Edward Saint-Ivan author of The Bla | Tampa, Fl. USA | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love rock music groups like Asia and Journey but I also love new age/jazz like Mangione so "The Final Countdown" is a natural for me. Perhaps I even detect a little of Styx in there too. This is so eighties!"
An instant classic. Must have for melodic rock/metal fans.
TFK | Jeddah, Saudi Arabia | 05/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll start off the review by admitting that this is the only Europe album I have actually heard, I will not compare it to other efforts of the band.
This album is perfect in almost every way. The production is top-notch, the melodies are powerful, the rhythm section is neither overpowering nor lost in the background, the choruses are catchy with vocal harmonies all over the place, add some of the most amazing guitar solos you'll ever have the pleasure of hearing and a healthy dose of cheesy keyboard and synth effects, and you have the making of the perfect melodic rock/metal album.
Truth be told, the band doesn't do anything that hasn't been done before. But they do it so well that you just don't care if you've heard the same damn formula thousands of times before. There are no fillers here, just track after track of exceptionally well written hard-rock (and I do stress on this point, the band doesn't do anything new yet blow your mind every time the song hits its climax) with a ton of hooks, all the while without overwhelming the listener. That's not to say that the band doesn't go "out there" every now and then. There's even a little jazz/blues keyboard/guitar jam somewhere in there.
John Norum's guitar solos are unbelievably well done, having the right mix of face-melting shred and heart wrenching melodies. You'd think that statement could be true to most bands of the 80's, but the solos on this album will change your mind.
My only notable complaint with the album is the lack of any real riffs (the band was heading into a new direction), surprisingly for an album of this type, it doesn't suffer much of that drawback. However, if you're a listener who demands some headbanging in his/her music, you won't find much of it here.
There's no denying there's a strong "commercial" vibe throughout the album, but that's typical of albums from the late 80's scene. And in my personal opinion, it only serves to make the album even better. However, if you're a listener who loathes any sort of poppiness or commercialness in his/her music, might want to start looking elsewhere.
To sum up, this album is a definite classic and a must-have for (almost) anyone who's into melodic rock or metal. This album simply never gets old."