I am going to go ahead and say I had no idea who this band was before listening. I saw their album reviews on other sites I visit and the ratings were really good so I decided to check out the album. And let me tell you, those reviews were no where close to how I good this album really is. I will put it out there…this is my FAVORITE album so far this year. It is unbelievable!!
Now, who is Reach? Reach is a band out of Sweden and ‘The Great Divine’ is actually their second album. I completely missed the first. The band is now a power trio and consists of the following members:
- Ludvig Turner (Guitars & Vocals)
- Marcus Johansson (Drums)
- Soufian Ma’Aoui (Bass)
The album was was recorded at Rocksta Sound Studio, produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) and mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe, Avatar). That is the basic summary I have found on the band. They are labeled as a melodic rock band as it seems most bands from Sweden seemed to be labeled. Well, that and Glam. But I feel that label limits them. They have that sound – the strong hooks and melodies, but their sound is also so modern and varied that I think they are so much more. Ludvig’s vocal abilities are definitely showcased throughout the album.
The album explodes with the opening track “Into Tomorrow”. It is a modern, hard driving, pounding rock song that borders on metal and it immediately caught my attention. If that wasn’t enough, the title track “The Great Divine” is another ear burner that now confirmed I was in for something special. The song is just as heavy and even adds a little orchestration to it. To finish off the trio of opening tracks is yet another heavy ass song, “Live or Die”. There is no letting up on the beating you are taking and never has being musically assaulted felt so right.
The first thing you notice on the album is the strong production value. The guitar, bass and drums are all heard distinctly and the vocal levels are spot on. Jona has found a way to produce an album with A+ value and each member is spotlighted and nothing is missed. The drum sound is really one of the strong features. Jona dotted his i’s and crossed his t’s with this one. Just spectacular.
Back to the songs, “Nightmare” is up next. This song seems to be heavily influenced in the chorus by the Muse’s “Uprising”, but it takes it to a darker, heavier level. The pacing of that chorus is eerily similar and in a good way. It actually starts to show the vocal ability of Ludvig and shows the band can change up their style with a little Alternative Rock on this one (but way heavier).
“Off the Edge” starts to show their Melodic Rock expertise. It is what I would expect from a band with that label. With this song and “Running on Empty”, you get just a straight up rock sound and some outstanding choruses and very catchy, contagious songs. “Running On Empty” is a personal favorite on the album. Then with “One Life”, they throw in the quintessential power ballad that our world is so sorely missing. There are not enough power ballads in music today!!
“Shame” is up next and maybe I am listening to too much Panic at the Disco (thanks to my daughter always blaring it), but I swear there are some of their elements in this song. Especially Ludvig’s vocals. He throws a little theatrical flare into the vocals on this one which is similar to Brendon Urie. I might as well go ahead an add this song to my Top Rock Songs of 2018 as I can see this one ending up on that list. It is that good!! We are on Song #8 and it is the best one. This song actually was unexpected and blew me away. This shows the real talent of the band. Should I keep going or do you understand that this song is awesome???
They guitar on this one is just killer. “You Say” kicks it up another notch and just rocks the hell out! It is another splendid performance for Ludvig. I read some comments that his vocals aren’t the greatest and I am sitting here thinking what the fuck are they talking about. His range and ability to change styles is remarkable. He is now one of my new favorite singers. He is actually the main reason I really dig this album.
The album ends with the song “River Deep” and this song is a complete departure from the rest of the album. It is more classic rock sounding than modern. The style doesn’t really fit the album and is is my only negative…not a negative for the song only that it is a different vibe and feel from the rest. The song is actually pretty freaking great. It starts off a little slower pacing and sound and then turns a rawer. I could take an album of this stuff as well.
- Into Tomorrow
- The Great Divine
- Live Or Die
- Off The Edge
- One Life
- Running On Empty
- You Say
- River Deep
*All Keepers nothing to delete
10 keepers out of 10 songs – 100% (4.75 out 5.0 stars) Even though I would not delete a track, I did deduct a bit for the last song messing up the flow and feel of the album even though I do love the track. If that song would have flowed better with the rest, it would have received 5 stars.
Reach has come back strong with an album that is now in contention for one of the Top Rock Albums of 2018. It has been a slow year so far for me with great rock albums and Reach delivered in spades. The production value was strong and the band sounded tight and in control. The music was modern rock played to perfection. If you can’t tell I loved this album then apparently you weren’t paying attention. Go back and re-read. Better yet, get out and buy this album. You will not be disappointed.