Bulletrain was founded back in 2006 by guitarist Mattias Persson and drummer Jonas Tillheden in the suburbs of Helsingborg, Sweden. They have 2 EP records and a full-length album under their belts and their latest effort, What You Fear The Most, will tick many boxes for fans of straight up heavy rock, sleaze, AOR, metal, and, (this will please The Meister) they love a good ballad.
Completing the band are Robin Bengsston on rhythm guitar, Sebastian Sundberg on lead vocals and Niklas Mansson on bass and it is a very tight and accomplished line-up at that.
What You Fear The Most, out on AOR Heaven, opens up with the in-your-face rocker “Memory Lane”, with riffs reminiscent of self-admitted influence Guns n’ Roses. It all goes quite well until a solo unsuited to the pace and feel of the song. Fortunately, this is not a sign of things to come as there is cracking guitaring smeared all over this album.
A cool riff welcomes us to another straight rocker, “Love Lies”, where vocalist Sundberg belts it out formidably and the solo suits the song here too.
Bulletrain slows it down a touch next, but not to ballad levels quite yet, on “Can’t Get Away” which is a passionate sing-along affair with a catchy chorus.
The band takes a left turn on track 4, “Fight With Me”, which is an aggressive song, as the title suggests. The band channels their inner Motley Crue here but whereby the Crue want to have a good sexual romp, Bulletrain wants to have a healthy scrap with the establishment. And they want your help, too.
No sooner had they upped the ante with the aggressive “Fight With Me”, they turn the tables completely with the power ballad, “We Salute You” and it’s a great testimony to Sebastian Sundberg’s talent that he pulls it off well and is clearly comfortable in any vocal arena.
Eyeballs-out rocker “Feed The Fire” follows and Sundberg has to have his wits about him again with the pace at which he has to deliver his lyrics. A quality slightly distorted solo is an excellent complement to this one. I’m guessing this will have the crowd bouncing at gigs.
My pick of the bunch is next, with “Wet, Tired And Lonely”, which sounds to me like a good night in. A bit of AOR heaven (pardon the pun) is on display here and with top lyrics like “Another shitty day and another shitty town” topped off with superb guitaring this is a winner in all areas.
An atmospheric opening greets “Old Lighthouse” and then the band goes full Helloween, even as far as Sundberg sounding exactly like Michael Kiske. When Sundberg is at the top the end, the likeness is uncanny.
“Fear” gives us another taste of AOR but with a bit more edge than “Wet Tired And Lonely” and it’s once more very catchy with its layered vocals and red hot solo.
Final track “Far Away” moves effortlessly from slow AOR to upfront rock and I bought into it at every turn. The song has a nice pace and feel, with Sundberg once again at the top of his game. Mattias Persson, like he has throughout the record, provides top drawer guitaring.
I really enjoyed this record and whichever style they choose to perform in they do it with consummate ease and skill which many bands try, and fail, to do.
Well done, Bulletrain.