ART NATION-Liberation

Gain/Sony Music

12 June 2017 by Michel van de Moosdijk

For a few moments I had the feeling that I was listening to a new record released by Eclipse/Erik Martensson and not to the second CD of Swedish band Art Nation. The tempo, the sound, the tenacity, it made my thoughts go to ‘Monumentum’, the latest CD that Eclipse landed on mankind. But no, this is well and truly Art Nation. I am the first to admit that it is extremely difficult to sound different, to create something original. And Art Nation has not created an original sounding record that is true, but the more I listen to it, the more this release starts to grow on me. The eleven songs on ‘Liberation’ may take a little time to digest, but once they do, it is a joy to listen to this band. First of all the production of Jakob Hermann gives you a big punch in the face. Art Nation sounds heavy, energetic and above all determined. The way they bring their songs across just gives you a positive boost. Yes, there are references to Eclipse and other groups, but at moments Art Nation does manage to stand out. Take for instance the ballad ,,Take Me Home’’. Singer Alexander Strandell sounds so fragile and breakable there and the guitar solo is just beautiful. A ballad is a ballad, but this a beautiful one. The bulk of the songs are pounding rockers with big chords, aggressive vocals and a solid rhythm with ,,Paralyzed’’, ,,Ghost Town’’, ,,Maniac’’ and ,,I’m Alive’’ as most impressive ones. The only songs that don’t do it for me are ,,One Nation’’ because of its predictable lyrics and the last track ,,What Do You Want’’, where the song title gets repeated over and over again, though the song is quite heavy and up tempo. So there is still room for improvement there but if you give ‘Liberation’ a bit of time to grow on you, it should work out. Fans of the work of Erik Martensson should check this one out anyhow.