Category Archives: Europe

Europe – War of Kings [Album Review]

Europe_War_of_Kings_album.jpg

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”

Band:
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”

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EUROPE – The Final Countdown

Europe – The Final Countdown [Remastered Edition] (2001, Sony Music Entertainment/Epic Records/Legacy Recordings)
Original Release: 1986, Epic Records

Track Listing:
1. “The Final Countdown” … 5:11
2. “Rock the Night” … 4:03
3. “Carrie” … 4:30
4. “Danger on the Track” … 3:45
5. “Ninja” … 3:46
6. “Cherokee” … 4:13
7. “Time Has Come” … 4:01
8. “Heart of Stone” … 3:46
9. “On the Loose” … 3:08
10. “Love Chaser” … 3:33
BONUS TRACKS
11. “The Final Countdown” [Live] … 5:12
12. “Danger on the Track” [Live] … 4:00
13. “Carrie” [Live] … 4:40

Band:
Joey Tempest – Vocals
John Norum – Guitars
John Levén – Bass
Ian Haugland – Drums
Mic Michaeli – Keyboard

Produced by: Kevin Elson

Just about anyone who has been to a sporting event is familiar with “The Final Countdown”. And that may have been humorous the first few times it was played, that song is over 20 years old and it’s time to stop. It’s not cute anymore. Anyway, the song is gloriously cheesy as is the rest of this pop-metal masterpiece.

“Carrie” was a big hit ballad for the band, and it’s a great one, but songs like “Rock the Night” and “Cherokee” have proven to me this band really has legs and can rock when they want to. It was actually thanks to The Boneyard channel on XM Radio that convinced me to buy this album because for a while, they kept playing both of those songs.

The album is definitely cheesy all around, there’s just some albums that CANNOT be blasted on your car stereo with the windows down, but it’s a really fun pop-metal album.

Highlights: “The Final Countdown”, “Rock the Night”, “Carrie”, “Danger on the Track”, “Ninja”, Cherokee”

www.europetheband.com
www.myspace.com/europe

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