“Start From The Dark” by Europe

Artist: Europe
Title: “Start From The Dark”
Label: Reality Music
Release Date: 6/7/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 7.5

In the heyday of 80’s “Hair Metal” there was no escaping the signature synthesized beginning of “The Final Countdown” by Europe. Once the music was in your head there was no way that you would ever forget it and as a result it became almost a bookmark on this era of Hard Rock music. Europe had a couple of hits in the USA with that track and “Carrie” and for fans who appreciated them there were of course more. The music fans that leaned to the heavier side of things hated them with passion and there was seldom a middle ground in music fandom back then. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock were still widely close but varied formats of the overall genre with one side for Europe and Poison and the other to Metallica and Anthrax. I did not know what to expect when I began to spin the new CD in my changer but as it played I found a very different Europe than the one I had expected or remembered. Fans who would think an over the top demonstration of keyboard will be present on the release will be very surprised as well for instead of this we have a large amount of solid rocking tunes. The CD begins with a bang on “Got To Have Faith” and this track simply rocks and shows this not as a lame band but an experienced group who had grown musically over the 20 years it has been since the US had them on the airwaves.

The record was recorded by the complete original lineup of Joey Tempest, John Norum, John Levin, Mic Michaeli, and Ian Haugland and I admit I enjoyed getting to see a reunion album be created by all members of the original group and not just one or two members as we often find being the case. There are a number of great tracks on the CD and on “Start From The Dark” you find the band standing tall in Hard Rock delivery and fitting in more with groups like Bon-Jovi. I also liked the track “America” and felt this written as an appreciation of the US and the reception the band first received in their youth. This material does not come off as dated or cliché in any fashion and will definitely show their most devoted fans a sense of maturity that is easily enjoyed. New fans can get into this as well since most of the tracks are just great Rock and Roll. I have to say that I enjoyed the disk, Joey Tempest’s voice is great and not over the top with yells and falsettos. Instead it is rich and melodic and since you have the lyrics in the provided booklet you will find yourself singing along to this band once again. There is no hit along the lines of “The Final Countdown” on the release and that was a shame but in truth a song that hit so well is very hard to replicate even after 20 years.

Track Listing:
1. Got To Have Faith
2. Start From The Dark
3. Flames
4. Hero
5. Wake Up Call
6. Reason
7. Song No. 12
8. Roll With You
9. Sucker
10. Spirit Of The Underdog
11. America
12. Settle For Love

Official Web site: www.EuropeTheBand.com

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