Review: C.O.P II – Enemy
Pride & Joy Music (October 7th, 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
The band C.O.P (an acronym for the band members first initials in their name) is back after a seven-year hiatus with their second release ‘Enemy‘. Featuring former members of the band Grand Illusion, their sound can best be described as AOR with a heavy emphasis on keyboard and high tenor melodies. Being unfamiliar with their previous album or their old band, I decided to give this a blind listen.
With grandiose opening track ‘The Enemy’, I realized quick that I made a good decision. With a thick drum beat and trigger effects gloriously emphasized with the chorus, the band keeps the song interesting through small melody changes that keep the listener guessing where the song will go on the first playthrough.
‘For You’ follows and is a more straight forward AOR track. It is a standard mid-tempo rocker done very well but nothing that would make it stand out exceptionally. It is one of the more forgettable songs amongst the collection. Track 3’s ‘Fighting Your Ghosts’ quickly brings things back and is as good a track as the album opener. The song fools you into thinking it is a ballad, but with urgency and high energy, the song bursts to life with a driving melody that is sure to get your legs bouncing and your head bobbing.
It’s at this point in the album that things falter somewhat. Lead singer Peter Sundell has a high vocal register, and he stays well within key for the first three songs, but with Track 4’s ‘Too Late’, he goes off the rails. The song is a solid rock number but its opening screams at the beginning and the very end are nearly intolerable. Peter goes an octave too high, well outside of his range and his vocals come across as screechy. Fortunately, his attempts to reach these highs are kept to a minimum. He is not a powerhouse vocalist as his vocals are rather thin. Reaching highs with that type of voice should not be attempted.
A few other tracks to note. My least favorite goes to ‘The End of Time’. It has a decent enough melody but falls apart with a lifeless chorus that brings down the energy of the song. Its lack of spark made me want to listen to this less and less each time I played through the album. The boys shake things up a bit towards the end of the album with ‘Rise Up’, a fast-paced, double-based ripper of a track that sounds a little out of place with nothing in comparison, but I personally enjoy something off the beaten path to stir things up so this is a welcome melody change.
One of my favorite tracks comes at the end of the album. ‘Glorious’ starts out with what seems like a slow brooding melody but quickly changes up into a mid-tempo rocker with some fantastic keys from Christian Sundell. This is also singer Peter Sundell best vocal performance, not overextending his voice to areas he cannot handle.
Outside of three tracks, all the other songs deliver on what was promised, a solid AOR melodic release with great musicianship and appealing melodies. A worthwhile album to check out and certainly a band I would not want to wait seven years to hear from again.