ARTIST:

GOTTHARD

(SWITZERLAND)
TITLE:

DOMINO EFFECT

(2007)
LABEL:

NUCLEAR BLAST

GENRE:

MELODIC HARD ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Rasping vocals
"Gotthard confirms with brilliance in this "Domino Effect" its return towards a more muscular melodic Hard Rock."
LOLOCELTIC (21.12.2007)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

While "Lipservice" marked Gotthard's will to come back to a more muscular FM hard rock, the newcomer comes to push the nail in. It therefore confirms that the arrival of Freddy Scherer and the move to Nuclear Blast have given back the taste for metal riffs to our Swiss friends, without taking away their unavoidable sense of melody.

"Domino Effect" is however not as easy to access as most of its predecessors, even if some choruses quickly settle in the memory. The atmosphere is darker, more serious, without falling into boredom or depression. The band seems to reach its maturity like a great wine and masters from now on all its musical performances, the guitarist Léo Léoni also endorsing the role of producer.

Gotthard has thus left the Aor to become again a full-fledged hard-rock band, even if the ballads are still part of its identity. They are 5 to take place on this album, that is to say the 1/3 of the tracks. We are however far from the mawkishness and Steve Lee bewitches us with his magic voice, as on 'Falling' in which the violin and the piano come to gently pose on a drum rolling in the military style, before a rise in power full of emotion. The mid-tempo 'The Call' or the semi-acoustic 'Tomorrow's Just Begun' evolve in a rather Bonjovian register, while 'Where Is Love When It's Gone' envelops us with a touch of accordion. Finally, Lee modulates his voice wonderfully on 'Letter To A Friend' which starts in a slightly country style where the tone becomes hoarse before a rise in intensity.

Beyond these ballads, "Domino Effect" is above all a hard-rock album of a tremendous efficiency. From the very first seconds, the instantaneous 'Master Of Illusion' with its effective chorus, 'Gone Too Far' with its Kamelot-like riff, and 'Domino Effect' with its dark and bewitching atmosphere, set the scene. Gotthard is at the top of its form and will not let any slow down spoil his performance. Carried by a rhythmic without weakness, nor superfluous, the titles follow one another with a remarkable efficiency. The Oscar Goes To...' is probably the least dark track and is not without reminding the hits of the previous album ('Anytime Anywhere' or 'Lift U Up'), which does not take anything away from its quality. The Cuiser (Judgement Day)' shows the unstoppable catchiness that Leoni & Co. are used to, while 'Heal Me' starts with a riff like AC/DC's 'Ballbreaker' on a humming bass.

The sequence 'Come Alive' - 'Bad To The Bone' is perhaps the most surprising part of the album, the first one because of its fusion influences and the second one where Steve Lee serves us a performance worthy of David Coverdale on a background of talk-box solo and powerful riffs worthy of the great white snake. Finally the dark and dynamic 'Now' where the bass is again highlighted, and the very rock'n'roll 'Can't Be The Real Thing' with a riff worthy of 'La Grange' of the three bearded Texans complete these 15 tracks. A small question arises however: given the important and strategic presence of the keyboards throughout this album, why not make Nicolo Fragile, a full member of the group, especially since his performance is of a rare quality?

Varied and deep, "Domino Effect" is thus armed to become a classic of the hard-rock and imposes itself without a shadow of doubt as one of the best releases of the year 2007. The 5 Swiss have set the bar very high and they will now have to show all their talent and their new maturity to succeed in keeping up with such a level.


More informations on http://www.gotthard.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Master Of Illusion - 3:56
02. Gone Too Far - 3:55
03. Domino Effect - 3:48
04. Falling - 3:35
05. The Call - 3:55
06. The Oscar Goes To... - 4:21
07. The Cruiser (Judgement Day) - 4:28
08. Heal Me - 3:47
09. Letter To A Friend - 3:54
10. Tomorrow's Just Begun - 4:03
11. Come Alive - 2:52
12. Bad To The Bone - 3:40
13. Now - 4:12
14. Where Is Love When It's Gone - 4:09
15. Can't Be The Real Thing (Bonus Track) - 3:38

LINEUP:
Freddy Scherer: Guitares
Hena Habegger: Batterie
Leo Leoni: Guitares
Marc Lynn: Basse
Nicolo Fragile: Claviers
Steve Lee: Chant
   
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