2017 release from Musikvertrieb and PIAS.
Nic Maeder – Vocals. Leo Leoni – Guitar. Marc Lynn – Bass. Freddy Scherer – Keyboards. Hena Habegger – Drums.
Artist location: Switzerland.
3.5 out of 5 stars rating.
- Silver River.
- Stay With Me.
- Everything Inside.
- Reason For This.
- Not Fooling Anyone.
- Miss Me.
- Tequila Symphony No. 5.
- Only Love Is Real.
- My Oh My.
- Blame On Me.
- Walk On (Bonus track).
- Customized Lovin’ (Bonus track).
Well the first big release of 2017 is here and it is one that several of you have written and asked me to review, so here we are.
Swiss legends Gotthard are back with studio album number twelve. The title, ‘Silver‘, denotes the anniversary of the band and for those who do not know their anniversaries, the twenty-fifth is the silver anniversary and this is of course the band’s 25th year of giving us some stellar melodic rock, believe it or not. Album after album these guys have consistently delivered above standard records and given us so many gems over those twenty five years and left us with many an outstanding album that are placed highly in my favorite albums of all time.
‘Silver‘ is the third album with vocalist Nic Maeder behind the mic and the young man proves here, once again, that the band made the absolute right choice when they signed him on after the untimely passing of original vocalist Steve Lee.
Maeder has a wonderful voice and he channels a bit of Lee, but I won’t make this a comparison between the two because Nic has done the band right and done an excellent job for three albums now and frankly he is far more deserving then to always be judged next to one of the finest voices to have graced the genre. Taking the reins from the likes of someone like Steve Lee is not an easy or inviable position to be in, but Nic has proven himself over and over and he does a terrific job on the record and he sounds fantastic.
Right out of the gate here I am just going to be completely honest and admit a few things. First, I am a huge Gotthard fan but I am not exactly a big fan of the past two albums. The reason has nothing to do with Maeder coming in on vocals, as stated he is a fantastic singer, but everything to do with the writing. For some reason the songs have just lost that passion and power for me that they had before and honestly just no longer have the huge hooks present that were so dominant in their other albums.
Now as most of you know, I dislike saying anything too negative about a band or their music on here for reasons I won’t go into yet again (if you do not know why that is then click here to read my post on that subject). I say this about my thoughts on the band these days not to be negative about those albums or the band by any means, but to let you know where I stand on this incarnation of the band so that you can see where I am coming from with my rating and review and adjust it with however you feel about the band these days yourself.
And secondly, this album is definitely a grower. At least it certainly was in my case. Upon first listen I would not have rated it as highly as I have it at this point. Sure there were some songs like ‘Electrified‘, ‘Stay With Me‘, ‘Miss Me‘ and, my personal favorite, ‘My Oh My‘, that jumped out right away and grabbed me. But then many of them, like the album opener ‘Silver River‘, ‘Reason For This‘ and ‘Blame On Me‘, took me a few spins to really appreciate. But, with every listen these songs and this album got a little better each time until I now think that this is perhaps the best album they have done with Nic.
It is not what I would call a “hits” laden album, but rather one that you put on and immerse yourself in and listen to from beginning to end to fully appreciate. That is not to say that the songs by themselves are not enjoyable because they most certainly are, and there are some really great tracks to be found here. But, personally, I think this one just works much better if experienced as an album in full rather than a single here and there.
This was a tough album for me to rate and I struggled over my rating of it every time I listened to the album and as I sat down to write this review. But here is my reasoning on my rating. It is not an outstanding album and there are only a handful of songs that really grab me from it, but there is also really not one song on the record that I dislike and I have already listened to this album more than I have ‘Firebirth‘ or ‘Bang!‘. But there are just not that many songs on here that really wowed me. They are all decent enough and none of them are really bad at all, and there are some really great ones mixed in, but for the most part, save those few tracks, there are just none that really grabbed me like Gotthard’s music used to. So I decided to go with a mediocre rating because it is a far cry from being anything close to a bad album, and in all honesty I really quite like the record, but it is just not a great album either.
We pretty much all know by now what we are getting into with a new album from these guys, but just to mention here, this is not exactly a hard rocking album. There are some rocking tracks present of course, but it is the most low key and mellow album that I can recall ever coming from the band. Not that it is bad thing necessarily, I just wanted to mention it so you would know ahead of time before going in to the record yourself that you aren’t getting another ‘Bang!‘ album with this one.
This is a tough one to say whether you will like or not as it is just a bit different for the band, but definitely give it a chance and see what your thoughts are. It may take a few listens to grow on you as it did with me, but I think there will be at least a few tracks found here that fans of the band will enjoy, if not the whole record.
‘Stay With Me’.
‘Reason For This’.
‘Tequila Symphony No. 5’.
‘Only Love Is Real’.
‘My Oh My’.