Album Review: Europe Walk The Earth 2017
Europe, the band behind 80’s hits such as The Final Countdown, Superstitious, Carrie and
Rock The Night. A band who may not have recieved quite the attention they deserve since
their comeback in 2004, after a break since the mid 90’s. But now they are back, with their
11th album Walk The Earth. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios,
“If EUROPE’s 2015 album, War Of Kings, was the album that made the rock world realize
what a formidable act EUROPE had become, then Walk The Earth is the album that is set to
establish the band as one of the most exciting contemporary rock acts of current times.”. This
is how the album is described on the bands website, europetheband.com. I could stop writing
here, because that is basically what it is. This IS the album where Europe establishes their,
hard rock, yet melodic sound, mixed with harmonies s well as acoustic guitars. This album is
a journey, and it has basically given them a brand new stage show. Ready? Let’s do this.
The album cover was made by Mike Sports from Los Angeles, with a black background, and
a triangle featuring the silhouette of a man (coincidental hint to Bohemian Rhapsody
perhaps), walking away or towards the listener. It also of course has the Europe logo, which
has remained the same, only changed in colours, since their very first album released in 1983.
Europe’s last 3 albums have featured a much darker tone on the covers, which might be
because if the heavier sound they’ve become recognised with, compared to the always catchy
sounds of the 80’s. I personally think this is to show that they have changed, and are still
developing as a band, since The Final Countdown. Even though that was the song that gave
them their big breakthrough, they are so much more than that.
Europe has now established a whole new, yet familiar, sound. John Norum remains true to the
heavy, and melodic guitar sound he has stuck to since the 80’s. While at the same time giving
it a modern touch, and not getting stuck in the “old-sound” swamp. My personal opinion is
that for Europe, the guitars are the basics. They have a very guitar-based sound, that is
perfectly mixed with the keyboards, which have also become fundamental to their repertoire,
On this particular album, Mic Michaeli’s keyboard has an organ sound, in addition to the
ballad “Pictures”, where there is more of a piano-sound along with the guitars. And this shows
that it is still Europe, because it is the kind of sound that has been on their latest albums. The
heavy and melodic guitars, along with the keyboard gives Europe the sound that is now their
own. Walk The Earth shows inspiration from the early 70’s rock, such as Jimmie Page’s
heavy guitar sounds, and a wink to their vocal harmonies of the 80’s, but now performed by
an older Joey Tempest whose voice now is more like an extra strong David Coverdale chai
latte with some Bob Marley whipped cream on top.
Europe is a live band. Even since the early days, playing live has been one of their main goals.
And this album serves that goal gloriously. Walk The Earth is an album meant to be
headbanged to. And knowing Europe, a song may not seem that incredible when heard the
first time, but once it is done live, it is amazing. These songs are not meant to be played on
Spotify with your headphones on. They are meant to be played loud with large speakers, in
your car or live with the band in front of you. It’s rock, and it’s fantastic.