Overland Break Away Escape Music
Produced By: Anders Rydholm

Running Time: 53.43

Release Date: May 21


Musical Style: Melodic Rock

Links: Escape Music
Songs: 88%
Sound: 92%
This is an interesting release. Billed as Steve Overland's solo debut, the singer for FM, Shadowman and The Ladder enlists the help of Grand Illusion's Anders Rydholm who performs guitar, keyboard and bass duties, as well as producing and arranging the album. But it is not just Anders' baby here as Steve Overland co-wrote the material with Anders in the style he wishes to take his solo work and Steve later spent time in Sweden recording his vocals, so it really is a joint project and all can be proud of the result.
And following previous Rydholm projects, Overland has that same high-tech, programmed/pomp AOR feel that fans of his work will love.
Steve Overland fans will see their favourite singer involved in an album of catchy melodic rock songs which differ in sound and style from recent Shadowman and The Ladder releases.
This is not an instant album it takes several listens to absorb everything that is going on. Programming and production effects play a strong role in the character of this album, but layers of keyboards and some outstanding guitar work by Ola af Trampe bring it all together.
At times it feels as if the lead vocal doesn't quite match the flow of the song, but it improves with each listen as it is merely a case of getting to know how the songs flow.
There really is a lot going on within each song and the more one listens to it, the more each layer reveals itself and I find something new to listen to each listen. That doesn't happen to often, this album has a huge sound.
As usual, Ander's influences of Styx, Toto and classic pomp AOR filter through, this time with the soulful vocals of Overland to guide it.
While the opening two tracks are ok, it is the third harder rocking uptempo thump of Break Away that really captures my attention. This is a seriously rocking tune with a great chorus. And the drumming of Gregg Bissonette is simply stunning.
Like A River continues the quirky high-tech AOR and features another strong chorus.
The slower Look Into Your Eyes continues the layered Toto-esque approach.
The uptempo AOR anthem After The Fire is one of the album's strongest tracks and this album is quickly becoming one of my favourite from both the Overland and the Rydholm catalogue.
The fast but moody Evangeline is yet another strong track and the changing tempos within keeps the listener on the edge of their seat.
Heartache Calling is pure 80s melodic rock with a great soaring vocal chorus and guest Steve Newman on guitars.
Lost In Paradise is a rock ballad of sorts with a monster chorus and another of the album's many highlights.
Closing the album is the only proper slow ballad of the album Until Forever Comes. It has a more laid back and easy going vibe over the rest of the material and after an intense series of songs, is a nice way to close the album. Another good chorus too.
The Bottom Line
As stated this is an interesting album and its overall design will not appeal to all. But it's quite the rocking affair and once you live with it for a week or so, it grows each listen and the layers within each song unravel. Fans of Steve Overland will be impressed with the urgency of his lead vocals and I would think all fans of Grand Illusion and Anders Rydholm will find this a slam dunk.
The Ladder

Line Up:
Steve Overland: Vocals
Anders Rydholm: Guitars, Keyboards, Bass
Gregg Bissonette, Tony Morra: Drums
Ola af Trampe: Lead Guitars
+ Guests Matt Bisonnette & Steve Newman
Essential For Fans Of:
Grand Illusion
Steve Overland
Track Listing
This Time
Alive And Kicking
Break Away
Like A River
Look Into Your Eyes
After The Fire
Heartache Calling
Mad Mad World
Lost In Paradise
Rescue Me
Until Forever Comes

* --*Best Tracks

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