Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Album Review: Ammunition - Ammunition
This project sees Martensson teaming up with former Wig Wam singer Age Sten Nelson. Perhaps being on this side of the pond is the only needed explanation, but is Wig Wam really a band that enough people know about to make this project a priority?
Anyway, moving on to the music, Ammunition follows in the lead of Eclipse with highly melodic AOR/hard rock; the kind that is heavy enough to sound powerful, yet hooky enough to cross over. That's exactly the area where I like my music, so this is an album that should have an easy time pleasing me.
And to that, I can say it does. These eleven tracks are short and sweet, focused on delivering the hooks fast and furious. The opening one-two punch of "Time" and "Freedom Fighter" are as good as this style gets, especially with the use of backing vocals to give a slight counterpoint in the former track. The guitars are bright, and not tuned down to where they sound dark and ugly. They are smooth, with just enough grit in them to make it clear this is rock and roll, which is the same thing I can say about Nelson's voice. Sounding similar to Ronnie Atkins from the Nordic Union collaboration, he delivers tough but melodic vocals that get the songs across perfectly.
In fact, there's really only two things I can say about this album that aren't a hearty recommendation (and neither one diminishes is as a very good record); 1)There are a couple moments that sound a bit familiar, and 2)I find the recent Nordic Union and Eclipse records to be slightly better.
That ties back to where I started this discussion. This Ammunition album is very good, and I enjoyed listening to it a heck of a lot. I'll be giving it plenty of spins in the near-term, but there are some diminishing returns with Martensson's projects at this point. This album is good, and I have no complaints whatsoever about it, but I think I would consider it even better if I hadn't already heard two better, very similar, albums from the same guy in recent years.
But to get back to the point, judging "Ammunition" on its own is easy. This is an album that does heavy and hooky extremely well, and delivers a rocking good time. I can absolutely recommend this album for anyone looking to have a little fun with their rock and roll, in that Eclipse style. Thumbs definitely up.