Degreed Dead But Not Forgotten
Degreed release album number 3 Dead But Not Forgotten on June the 19th via Sun Hill Productions and is the follow up to 2013's We Don't Belong album.
I was lucky enough to catch Degreed supporting Vega in 2012 and also in March this year supporting White Widdow when they debuted a couple of songs from the new album which got everyone's attention.
The press release says the following and what do you know it they are right!!
IT'S HEAVIER, SOFTER, DARKER, BRIGHTER AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN! THIS IS SOMETHING TRULY SPECIAL. SO...FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS CAUSE HEAVEN & HELL ARE ABOUT TO COLLIDE!
When you see them live they have a conviction in their music and a belief that says look at us and with this stunning new album they have now managed to put that down on cd with a collection of 14 songs that are all killer no filler.
Led by vocalist and bassist Robin Ericsson who was a Swedish Idol finalist a few years back and ably backed by Daniel Johansson on guitar and vocals,Micke Jansson on keyboards and Mats Ericsson on drums.
Melodic heavy rock with razor sharp guitar riffs,keyboards when required or a heavier synthesizer sound along with pounding drums and the most fantastic melodies and choruses built for stadiums worldwide.
How many tracks on an album is an often discussed subject.Quality over quantity is the usual rule as bands seem to be making albums with under 10 tracks.
This magnificent album has 14 and not a ballad in sight!!There isn't one song I would have dropped off and that is Degreed's point of sale that every song can be heard in the context of the album but also as a stand alone song or even single.
I normally do a track by track run down of an album but I am struggling to find a highlight when I am singing along to every single song and finding a new vocal melody,guitar riff,keyboard fill or drum rhythm each time.
The Scam is a perfect opener all drum led pace and urgent guitar riff with that added synthesizer sound giving the song a real depth and the first of those ever so catchy vocal melodies.And why not added a fast fingered guitar solo that ends entwined in the synthesizer riff too.
Face The Fact adds a commercial edge with a little of my beloved light and shade that when the chorus kicks in with the band at full throttle it blows the speakers.Robin's vocal shows his quality when the song dips so does his melodic tone and then in the chorus as it grows he has a harder tone to the melody!!Some added woah woahs too.
Better Safe Than Sorry has a huge multi layered chorus and more light and shade in the verse before Love Me Love Me Not swaps back to the harder edge sound with a synthesizer riff that plays alongside the main guitar riff and another urgent chorus with Robin really flexing those vocal chords.
Kill Your Darlings was one of the live songs debuted back in the spring and has a real head banging main guitar riff over an urgent drum rhythm and a stabbing synthesizer riff and Robin again excelling on the big chorus.
Here is the original demo version to whet your appetite the updated version is even better.
Touch Of Paradise has a commercial AOR feel to the chorus which is enlivened with woah woahs throughout and a chorus that many a band wish they would have written.
Start Again and Final Ride are all guitar riff and sing along chorus and they manage to top it off with Turn Around Don't Back Down which closes the album with the most harmonious pre chorus and held note on the chorus that just brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.Throw in a lengthy fast fingered guitar solo from Johannson which just keeps getting faster and faster and just as you think it is stopping it goes again and a song I would love to hear live.
Degreed have produced the ultimate sound track to the summer of 2015 and to the top of many best of lists at the end of the year too.