Review: Autumn’s Child – Zenith
Pride & Joy Music (January 14th 2022)
Reviewer: Chris O’ Connor
Oh My! I know this sounds odd, but this brand new from Scandie rockers Autumn’s Child is almost certain to be amongst my top albums for 2022! It is an absolute monster! Choc-a-bloc full of melodic jewels and masterful performances, it is just about as perfect an AOR album as you could ever hope to hear! I’m sure you will know the band’s line-up: Michael Erlandsson (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Pontus Åkesson (lead guitar), Claes Andreasson (piano), Magnus Rosen (bass) and Robban Bäck (drums), you really could not ask for a more outstanding line-up of musicians.
There are also a host of guests appearing on ‘Zenith’: Jona T. (H.E.A.T.) (keyboard) on ‘Emergency’, Sayit Dölen (rhythm guitar) on ‘High On Love’, Martin Olsson (bass) on ‘Angel Of Danger’, ‘Evangeline’, ‘Love Is A Fighter’ and ‘Nightingale’, Anna-Mia Bonde (background vocals) on ‘Emergency’, Rasmus Ehrnborn (Soilwork, Night Flight Orchestra) guitar on ‘Don’t Wanna’, and Roberth Nygren (acoustic guitar) on ‘Heaven Can Wait’.
The album kicks off with the pulsing ‘Emergency’, a wonderful statement of intent that immediately gets you singing along lustily, it’s everything that is so wonderful about Melodic Rock. Then unbelievably it gets better still! ‘Evangeline’ is an absolute masterstroke of song writing – had this been given to the likes of Take That, it would be a number one hit without a shadow of a doubt, it’s a sublime slice of Pop Rock/AOR with a chorus to die for with stunning guitar throughout, I simply adore this song.
‘Love Is A Fighter’ is another perfect slice of MelRock, it’s one of those songs that needs to be played loudly while cruising in an open-top car. These guys write choruses so effortlessly! ‘Nightingale’ is an epic Power Ballad, a slow paced ‘lighter in the air’ number. It features a wonderful soaring guitar solo and a fabulously emotive vocal, damn this is SO good! ‘Never Say Die’ fires up with an Eddie van Halen-esque guitar break, before erupting into a stunning verse that leads into an equally perfect chorus and features yet another gravity defying guitar solo! How do they keep writing such gems?
‘Heaven Can Wait’ is a second Power Ballad, keyboard led with a lovely soulful vocal from Michael, and a chorus that simply lifts you up and genuinely makes my hair stand on end … it’s nothing short of magical. ‘Angel Of Danger’ is an up-tempo rocker, the rhythm section powering the song along effortlessly, while Pontus tears off another stunning solo, and again, features a wonderful sing-along chorus. ‘High On Love’ is yet another classy Melodic gem, and again the band create a perfect chorus that simply makes you want to sing along at the top of your voice.
‘Crowdpleaser’ begins with a stuttering guitar riff that almost feels like it is slipping into Southern Rock territory, but (of course) features a glorious chorus, and another fabulous vocal performance from Michael. No band should be this good, it’s enough to make others give up hope entirely! ‘Don’t Wanna’ is a fast and furious rocker that tears along with guitars blazing and ‘hits a home run’ with its pulsing chorus, it’s breathless stuff. Finally, ‘Damaged Goods’ begins with a gentle acoustic guitar, and develops into a sombre themed number, which despite its sad lyric, musically remains powerful and almost uplifting – it’s a curious contradiction that really shouldn’t work but does so beautifully anyway.
In ‘Zenith’, Autumn’s Child have created an absolute monster of an album, it’s genuinely a case of ‘all killer no filler’ as from beginning to end it is crafted with such love and passion that it sits comfortably way above almost every other recent AOR/Melodic Rock album in comfortable ease. Albums that are nigh on perfect are rare beasts, so do yourselves a favour, don’t hesitate, buy this … I guarantee that you WILL love it!