Second Sun – “Kampen Går Vidare”

Second Sun – “Kampen Går Vidare” (Gaphals Records)
Battle Helm Rating

There’s certainly a lot going on in the mind of guitarist / singer Jakob Ljungberg (ex Tribulation), who also happens to be the founder of Second Sun, a band mixing Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull, Celtic Rock, Swedish folk music and Camel’s prog genius into one incredible package that has made its mark over the course of two prior albums. Here on “Kampen Går Vidare” (“the struggle continues”) he gets even more complex as inspired by Alice Cooper’s “Welcome To My Nightmare” and W.A.S.P’s “The Crimson Idol” in addressing the mental and physical affects that political convictions can have on a person, be it rebelliousness, cynicism, indifference and outright weariness. However, I can’t understand Swedish, so while the cerebral depth of the lyrics are amiss to me, the abundant energy and massive soul of the brilliant music certainly isn’t! Thanks to Robert Pehrsson’s (Dundertåget, Death Breath) sound, Second Sun come across like a breath of fresh, invigorating air from an underground band unleashing their debut despite this being their third release, and over the nine highly appealing tracks, don’t just capture your heart, but actually fill it with love. From rocking opener ‘Sång Om Våren’, whose epic Scandi melodies are totally irresistible, the laid back 70s vocals and harmonies contrast superbly with the hard, almost punk like riffs that crash in and roar as more beautiful melodies are bombarded in to reach an intense culmination that will leave you out of breath as much with its fast pace as with its emotional overload. Chugging in on title track ‘Kampen Går Vidare’, I love the organic guitar sound where all the folky twangs can clearly be heard, such that when the main folk melody hits, the emotional effect is again undeniable, and made even more so by the soft vocals and harmonies – that is, until the song explodes with its NWOBHM energy of fast scaling guitars and speedy drum work as even more epic melodies are fired out just as early Maiden and Angel Witch did back in the day – superb! Unleashing the full load of epic and folk melodies on ‘Hatar Det Ändå’ with its punchy hard rock, resonating bass and wailing guitars, the effect is nothing short of spell bounding especially when told through Ljungberg’s youthful, pure of heart vocals. It is, by essence, music to shake the very foundations of any system in existence….

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