So already after one year and their last release “One” in 2011 it is time for Fullforce to release their second album called “Next Level“. Michael Andersson (Cloudscape) is leading the band who delivers extremely melodic, catchy metal that meets often with hard rock. It almost reminds me sometimes the stuff on the Allen/Lande albums, or Jorn‘s solo albums. Despite the lack of heaviness, it is still pretty enojoyable. It’s more simplistic and direct than ”One”, but lacks some of that album’s overt hookiness and urgency. The fans of the more harder sound will love the more aggressive, ballsy tracks like “Broken Dreams,” which incorporate enough melody and rock flavour to make things memorable, while keeping it heavy and aggressive enough to satisfy. Another songs in that direction is “Break It, Crack It, Destroy It”. On the other hand there are also a few songs on the album with a more anthemic feel, such songs are “Back to Life,” “Whispers”, ”Course of Life” and “Visions”

Michael Andersson sounds solid and professional on all songs. His perfomances sound like a mix of Jorn Lande, David Coverdale and Rob Rock, and while he isn’t the most charismatic singer out there, he generally makes good vocal perfomances. The riffs by Stefan Elmgren (ex-Hammerfall) and Stefan Rosqvist are dependable and in-your-face, but often have enough flair to rise above the simple style of metal/rock they traffic in. Most of the leads are ballsy enough to keep the melodic writing from sounding too cheesy in most of the songs and the solos are frequently interesting. The performances are all high level and enjoyable to the listener

The only thing that really bothers me with this record is the overdose of super cheesy, overwrought power ballads. While these guys have the melodic metal style down and manage to add just enough flavour to make it work, the inclusion of three hugely sappy songs is a bit too much for me (“A Night to Remember”, “Smile at the World”, “Lighters Out”). If they had put one ballad it would be nicer and the album would flow better, the style is already melodic and it hasnt to be filled also with supercheesy ballads. The album is still a good melodic metal album and flows nicely but for me this ballad overload wasn’t nessescary. So this is why I give this album average rating.

Track List Line Up
01. Broken Dreams
02. Break It, Crack It, Destroy It
03. Back to Life
04. A Night to Remember
05. Karma
06. Whispers
07. Smile at the World
08. Hate…Love…Drop It!
09. Visions
10. Course of Life
11. Awesomeness
12. Mysterious Ways
13. Strongest Thing of All
Stefan Elmgren – Guitars
Michael Andersson – Vocals
Anders Johansson – Drums
Tommy Larsson – Bass
Stefan Rosqvist – Guitars