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Redefined Mayhem
Holy Moses
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 25.04.2014
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Ruining Lives
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The whole scene pricked up its ears when reports of Fullforce, a new melodic metal act from Sweden, made the rounds some three years ago. After all, vocalist Mike Andersson (Cloudscape,) bassist Tommy Larsson (ex-Heed) and the two former Malmsteen/Hammerfall members Stefan Elmgren and Anders Johansson (guitars and drums) are four renowned musicians among the ranks of this newcomer band. Despite this highly illustrious constellation, Fullforce lives and breathes a very cooperative work ethos: “Fullforce is a democratic band through and through which incorporates the ideas and visions of all of its members. This kind of construct may be pretty unusual in this day and age, but it works really well for Fullforce, even if some decisions take a little longer that way,” Stefan Elmgren explains. Their debut album One, which arrived at the highstreet and digital stores in late summer 2011, earned thoroughly enthusiastic reviews due to its diverse ideas and led to a small but nice tour with Edguy: “An important experience for Fullforce which allowed us to present our music to the right audience.”

Less than 18 months after the release of their debut, Fullforce are ready to launch their second offering: the new album bears the programmatic title Next Level and presents a distinctive progress in the band’s music: “We have grown and feel confident that our new material will appeal to a much wider audience,” Elmgren explains. “One was a little more complex stylistically, while Next Level sounds more straightforward and compact. And while we didn’t have a single ballad on our debut, Next Level features two.” The Fullforce guitarist is referring to ‘Strongest Thing Of All’ and ‘Smile At The World,’ which, according to Elmgren, have a slight Scorpions flair: “I always wanted to write a real guitar ballad and am very proud of those two emotional numbers.”

Naturally, Next Level is first and foremost an extremely dynamic metal offering, driven by powerful guitar riffs and haunting grooves and refined by frontman Mike Andersson’s excellent vocals. Talking of guitar riffs: since spring, Elmgren has been supported by new stringsman Stefan Rosqvist who joined the fold after CJ Grimmark had left the band for private reasons (“He found it difficult to juggle band and family”). In Rosqvist, Fullforce have enlisted a perfect successor. Elmgren: “Our vocalist Mike suggested him and we soon discovered that Stefan is not only an excellent musician and composer but also a remarkably open-minded person.”

Next Level was recorded at the band´s own studio and mixed at Malmo’s Roastinghouse Studios with the support of studio owner Anders Theo Theander, who doubled as sound engineer and mixer. Elmgren: “At the end of the day, we produced Next Level ourselves, with mainly Stefan Rosqvist and myself each taking responsibility for half of the tracks.” Next Level will arrive at the stores on 29 October 2012 (Germany: 26 October 2012 US/Canada: t.b.a.), Fullforce subsequently wanting to tour again as soon as possible: “Of course it would be a dream come true to play with acts such as Iron Maiden or Helloween, but we’d love to do any other support tour which will allow us to reach our audience.”
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