CD review VON BALTZER ‘Cultural Daze’

(7/10) Swedish AOR outfit Von Baltzer unveils its ‘Cultural Daze’ album end of June. The longplayer features ten melodic rock songs, referring back to 80’ rock of bands like Asia and Bon Jovi.

Von Baltzer is a band I have heard for the first time by receiving the promo for their current longplayer. Swedish melodic rock, that’s how the album was announced and described and I think it hits bull’s eye. Tunes like the melodic opener fulfilled immediately all expectations and also ‘Better Days’, with its keyboards arrangement, reflects typical melodic rock from Sweden.

As other bands hailing from there also Von Baltzer has a good sense for hooks and catchy melodies, both being the framework for these ten songs. What’s the beauty though with ‘Cultural Daze’ is the fact that guitars got more attention than with some other AOR releases. The title tracks starts with a solid guitar sound and the same goes for ‘Burning Bridges’. Even some Saga-esque moments found a spot on the tracklist. It’s the closer ‘Stepping Stone’ that reminds in the verse of Canada’s prog legends, which not a too bad reference.

It’s not that you get a feeling of ‘never heard before’. Von Baltzer doesn’t turn a whole genre upside down. What’s the beauty with this release though is the combination of keyboards, guitar and melodies. AOR doesn’t need to be sugar sweet all along the way. Is it some chili that intensifies the flavor of chocolate, it’s some well-placed riffs that add taste to this melodic rock treat. Melodic rock passionistas should check out this album..

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. All Night Long
  2. Better Days
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. Cry No More
  5. Culture Days
  6. Fatal Attraction
  7. Flick of the Switch
  8. Radio Active
  9. Night and day
  10. Stepping Stone

 

 

Label: AOR Heaven

Genre: AOR

Release Date EU: June 25th, 2018

 

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www.youtube.com/von_baltzer

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