Review by Woody
Age of Reflection’s acronym AOR is an apt name for this new Scandinavian band as their style is of the pure AOR variety. I suspect the name may have been born from expanding on that acronym when choosing a band name. I was surprised to discover that the musicians who make up the core of this band were previously in an Industrial metal band as there is no connection in style whatsoever this is eighties inspired melodic rock to the T. These guys wanted to create a melodic rock album in its purest sense and they did so with a loving affection for the genre.
On my first listen through of this album I was impressed, enjoyed it and thought it was a good melodic rock record, not earth shattering, but good! My opinion changed though after my next couple of plays as my appreciation of the songs increased exponentially and I really got wrapped up in this infectiously warm pure AOR. I think genre fans will be impressed in general and I think these guys will build up a strong support similar to what bands like Work Of Art have achieved in recent times.
The songs are well crafted with a defined vision for the overall sound in mind during the song writing process. It’s obvious these guys have a passion and love for the genre and that is felt when these guys throw their take on the genre at us. Whilst it is pure AOR, the guitars are slightly harder edged which gives the album a nice punch and the keyboards are subtler but still critical to the bands overall sound, like the keyboard hook on ‘Blame It On My Heart’ which had me biting my lip in ecstasy!
In The Heat Of The Night has everything a genre fan desires and it’s on show in abundance throughout the album. There’s lots of delicious melodies, big choruses, smooth vocal harmonies and songs that have a beautifully mesmerising tone. The smooth vocals and driven guitars will really capture AOR fans interest and I can see this album been talked about a lot in the coming months.
Sticking to ten tracks also means no filler has slipped into the mix making the album more impressive when you listen to it as a whole. It’s the radio hit’s in the waiting like ‘Every Time’ and ‘Evelyn’ that excite me most but I know listeners will also be impressed with the mesmerising ‘The Mirror Never Lies’ and the understated ballad ‘Always’ with its vocal harmony embellished chorus.
Erik Martensson who is doing his best to become a genre legend with his song writing, producing and his own band Eclipse has mixed and mastered this album and his done a superb job for these guys as the songs really benefit from his luxurious production job!
Classy memorable melodic rock tunes like ‘Evelyn’, ‘Every Time’ and ‘Blame It On My Heart’ should make Age of Reflection instant AOR Heroes! In The Heat Of The Night is a very impressive debut of near perfect pure AOR!
Track Listing: Borderline / The Mirror Never Lies / Every Time / In The Heat Of The Night / Always / Evelyn / Blame It On My Heart / Now and Forever / You Are My Light / Dying For Your Love / Every Time (Alternate Version)
Album Rating: 9/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Blame It On My Heart
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