Vienna! The city of mystique and masquerade now gives us their style of metal in Ecliptica. This self-described metal and roll band’s 3rd album, Ecliptified, introduces those unfamiliar with them to their unique sound, including a Roxette cover of “Sleeping in my Car” exclusive to the album. It has been 4 years since their last album Journey Saturnine was released.
I tend not to be a fan of genre labels, finding it limiting in many aspects when describing music. However, sometimes they do help when trying to figure out a band’s dynamic. Ecliptica seems to have a bit of all genres in their line-up. They remind me of a modern take on pop metal. Most of the new album has an upbeat, dance vibe to it. “Welcome to the Show” is a great high energy first number. It has a groovy undertone to it and introduces us to the dueling harmonies of Sandra Urbanek and Tom Tieber. He sounds like he could step right into Guns n’ Roses. In “Hate the Pain”, his vocals take center stage, kicking us deep in the solar plexus while Sandra brings it together with solid support harmonies. I fell in love with her voice as it strongly reminded me of a favorite of mine: Janis Joplin. Add in Ann Wilson and you have Sandra’s style. “Round and Round” keeps the uptempo, pop beat going, very danceable. On this number, we get to first hear the complex shredding of Van Alen. His shredding is brilliant, combining both the psychedelic riffs of Joe Satriani and the grittiness of Slash. We get a treat with “Persephone” which is an instrumental showcasing his shredding accompanied by the lovely bass of Petra Grooves. In “Need Your Love” I heard a hint of “Sweet Child” with the backup vocalists taking this ballad to a beautiful level. “Trip” contains the classic light metal chords we all know and love, reminiscent of Def Leppard with Markus providing a Deftones dynamic to it. Great drums by Roman Daucher on that track. Markus Winkler brings a rockabilly thread to the album, especially on the Roxette cover, “Sleeping in my Car.” His playing cerebral to Van Alen’s primal energy. “We Rock” is most definitely the album’s rock anthem. I can see this one as the “get the crowd headbanging” number during the shows. It steers away from the danceable nature and give us a much more traditional metal track.
My one issue with this album is the feeling of a bit of discourse with their singing styles. Her voice tends to fade away at times when they duet. I am not sure if this is done for effect or not, but it can make her hard to hear occasionally. I enjoyed the cover of the Roxette song even though as an 80’s baby, it took a minute to adjust. It does keep the pop element of the original which I enjoyed.
If you enjoy lighter metal with some classic thrown in, Ecliptica is for you.