Review: Code Red – Incendiary
AOR Heaven (Oct 20th 2017)
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
How often these days are reviews started with “Swedish Melodic Rockers” and here we have another new name to add to that list although many of the band members will already be familiar to you. Code Red is the culmination of collaboration work between Ulrick Lönnquist (Sahara) and respected producer Daniel Flores (Find Me, Jim Jidhed), and they have not only put together a very strong band to create this album, and it is rather good, with Flores also taking care of drum duties. Rounding out the band are Michael Palace (Palace) on bass, Oscar Bromvall (Palace) & Morgan Jensen (Swedish Erotica) guitars and Kasper Dahlqvist (keyboards), very impressive lineup.
‘Incendiary‘ features ten tracks, that are thankfully a little different sounding to most of the releases out there right now moment. Perhaps most of that is down to the vocal style of Ulrick. Musically the band sound in places a little like Alien to these ears, and that thought certainly wasn’t planted because of the Cover Art being designed by none other than Ken Sandin, bass player for the afore mentioned Alien.
There is an interesting mix between a slightly harder edge, they at times exhibit, and the more purely melodic tracks on offer here, but this is definitely in the AOR realm. Ulrick’s vocals are superb throughout, powerful and delicate at the same time.
Highlights include the rousing opener ‘I Won’t Be Your Hero‘ which really sets up the album well, as with everywhere else the keyboards play an integral part to the overall sound and add a nice punch to a number of the tracks. The very poppy ‘Lift Me Up‘ is terrifically upbeat, and it just works so well, the chorus really does life you up. And then there’s the really excellent ‘Heat Of The Night‘ which just kicks things up a gear, everything just works so well together on this one, great flow to it and the higher pitch of the backing vocals is just about perfect on this track. There is a control in the guitar solo that again just works so well with the accompanying riff, and Ulrick gets a little heavier on the vocal before the song fades out very naturally.
There is very little not to like here, very talented performers working with a top producer results in something that just adds another name to the watch-list for when we hopefully get a follow up album. This is a really interesting album, very well put together and it would be a great shame were it not to be toured.
But with the artists that play on this album all being very busy with their own projects it may not be possible. However, in whatever format, it would be great to see them live.