CD Reviews

Constancia - 'Final Curtain' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 20, 2015    
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A cracking album.

Sweden and Melodic Rock. The two just go together so perfectly that I could just leave this review at that and recommend you go out and buy this album immediately, but should you need more persuasion then read on.

Debuting in 2009 with their Frontiers released 'Lost And Gone', the band were formed two years previously by keyboardist Mikael Rosengren (Scuderio/Token) who wanted an outlet for a bunch of songs he'd written. Guitarist Janne Stark (Overdrive, Locomotive Breath and currently Grand Design) was approached to assist with the guitars and subsequently became more involved with the process. Stark's former colleague, drummer Peter Svensson, was next on board followed by Jaded Heart bassist Michael Mueller, before the band settled on vocalist David Fremberg (Andromeda). 'Lost...' received rave reviews globally, and though work began on this sophomore release in 2013, the various other musical projects that all members are involved in has meant a lengthy delay in its release; the only line-up casualty along the way has been Mueller who was replaced by Fremberg's Andromeda band-mate Linus Abrahamsson.

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'Final Curtain' picks up just where 'Lost...' left off, with their "melogressive" approach – that's Melodic and a bit Progressive, which sums up the Constancia sound perfectly as the huge melodies and choruses are underpinned by some Progressive-tinged arrangements that add some musical spice; technically brilliant but without ever losing sight of the songs. What I really like is that not every song follows the formulaic verse, chorus, repeat, solo, chorus approach, while some of the outros display a somewhat eccentric persona. Needless to say, Stark's amazing guitar work and Fremberg's soaring vocals add extra icing to what is an already impressive cake.

Opener 'Don't Tread On My Heart' features one of the album's more Progressive arrangements and the following 'Spectres' treads a similar path while also displaying a more modern, darker, almost Gothic feel. 'Way To Life', 'Live A Lie' and 'Hang Tough' head into more straight-forward Melodic Hard Rock territory with big choruses, 'Lucidia' drifts back towards the Progressiveness a little, then sitting loud and proud in the middle of the album is the sublime, eighties, FM sounding anthem 'Hold On My Heart'. 'Lies Within Lies' is a moody Rocker that reminds me a little of Treat, and final "proper" track 'Final Curtain' wraps up everything that's great about Constancia in one tidy anthem. I would also recommend getting hold of the version with the bonus tracks, the best of which, 'Greyhound Therapy', is worth the price of admission alone.

If I have one complaint, it's that the pacing is pretty similar throughout, with only the mid-tempo 'Little Fighter' being the album's slower number. However, that doesn't detract from what is a cracking album.

Ant Heeks

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