Fullforce – One

By Jason Wellwood

One of the unfortunate things that we like to do these days is throw around the term ‘supergroup’. It can never be: ‘here’s a band whose members actually play in or used to play in other bands as well’, it has to be a ‘supergroup’. This automatically puts pressure on a band to excel and builds up huge expectations in listeners’ minds. If it’s a ‘supergroup’ then the band must be INCREDIBLE, right? Well, that’s not always the case and bands fall apart because of it, or get dropped by their label, etc. In the case of Fullforce though, I think there is little to worry about in terms of backlash.

The members of Fullforce will be familiar to those of you into the power/prog scene including members from Hammerfall, Narnia, Cloudscape, Yngwie Malmsteen and Dream Evil. If you know what you’d get when listening to these bands, then you’ll know what you are going to get from Fullforce: Incredibly talented musicians playing catchy, powerful power-prog with big choruses, guitar riffs-o-plenty and memorable songs. Well, for the most part at least. See, the first half of One is just stunning, but the album falters at about the halfway mark. ‘Mythomaniac’, the lead off track is an attention grabber: heavy, driving and a little dark in places. It’s followed up by ‘None of Your Concern’ and ‘Heart and Soul’ which are even better and by far the catchiest tracks I’ve heard in a long time. I was blown away by the time I hit the end of ‘Open Your Eyes’ but the next track ‘Rain’ left me feeling a little let down, and over all the second half of One is a little too AOR when compared to the rest of the album. Not bad, just not as good.

Don’t get me wrong, the performances on this album are all stellar, there isn’t a bum note or flat performance anywhere. The songs are pulled off beautifully but it seems like maybe the second half of the album was written in a rush, it really pales in comparison to the first half. The album is definitely worth picking up for those of you into the hard rock/power/prog scene but I think that the next album (perhaps entitled Two?) will be INCREDIBLE if Fullforce can pull off songs like the first half of One all the way through.

(SPV)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.