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Sunday, November 16, 2014

CD-Review: Åge Sten Nilsen's Ammunition - "Shanghaied"

Since the Norwegian Glam Rockers of Wig Wam went seperate ways every band memeber is bussy with different stuff. Guitarist Trond Holder joined the band around Jorn Lande and he also formed a new project called "Dracula" with the ex-Masterplan singer. You see, Trond distances himself from his roots. Former Wig Wam vocalist Åge Sten Nilsen is doing things in a more traditional way and formed the band Ammunition. The debut album "Shanghaied" is out now. Can it keep up with the glorious Wig Wam stuff?

I discovered Wig Wam back in 2005 when they were attending the Eurovision Song Contest and I fell in love with this band. The debut album and especially the follow-up "Wig Wamania" belong to my all-time favorites. Since then every Wig Wam album got weaker and weaker and the low-point was reached with the disappointing output "Wall Street". So maybe it was the right decision to lay Wig Wam to rest and move on. 

So Nilsen formed his new band Ammunition together with the purpose weapon in Melodic Rock:
Erik Mårtensson. Recently he produced the great new Dalton album and so he did on "Shanghaied" and the result is overwhelming when it comes to sound. It's simply crystal clear and sharp. Erik knows how set the spotlight on the band ... and the band is huge, consisting of Hal Patino on bass (King Diamond, Pretty Maids), Robban Bäck on drums (Sabaton, Eclipse), Lasse Finbråthen on keyboards (Circus Maximus), Jon Pettersen on guitars (Bad Habits) and Erik Mårtensson (W.E.T., Eclipse) himself on guitars. You can imagine how this sounds - absolutely great. The band is playing their asses off and spread much fun.

But what are they playing? In my opinion the perfect mixture of Hard Rock, Glam Rock, AOR and Melodic Metal. The Wig Wam influence is definitely there because every track is catchy as hell, but it all comes along with a heavier edge and that sounds quiet fresh. The songmaterial varies between good and perfect and so you won't find a real filler here. Åge Sten Nilsen found his songwriting skills again and wrote some killer tracks for this album: "Wild Card" is one of those gems that grab you from the very first listen with its chorus to die for and great guitar lines. Same goes to the more Bon Jovi like track "Heart's Not In It" - Melodic Rock at it's best. The package is completed with some groovy rockers like "Tie Me Down", "Give Me A Sign", "Strung Out"and a solid ballad called "Road To Babylon".

The only song that sounds a bit strange is "Take Out The enemy" with its gospel sing-alongs. Yeah and of course the wheel isn't reinvented, but even if a track threatens to slip into mediocrity the amazing double-layered guitars are there to lift up the whole song and bring it to another level.

Åge Sten Nilsen himself sounds better than ever on "Shanghaied" and kicks some serious ass. He had obviously fun while recoring this album. So what's left to say is that Ammunition sees Åge Sten Nilsen returning to his high class material he offered with "Wig Wamania" in 2006. "Shanghaied" is the album Wig Wam should have made years ago. It's rockin', catchy, very well played and presented, so everybody who loves Rock'n'Roll with a special twist and attitude should buy this album and of course every Wig Wam fan will find what he is looking for on this one. Another great surprise in 2014!



01. Silverback *
02. Give Me A Sign *
03. Shanghaied *
04. Tie Me Down
05. Road To Babylon
06. Take Out The Enemy (Hallelujah)
07. Hit Me With Your Bombs
08. Do You Like It *
09. Wild Card *
10. Another Piece Of Me
11. Heart's Not In It *
12. Strung Out *
13. Access Denied (Japanease Bonus Track)

* best tracks

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