As I try to catch up on my albums to review I decided to pick one based on its title and cover art. For those who don't know, I am a 46 year comic book collector who gravitates towards anything superhero or comic book related... so why not listen to an album called SUPERHERO? WOW... i'm so glad i did!
Not knowing anything about State Of Salazar I didn't know what to expect at all, but just a few minutes into the albums first track, If You Wait For Me and I was hooked... and hooked bad! The band have a sound that combines the best of commercial hard rock and the pop aspects of progressive rock. From song to song, State Of Salazar takes the musical pedigree of ASIA, the ear candy of Journey, the grooves of Toto and combines it with the hard rock push of Europe and UFO. What you get is an album full of amazing songs and brilliant performances.
The band; Marcus Nygren, guitarist Johan Thuresson, keyboardist Kevin Hosford, bassist Johannes Hansson and drummer Kristian Brun are amazing and certainly wear their influences on their collective sleeves. The danger of a modern band making AOR style music is that the material and performances can be at times cringe worthy, but here, everything is just... perfect. A perfect example of this is the ballad, Lie To Me, features a duet with Kristina Talajic and it just melts your heart with its passion.
Now for the bad!!!!! I am a week away from presenting my Top Ten albums of 2017 and with the late release of SUPERHERO, my list is all screwed up!!!! Good for State Of Salazar... bad for me. As I listen to the album over and over (x20) I just fall in love with the brightness, clarity and very clean production. With each pass I keep hearing elements of Kansas, Kate Bush, Shooting Star, GTR, Meat Loaf, Survivor, Chicago, Phil Collins, A-ha... this album is so good!
Sweden has been the home for some of the best new music in recent years and State Of Salazar has found a nice spot with bands like Ghost, Manimal, Palace and Perfect Plan. If you love your rock with a certain bit of sophistication, sweetness and 'pomp', SUPERHERO is your album. it's my album!!!!
Matman Rating - 5 out of 5
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.