Europe – War of Kings [Album Review]


Europe – War of Kings
2015, UDR Records

Buy the album

1. “War of Kings”
2. “Hole in My Pocket”
3. “The Second Day”
4. “Praise You”
5. “Nothin’ to Ya”
6. “California 405”
7. “Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll”
8. “Children of the Mind”
9. “Rainbow Bridge”
10. “Angels (With Broken Hearts)”
11. “Light It Up”
Bonus Track:
12. “Vasastan”

Joey Tempest – Vocals
John Norum – Guitars
John Levén – Bass
Ian Haugland – Drums
Mic Michaeli – Keyboards

Producer: Dave Cobb

Wow. Although I’m not extremely well-versed in Europe’s discography, I knew that they were heavier in their earlier years before they hit it big with “The Final Countdown”. They are a band I haven’t followed all that closely. A new album would come out, I’d give a few songs a spin online, wouldn’t be too impressed, and would move on.

Well, I didn’t do that with War of Kings. I went in expecting more of the same of what they’d recently been doing. I wasn’t expecting such a 1970s heavy and sometimes bluesy rock influence. Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath vibes are all over this album. This are the type of songs that the ill-fated Black Country Communion wishes they wrote. In fact, Joey Tempest cited Zep, Purple & Sabbath as the bands Europe had in mind when recording this album. He even went on to say that War of the Kings is the album the band has always wanted to make going back to their childhood when they grew up listening to those aforementioned groups.

Helping to make the vintage sound even more apparent is producer Dave Cobb who has worked with modern vintage rock band Rival Sons.

This is definitely an album worth checking out for anyone who is a fan of classic rock and metal from the 1970s. It’s riff heavy and the keyboards are used perfectly to give that Purple-esque feel on songs like “Days of Rock N Roll” while “Rainbow Bridge” has a middle eastern element and rhythm that would sound at home in a Led Zeppelin song.

This is NOT the type of album I would have expected to hear from Europe, but it’s great that I am.

Highlights: “War of Kings”, “Hole in My Pocket”, “Praise You”, “Nothin’ to Ya”, “Days of Rock N Roll”, “Vasastan”

Posted on January 26, 2016, in Europe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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