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C.O.P. - 'State Of Rock' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/81/4e/eb/COP-State-Of-Rock-54-1449602375.jpg Hot

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Classic AOR in a contemporary package, an infectiously catchy and melodic album for connoisseurs of the genre.

A substantial part of new Melodic Hard Rock/AOR bands and projects that have emerged in recent years have not been entirely new from the start. Even though the band moniker was unheard of before, the band members' identities and faces immediately rang the bell for the genre's fans, as the bands themselves were comprised of seasoned veterans of the scene rather than debutants. C.O.P. is another such entry.

You possibly have never heard about the Swedish powerhouse trio founded just a year ago and now debuting with 'State Of Rock'. The names of Sundell brothers Peter and Christian and guitarist Ola af Trampe, however, are not that unfamiliar for anyone who's been into the Scandi AOR/Melodic Rock scene in recent years. Band names such as Grand Illusion, Decoy and Code are a pretty decent collective resume after all.

The collaborative effort of this trio, entitled 'State Of Rock', is simply laden with carefully sculpted arrangements, guitar-driven intensity and layers of keyboards, amplified by Peter Sundell's dramatized, high-pitched voice rising to falsetto and rich vocal harmonies; it's almost literally, bathed in catchiness. From the ambient intro developing into the opening track 'Loner' to the soaring melody of the final tune 'Darkness', it oozes with the 1980's Melodic Rock tradition in vein of White Sister, Aldo Nova, Giuffria, Triumph, Signal, Roxus etc.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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And what is more, the indication of particular highlights of the album is not an easy task to complete due to the multitude of strong points. Be it the keyboard wizardry of 'I Want The World To Know', the over-dramatized, mawkish narrative in 'Without You' and 'She's Gone' or intense up-tempo anthems such as 'Broken Heart' and 'On The Run'. On the other hand, maybe it's the topped by thick guitar riffs, galloping solo and fierce drumming that constitutes the band's heavier vibe during 'In My Dreams'...? This is one of those releases where only the listener themselves can ultimately decide.

It would have been a great exaggeration to call 'State Of Rock' a breakthrough album in the genre – AOR/Melodic Hard Rock relied on huge keyboard sound, soaring melodies, infectiously catchy choruses and polished production since its birth decades ago. But even if there's little to no place for creativity and experimentation within the fixed framework of the genre, it has to admitted C.O.P. perfected the art of Pomp Rock in the strict meaning of the word.

While not entirely a novelty, it's simply a job well-done – classic AOR in a contemporary package, an infectiously catchy and melodic album for connoisseurs of the genre.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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