Review – Alien – Into The Future
AOR Heaven (November 27th 2020)
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
Alien is definitely a name synonymous with Swedish AOR and the stunning vocals of Jim Jidhed, so it’s great to see the band releasing some new music, and although the sound has changed a fair bit on this one it’s still very much Alien and well worth your attention. There are definitely a couple of surprising tracks among the mix, but I never see anything wrong with some changes, we have to remember these are not the same people they were 30 years ago. That being said there have also been some changes in personnel this time around, so who will bring this collection of songs to us live, when that can eventually happen, time will tell.
The new album contains 11 tracks of hard edged Rock, with a mix of styles. Mainly Hard Rock but throw in the very Celtic inspired ‘Night Of Fire‘ (which reminds me of the Moore/Lynott classic “Out In The Fields”, though not quite at that level) or the more aggressive kick of ‘Into The Future‘ this album is littered with power drums, riffs and solos that you may not expect but it’s still all good solid rock with a Metal edge in places too. For me the more melodic songs work best and perhaps the flow and balance are thrown off a bit in places.
Highlights for me on this one are the very melodic ‘Time Is Right‘ that just hooks you in, the aforementioned ‘Into The Future‘ which almost has elements of a progressive nature, rolls along like a steamroller and grabbed me on first listen, having lived with the album for quite some time now it’s still grabbing my attention. For me the 2nd half of the album is much more in the melodic style that works best, and ‘Fallin’ Way Down’ is just excellent alongside ‘In Her Eyes‘. The closing track ‘Children‘ is a brooding ballad that works well and ties things off nicely..
I’m sure this one is going to, at the very least, split opinions and probably not go down too well with some, you can’t please everyone, but I always like to keep an open mind and heart, and for me the important thing is that there are some cracking songs on this album, which is no less than I expected.
Lets be honest any output from this band is going to be high quality, with a vocalist like Jim Jidhed at the mic it’s always a pleasure to hear the results, this is Alien version 2020 alright, but there are still a lot of the elements we would expect here along with a boost of energy and some extra crunch in the riffs. ‘Into The Future‘ may not go down as a classic album, but it certainly shows a different side to the band and will definitely be interesting to see where they take it from here. Certainly don’t just cast this one aside, this band has more to give but it’s a solid effort at moving in a different direction.