Review: Wildness – Ultimate Demise
AOR Heaven (October 30th 2020)
Reviewer: David Pearce
Wildness are a Swedish Melodic Rock group who formed in 2014. After two successful single releases in 2016 they began to record their eponymously titled debut album and released it in 2017. They then built up a big reputation on the live circuit, playing festivals and concerts around Europe. Now, three years on they are releasing their second album. It’s produced by the drummer Erik Modin and he, along with guitarists Adam Holmstrom and Pontus Skold, bass player Marcus Sjosand and vocalist Erik Forsberg have released their long awaited follow-up ‘Ultimate Demise‘.
An instrumental track that gathers pace isn’t what you are expecting for a melodic rock band, but ‘Call Of The Wild‘ is an early sign that Wildness want to avoid being pigeonholed by the expectations of the genre. ‘Die Young‘ is a more traditional track that showcases the smooth vocals of Forsberg who belts out the chorus with a Joey Tempest style swagger.
‘Nowhere Land‘ is far heavier than the first two tracks with pounding drums and driving guitars that propel the Iron Maiden style introduction. The rougher edge of Forsberg’s vocals show a gravelly edge that shows he can easily handle the heavier end of the spectrum. ‘Cold Words‘ is an 80’s style AOR that showcases the fact that he has a range of rock vocal styles he can slip into with little apparent effort.
‘Renegades of Love‘ is a track with a brilliant guitar led introduction that sets up a song in the vein of Rock the Night that really lifts the album on to a new level and is one of the two best tracks for me. ‘Falling into Pieces‘ starts with an almost psychedelic guitar that reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and this together with Forsberg’s vocals give this song a real touch of class that makes it my clear favourite. It is a superb track that stands alongside any classic rock track you care to mention.
It is a really strong pair of songs that show the real quality of these guys. ‘Burning It Down‘ is a no-nonsense rock track that gives the listener another quality tune to listen to. ‘My Hideaway‘ goes back to the tried and trusted melodic rock template and shows the influence that Europe still have on their fellow Swedes.
‘Denial‘ is another workout for the members of the band as they hit the tune with everything they’ve got and get their reward with another impactful piece of rock. ‘Borderline‘ starts with what sounds like a Springsteen style guitar solo which really makes the listener sit up and take notice before moving back on to more familiar melodic rock territory. It shows that they are a group who can keep surprising the listener.
The final track, ‘The Ultimate Demise‘, is a fitting finale to the album, blending together all that is best about the group. Their tight playing, their ear for a tune and the vocals of Forsberg really make them stand out for the competition. ‘Ultimate Demise‘ is a really good album with a pair of absolutely fantastic tracks in the middle. ‘Falling into Pieces‘ is now officially my favourite rock track of 2020!