork precision class and talent show in every performance on stage. And now surprise us with their tenth album "WAR OF KINGS" you will be captivated is a journey.



Excellent album, you do not need to be a fan of the band to like, just have to find good rock and great emotions. I think Dave Cobb, producer of bands like RIVAL SONS, has signed a major work by strengthening the individual work of each musician in the service of the common good it is to get an album of great lineage as well have been, but respecting the essence of this band . EUROPE has managed to carve a path full of light without being influenced by their past, without being overwhelmed by the weight of its name, full of good ideas that have developed their talents, are now a band with a very strong personality and we are accustomed to large timeless rock songs. Continue its strong way, earning the respect and admiration of audiences and critics, and best, the wonderful future that lies ahead. Long live EUROPE "

Titan
April 11th 2015


19176 Comments


so this is a classic EVA?

rockandmetaljunkie
April 11th 2015


7730 Comments


apparently it is for him

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2015


2586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

EVA2015-Nice job Bro

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2015


32190 Comments


Except for when he reported this comment:

Don't quite know how to reply to your "negative" comment EVA, so I'll just say this.



Why not give your own take on the album? The way I see it, it could use a more "positive" write-up.


But yeah, nice job bro

EVA2015
April 12th 2015


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

linguist2011- Thank you so much, very kind.



Titan- It is an album that grows, high quality and with many nuances. We still do not know if it's a "classic" the time will tell us, but it's definitely my bet.

mifzal
January 13th 2019


3220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually liked this more I should



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy