EUROPE - Walk The Earth
December 6, 2017, a year ago
So this is not your Europe who wrote “The Final Countdown” “Carrie”, and “Rock The Night”. Sure, same members from that album’s lineup, the voice Joey Tempest, but musically (and tuning) it’s something different. As Tempest states in the latest album’s title track, “We’re all moving along changing with the times”, don’t expect the catchy polished radio ready ‘80s pop metal formula. I always knew Europe were more than just the ‘80s MTV hits, and capable to branch out from their sound from Final Countdown and Out Of This World, see 91’s Prisoners In Paradise. But now, Europe sound like Deep Purple/Rainbow meets, at times, Nightwish (see “Last Look At Eden”) on recent albums Start From The Dark, Secret Society, Last Look At Eden, Bag Of Bones, War Of Kings. Even album artwork is ‘70s retro and progressive rock in its style, very influenced by UFO and Blue Oyster Cult. These influences are enjoyable.
With that, if you liked Europe’s music thus far in the new millennium, “The Siege” is driven by the Purpleish keyboards and a swirling grittier guitar sound. Tempest’s voice still sits atop the music, and John Norum continues to deliver melodic and purposeful solos. Piano and strings for “Pictures” is heartfelt, very mature and contemporary approach how to write ballad. Again, such a Purple jam between keyboards and guitar riffing in “Election Day”, while “Wolves” is moody dark and with atmosphere, very influenced by Alice in Chains. “GTO”, “Haze”, and “Whenever You're Ready” keeps things rockin’ before “Turn To Dust” ends things on a slower note.
When listening to Europe’s recent output, the change in direction and heavy Purple/Rainbow influence is enjoyable, but it’s a bit much, over power’s and really took over their ‘80s sound. Honestly wish they went back to their own roots from the first two albums, Europe and Wings Of Tomorrow more on the last six, and balanced that with trying a new sound and arrangements.