W.E.T. are Robert Säll (the “W” from Work of Art), Erik Mårtensson (the “E” from Eclipse) Jeff Scott Soto (the “T” from Talisman), along with the engine room from Eclipse, guitarist Magnus Henriksson and drummer Robban Bäck.
Now, it is unusual to say the least that a band is brought into existence by the desires and interests of a record label executive. Serafino Perugino, who is at the helm of the Frontiers label had just this idea and, with the three key members in mind, encouraged them into the studio. This resulted in a self-titled debut in 2009. It embodied the Melodic Rock genre, but was a little harder and heavier than many bands of that ilk. As such, it was really well received. So too was their second release, Rise Up which came out in 2013. Now we have a new album from this experienced team called Earthrage.
The album kicks off with ‘Watch The Fire’. It opens worryingly, with a slightly thrashy sound to the riff and kick drums. All is well, however, as the melody develops and all thoughts of thrash disappear to be replaced by a truly melodic melody and JSS reminds us why he is such a ‘go to’ vocalist for so many artists. Throw in a “whoa, whoa’ chorus and a stinging guitar solo and here we have the benchmark for heavy melodic rock. A major highlight has to be ‘Dangerous’, Jeff puts in a superb vocal performance around a strong bass line and although the multi-tracked vocals sound a little Joe Lynn Turner at times, Jeff out-classes anything JLT has put out recently.
‘Calling Out Your Name’ starts nice and slow with multi-layered keys and guitars before it really kicks in. If they ever get to tour properly, with all of their other commitments, then this track is the arena, lighter waving, sing-a-long.
‘Heart Is On The Line’ is the obligatory heart-wrenching ballad, dripping emotion, with a subtle guitar to back it up and massive multi-tracked vocals. Put these elements together and it quickly turns into an epic. Weakest of them all, I guess, is the commercialised feel to ‘I Don’t Wanna Play That’, and the anthemic ‘The Burning Pain Of Love’. They’re the only ones that don’t stand apart from the miasma of the Melodic Rock genre.
Overall, we have a very powerful, melodic and heavy record. OK, there are a couple of weaker songs, but even they are still great examples of the how it should be done; it’s just that this band can do better as they illustrate on the other tracks. So, if you are a Heavy Melodic Rock lover, you can rest assured you will not be disappointed with Earthrage.
A word of advice if I may… although I understand the use of the initials, in English wet does suggest something this band most certainly is not.