Writing on the Wall
Label: Rise Above Records
These five Swedes set time-machine controls to the 1974 of UFO, Scorpions, Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest. Axel Söderberg reaches for falsetto notes he can't quite grasp, which at times adds up to a brawnier, less campy Darkness. But song structures offer plenty to focus on -- deceptively tricky changes that take in psych and even country, but also a near-disco beat under the perfectly named "She Cried Wolf" and exotic old-school Euro-rock in two tracks with non-English titles. "Backstreet" is quite a jaunty gallop. And by the end, the album inches toward steelier, more noble early '80s metal.