You Picked It! – The Poodles – ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’ – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! This one was never really close. A couple made some last minute moves to catch the leader, but there was no catching this dog as it ended up not even close. The winner this month was The Poodles’ ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’.

  1. The Poodles – ‘Metal Will Stand Tall – 7 votes
  2. Gotthard – ‘Lipservice’ – 3 votes
  3. Jorn – ‘Worldchanger’ – 2 votes
  4. Passion – ‘Passion’ – 2 votes
  5. Reach – ‘The Promise of Life – 1 vote

Thanks to all for participating. The April choices will be up on Saturday! And the choices are all from my collection and the next one will all be focused all on Rock Candy Re-issues. Hopefully you can help me decide which one I should review. And to note, it will be the very last You Pick It! we do hear as there isn’t enough participation to make this worth doing anymore, I’m just going to start pulling from my collection and reviewing on my own going forward. Thanks all for playing along.


The Poodles are a Swedish glam/metal band and how I came across them is thanks to two things. First was as Andrew McNeice talked about them a lot. The second was the fact that The Poodles had a strong connection to Jeff Scott Soto. Both the lead singer, Jakob Samuel and guitarists Pontus Norgren were in Jeff Scott Soto’s band Talisman. The funny thing is that Jakob was a drummer back then, now he is front and center as a lead singer. Now, what I find interesting is how the Poodles came to being. Jakob was asked to sing the song “Night of Passion” for the Swedish music contest Melodifestivalen in 2006. The winner of this contest goes on to compete in the major contest called Eurovision. Well, Jakob compiled a band together including Pontus Nogren as well as Pontus Egberg on bass and Christian Lundqvist on drums. The band didn’t win, but they did come in fourth which is pretty darn respectable. From there, they went and did an album and here we are.

When you hear The Poodles, you are immediately transferred back to a time when the Glam and Melodic rock scene was at its peak around the world with acts like Bon Jovi and that ilk…well in Sweden that genre never has seemed to die out as they are putting out some great bands with The Poodles leading the charge. The opening track, “Echoes From The Past” comes roaring out of the gate with its pounding drums and gritty guitar riffs. Jakob’s vocals have a grit to them and yet sound so silky smooth and his vocals can soar to the heaven’s. It is full of hooks and harmonies and everything you want in a great rock song.

The next track, “Metal Will Stand Tall” is sort of a cover as it was performed by Jakob’s prior band Midnight Sun. This version is slightly different and is another kick-ass rocker. The anthemic, hard driving song is as metal as it gets with these guys. The song is a duet with Tess Merkel of the Swedish pop group Alcazar. Her voice fits perfectly with Jakob’s as they both can kill those high notes. One of my favorite tracks on the album. “Night of Passion” is up next and it was the song that started it all. Written by Robert Olausson, Maiti Alfonzetti, Sonja Aldén and Johan Lyander, The song races through you and pulls you in. The chorus is catchy and will hook you in as well. A fun, rocking track that gives you more of what you want from this band. More pop/rock/glammy goodness.

The first ballad is “Song for You” and if this is glam music, you got to have ballads. The operatic opening vocals, the piano all set you up for a different, yet engaging song. It goes soft in the verses with mostly Jakob’s vocals and a little picking but not much else. Then the band explodes in those choruses and off we go to the races. As far as ballads go, this is a pretty damn fine entry in to that fold. “Shadows” is another song not written by the band, and this first album has quite a few. The song has a very dramatic opening and then sees Jakob drop a few octaves in his vocals before coming back to what you want to hear from him. Another solid rocker. Then we get to “Lie To Me” which picks things back up in a more lighter tone but it is still heavy and those choruses really rise to new heights. A good time is had by all with this one. This one was written by Holly Knight and Tommy Denander both big time writers.

“RockStar” is another ballad and for me doesn’t work as well as the last one. It goes slow during the verses like it should, but the slow is a little dull and boring. The chorus gets louder and heavier, but still lacks any real excitement. Not a favorite track on this one, but not a total clunker either. Then we get a cover of Ultravox’s “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes” and The Poodles turn this synth-pop track in to a rocker with a lot of guitars and heavy drums. But it is still a lighter fare as there are still some keyboards and actually quite a great version of this song. A strange choice, but they made it their own for sure.

The creepy opening of “Don’t Give Up On Love” turns in to a melodic rock gem with a great riff, more heart pounding drums and a great groove. Jakob’s vocals feel right at home and the song feels like a comforting blanket as it wraps around you and lucious sounds. And “Number One” is second to none as they say. That Samuels’ grit bites through the verses and then screams its way through the chorus. A blast of a track in its almost anthemic style.

“Kingdom of Heaven” gives us more of a Talisman connection as this one was written by Jakob with the help of Talisman founder, the late, great Marcel Jacobs. It is one of the heavier tracks on the album. It sounds a little more modern than the other tracks, but still has that glam feel to it. A fast paced melodic rockfest that races through with an urgency that is delivered in those speedy lyrics thrown out by Jakob. More of what you want in this type of music. And finally, we get the final ballad, “Crying”. It is an emotionally filled performance by Jakob with only his vocals and a piano at the beginning and then it turns grand with some beautiful orchestration and the band delivers another sensational ballad.

My version of the album is the Limited Edition version. It comes with 3 bonus tracks including the Radio Mix of their Melodifestivalen contest song “Night of Passion” and is just as good as the album version. You also get to live versions on here taken from the 2006 Sweden Rock Festival. First is “Echos From the Past” and then “Song for You” and both sound live as they are rough around the edges, but they hold true to the original songs and the band sounds really fantastic. Jakob doesn’t quite sound as perfect as the album, but that is the whole point of live and he still kills. We also get two music videos on the Enhanced CD for the songs “Metal Will Stand Tall” which is above and “Song for You” which isn’t on Youtube currently that I could find. If you get this album, this is the version to grab in my book.

If it isn’t obvious, I do love The Poodles. Sweden has really captured this genre and flown the flag for years and years. They keep putting out great bands that would’ve have literally blown up the charts if this was the 80’s, but this is the 2000’s and they aren’t getting the recognition they deserve here in the States which is why I am glad this one the votes so we can wave the flag for them. If you like great glam rock, melodic rock with a tinge of metal, then this should be in your collection. The whole album wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty damn awesome. My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars and one I listen to quite a bit, so give them a chance. This was the start of some great things to come!!


17 thoughts on “You Picked It! – The Poodles – ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’ – Album Review

  1. I’m not surprised to find out they’re Swedish. Too bad the band is no longer. I will have to check this out at some point.

    My inlaws had a yippy poodle once. Thank goodness they don’t sound like that animal.


    Liked by 1 person

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