Tungsten – “We Will Rise” (Arising Empire)
Battle Helm Rating
Meaning ‘heavy stone’ in Swedish, tungsten is a rare metal almost exclusively combined with other elements in chemical compounds rather than alone – and so too it is with Tungsten the band. Formed by ex Hammerfall / Yngwie J Malmsteen drummer Anders Johansson and his sons Nick (guitars) and Karl (bass & keyboards) along with vocalist Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Planet Alliance, Fullforce), Tungsten deliver a superb combination of old and modern melodic metal dripping in Nordic melodies, a suave touch of the neoclassical and basking in epic glory!! Indeed, if there’s one thing this impressive debut has then it’s heaps of heart stirring passion and unashamed emotion across its 12 riveting tracks. From Andersson’s clean and soulful vocals, not forgetting his harmonies influenced by the Bee Gees to Nick Johansson’s impressive guitar work throwing in neoclassical splendour with catchy rock metal riffs, brother Karl’s synths add in dance grooves and tantalising electro melodies of their own, with dad Anders providing the hard drums to give it some welly, together making this band live up to its name. Opening with title track ‘We Will Rise’, a captivating folk melody is soon bolstered by a musclebound dance groove over which Andersson’s soaring vocals and Anders Johansson’s propelling double bass drums power the number straight into the stratosphere! Bringing in the synths and piano on ‘Coming Home’ along with plenty of crooning harmonies contrasted by a hard backbeat, the effect of this modern metal track is equally enthralling as it is super catchy. Racing after its prey, ‘Animals’ is a thundering riff and drum gallop climaxed by its massive epic singalong chorus laced by subtle electro hooks while ‘Remember’ is a complete contrast in being a deep and moving song driven by huge Nordic melodies wrapped in thick guitar and topped by blissful synths. Going into full dance mode on ‘To The Bottom’ the pirate melody completely takes you instantaneously and fed by even more captivating harmonies and those alluring synths not even the cheesy polka singalong can be resisted. I give up and arise to the might of Tungsten!