‘Metal Will Stand Tall’
2006 release from Lionheart International.
Jakob Samuel – Vocals. Pontus Norgren – Guitars, backing vocals. Pontus Egberg – Bass, backing vocals. Christian Lundqvist – Drums.
Johan Lyander – Keyboards. Matti Alfonzetti – Backing vocals. Jonas Nerbe Samuelsson – Guest vocals on track 4. Tess Merkel – Guest vocals on track 2. Anders Fästader – Additional bass on track 3.
Artist location: Sweden.
4 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Echoes From The Past.
- Metal Will Stand Tall (Featuring Tess Merkel).
- Night Of Passion.
- Song For You (Featuring Jonas Nerbe Samuelsson).
- Lie To Me.
- Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Ultravox cover).
- Don’t Give Up On Love.
- Number One.
- Kingdom Of Heaven.
- Night Of Passion (acoustic version. Japanese bonus track only).
- Night Of Passion (radio edit. Digipack only).
- Echoes From The Past (live from Sweden Rock 2006. Digipack only).
- Song For You (live from Sweden Rock 2006. Digipack only).
It is hard to believe that it has already been ten years since this Swedish band hit the scene and introduced us to their glam rock music. I am not writing this one because I actually think any of you have never heard of these guys, but because this year does mark the tenth anniversary of the release and it is just a great album.
I will never forget the first time I heard this band. Back in early 2006 I was combing through the upcoming releases on NEHrecords.com, a fantastic music store site that is here in the US, amazingly enough. I came across a new, unknown band called The Poodles. Now my initial thought was what an absolutely stupid name for a band (sorry guys). But after reading the synopsis of the band on the site then I did a little search myself and found the video of them performing ‘Night Of Passion’ on Sweden’s Melodifestivalen earlier that year.
Suffice it to say, I was quite impressed by the band and the song and that sent me searching for more about them. As soon as NEH put up the sound snippets of each track I was back on there listening to them. I made it through the first three sound bites and found myself already ordering the record before I even finished listening to the rest.
I immediately popped the disc in the player upon receiving it in the mail and sat back to listen. Frontman Jakob Samuel’s vocals were the first thing to strike me about the record. With one of the coolest voices in the genre, a great range, a fantastic sound and an emotion filled voice, Samuel won me over almost soley. But add to those excellent vocals the severely catchy melodies that these guys were producing and it was a sure fire winner and, as we all know by this point, just the start of things to come for this glam metal outfit.
I had heard of Samuel before as he was previously the drummer for the Jeff Scott Soto fronted band Talisman from 1990 to 1993, but I had no idea he was a singer until this point. I was also aware of guitarist Pontus Norgren prior to this record as his name is no stranger to the genre and he has been a frequent player with Soto as part of bands such as Talisman, Humanimal and some of Soto’s solo work to name a few.
The rest of the band was new to me but quickly proved themselves to be more than capable musicians as I made my way through the record and heard their talent on each track presented.
The songs, some written by the likes of Marcel Jacob (Talisman, Yngwie Malmsteen, Human Clay, Humanimal), Tommy Denander (ex-House Of Lords, Radioactive, Robin Beck) and Holly Knight (who has written for Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Pat Benatar to name a few), are excellent. From tracks like the rocking album opener ‘Echoes From The Past’, to fast paced title track featuring singer Tess Merkel of the Swedish pop group Alcazar and the catchy ‘Shadows’ to the emotion filled delivery of the fantastic ballad ‘Crying’, the band shows us here on their debut just why they are one of the top bands of the genre today.
Just the beginning of the band’s success, ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’ is the first of six studio albums, so far, and one live album, ‘No Quarter’, that they have released. Each album has gained the band more notoriety among music fans and, while some are stronger than others, they have yet to release a bad record in my opinion.
Quickly gaining popularity for their hook-filled songs, energetic and entertaining live shows, The Poodles went from a relatively unknown band opening for larger bands to a household name for fans of the genre, almost overnight it seemed, headlining their own shows and festivals and becoming one of the most respected names in the genre.
Again, it is not that I expect anyone to be unfamiliar with the band, however if someone is reading this that has not heard them yet then do not hesitate as you have a goldmine of music ahead of you waiting to be discovered.
While this may not be the strongest release the band has given us (in fact it wouldn’t be until five years later in 2011 with their fourth album, ‘Performocracy’, that my favorite record of theirs would come along) it is still a wonderful album with some outstanding songs that, as stated before, proves why this is one of the biggest bands of the genre now.
Very highly recommended.
‘Echoes From The Past’.
‘Metal Will Stand Tall’.
‘Night Of Passion’.
‘Lie To Me’.
‘Kingdom Of Heaven’.