Follow up to 2013’s excellent debut album ‘Unbreakable’ sees Swedes Smash Into Pieces up the ante on an album that should appeal to all those with a love of bands like Creed, Emphatic and Alter Bridge.
‘The Apocalypse DJ’ feels more cohesive than its predecessor being written from scratch rather than featuring old songs redone from previously released material.
Chris Adam Hedman Sörbye, still emulates Scott Stapp most noticeably on catchy first single ‘Disaster Highway’ but it’s the quality of the songs that make this band stand out from the crowd.
Emphatic style ‘Stronger’ is a punchy metallic start to the album, ‘My Cocaine’ sees Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd add her impressive vocals, whilst ‘Checkmate’ provides the compulsory power ballad moment.
As you would expect from Swedish rock acts the musicianship is first rate, particularly on the Alter Bridge riff mongering of ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ or the Creed-like ‘Reaching Out’. The production is top notch, bringing out the keyboard fills above the guitar crunch on the superb ‘Bullets’ or the aggressive ‘Burn’ and it’s really only on the very last song that you hear any noticeable dip in quality and that’s really only due to the brilliance of what’s come before because it’s really not that bad at all.
The burgeoning Gain roster really does have some fantastic bands, perhaps testimony to their excellent A&R department. Smash Into Pieces should be right up there as one of the label’s marque bands because this is one of the best albums that it has released so far. It’s only March but already I’d wager that this will be in my top five albums of 2015 because it’s utterly essential for fans of modern hard rock.