Forget the bizarre intro – this is not a prog record, this is not some Orwellian soundscape as it would have you believe.

Rather, skip to “We Come Alive” and it’s as 1980s as the Ronald Regan soundbite in the middle. Think early FM if they were Swedish.

Indeed, think no different all the way through.

The title track is Bon Jovi pre “Slippery….” And you half imagine “Last To Know” turning into something to tell you “I ain’t missing you at all.”

“Victorius” is one from the bombast school, and you know it’s going to be there. Whether you like this album or not will come down to whether you value originality above all else. If you do, chances are you won’t love this.  If on the other hand, you like classy and brilliantly played music the way they used to do it, then jump right in.

Jonny Wemmenstedt on guitar excels throughout, and Tobias Gustavsson is made to sing this sort of stuff in a way that Steve Overland is. The results like “Caroline” will see fists in the air across festival fields everywhere.

Ok, look it’s a bit formulaic. You don’t need me to tell you what “The One That Got Away” sounds like (albeit Martin Frejinger’s keyboards make it and the hook soars) but if it was still the 80s – before the internet killed music – then some band goes gold with less than “Addicted To Your Love”.

There’s a bit of power metal on “21”, the riff on “Unchain My Heart” is extremely strident, and “Daughter” is a proper tear-jerker. Power ballads ain’t got nothing on this, mate.

When the apocalypse comes and whichever despot leader comes to kill us with nuclear warheads, on day one of the Nuclear Winter, two sorts of music survive: thrash on the one hand and AOR on the other. Try as you might you can’t kill either. “Teenage Rebel” is the sound of dreams being fulfilled and for that alone it is glorious.

Rating 8/10

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