CD review GOTTHARD ‘#13’

‘13’ in general isn’t known as a lucky number, just thinking about all the myth around Friday 13. Swiss hard rockers Gotthard try to give the figure a new meaning while calling the new longplayer simply ‘#13’.

Time is flying if you have fun and it’s amazing that the new Gotthard longplayer is already the thirteenth one they add to their musical delivery. Furthermore the longplayer contains 13 songs, release date is the 13th, this post goes live on the 13th and so it’s a lot of stuff about the ‘scary’ number.

What’s not scary at all though is the music on Gotthard’s new album. The band picks it up where they left off three years ago with their latest album ‘Silver’. Leo, Nic, Freddy, Marc and Hena didn’t change a lot when it comes to Gotthard’s sound. The quintet still builds on their success formula that fortunately shows a bit more of a harder approach since a few years.

Let’s start with the weaker spots though. With ‘Marry You’, done in collaboration with Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) the album features a soulful ballad, aiming for John Doe and so does ‘I Can’t Say I’m Sorry’. The songs are sugar coated and I guess that the guys don’t get away without having these kind of tunes on the album. However, it’s a bit off-the-shelf material that creates an understanding of why Leo Leoni needs Coreleoni as an outlet for music with some more edges. But let’s focus now more on the cool stuff ‘#13’ brings to the plate.

I mentioned already the participation of Eric Bazilian and it seems that Leoni/Maeder can make even more use of their contribution to Rock Meets Classic in 2018. Bazilian was one part of the line-up at the time and Status Quo main man Francis Rossi was another veteran that joined in 2018. Gotthard co-wrote already ‘Bye Bye Caroline’ with the iconic guitarist/singer and with ‘Missteria’ also the new longplayer carries a track that mentions Rossi in the ‘credits’ section. The song, also released as a single, is a cool rocking one with a strong beat as a base.

Also the start into the album is promising. The band unleashes with ‘Bad News’ their Rock’n’Roll power and the uptempo ‘Every Time I Die’ belongs to the highlights on the album too. A modern expression and a solid groove is what ’10,000 Faces’ offers while the bottom part of the tracklist comes more with the softer tracks. ‘Better Than Love’ is still a good rocker though and ‘Save the Date’ comes with a good Rock-vibe too, but also the mentioned standard songs are part of the second half of the album. Fortunately there’s with ‘Man on a Mission’ a blues-based rocker towards the end that brings back the right spirit of Rock.

Interesting is the choice of the cover version that comes with ‘#13’. Gotthard took ABBA’s ‘S.O.S.’ and turned it into a rocking half-ballad with singer Nic Maeder presenting his entire vocal range. The Gotthard interpretation isn’t far away from the original version from 1975 and still contains a special Gotthard vibe. Well-done.

If a band releases 13 longplayers they must do something right. In case of Gotthard they probably did/do more than just one thing right with their new longplayer being one example. They handle the balancing act between hard and mainstream well, partly even too well. However, fans of solid Rock music will find some songs on the album they will like and so do Gotthard fans that are more related to mainstream.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tracklist:

  1. Bad News
  2. Everytime I Die
  3. Missteria
  4. 10.000 Faces
  5. S.O.S
  6. Another last Time
  7. Better than Love
  8. Save the Date
  9. Marry You
  10. Man on a Mission
  11. No time to Cry
  12. I can say I´m Sorry
  13. Rescue Me

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: (Hard-) Rock

Release Date EU: March 13th, 2020

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