NEW STUDIO ALBUM FOR THE 25th BAND ANNIVERSARY
RELEASED: JANUAR 13, 2017
“SILVER” is a special album in many ways. The 25th anniversary’s importance to the band is already evident in the album title. Referring to the anniversary of a long-time marriage, “SILVER” hints at the fact that a band can actually take on similar features or at least can be an equally complex relationship. After GOTTHARD’s eventful history, this comparison moves, as well as it commands respect: Despite losing an essential part of the band, the boys managed to stay together, and, with their passion and the benefit of Nic Maeder, added a new facet to their music as well as a double dose of joy.
The fact that “SILVER” reminds us of the multiple sales awards and prompts us to dress up for the festive event, might not be on purpose, but is nevertheless appropriate, because the new album proves that GOTTHARD are in no way detached –even after 25 years. On 13 (digital edition) respectively 15 tracks, five thoroughbred musicians floor the gas pedal, bringing loads of creative ideas to the table that display their unabated enthusiasm for the band in every single song. Already the first single “STAY WITH ME” has everything that makes the hearts of the fans beat faster: From fragile acoustic guitars and Nic’s emotional vocals, the single delivers a sophisticated rock explosion and hits the sweet spot between half ballad and monumental hymn. An ideal opening for “SILVER”.
However, according to the track list, the album’s true beginning is “SILVER RIVER”, a cool groove rocker with a well-greased Hammond engine and a virtuoso guitar solo that goes full speed without delay. By now, the safety bars should be closed at the latest, because “ELECTRIFIED” ignites. The riff rocker of the ‘She Goes Down’-category smoothly takes us right into the album past the point of no return. However, the way back becomes irrelevant, when “BEAUTIFUL” sends us directly towards the future: Sequencers announce the year 2017, female choirs surprise from the middle part on, and the song grows into an emotional and thrillingly positive track – you don’t need to be a psychic to predict the heaving sea of lighters, respectively cell phone displays on the next tour. But there’s no room for sentiment, because in-between Rammstein staccato and down-to-earth rock, “EVERYTHING INSIDE” is all about not letting anyone push you around: “Don’t keep everything inside, let it out, gotta free your mind. Take, take – even lose your pride, but don’t keep everything inside”. A short piano intro opens up for the deliberately orchestrated “REASON FOR THIS”. Dokken-like grooves, coupled with seventies Kansas flair, provide for an almost sunny declaration of love, which in the chorus will open up absolutely everybody’s heart. “NOT FOOLING ANYONE” comes along a little more reflectively – the song’s singer/songwriter feel is perfect for unwinding.
However, the sensually swaying Latin rhythm of “MISS ME”, with a pounding almost like kettledrums, summarily moves the album into more Southern realms and the perfect setting to miss somebody like crazy. However, before there’s too much heartache, the band shakes it off and fires up “TEQUILA SYMPHONY NO.5”. There’s only one way for the beat here: onwards – while the guitar appreciatively takes the time to cite Beethoven’s Fifth and the song builds up to its impressive finale. The digital album’s last third starts with “WHY”, which simply is great fun thanks to acoustic guitars and fantastic vocal arrangements. Sing your head off, party hard and finally let go – the song’s got it all. “ONLY LOVE IS REAL” starts fragile and becomes massive: piano, pickings, strings and awesome melodies make the song a true hymn that has no problem with pathos. Extraordinary: Hena Habegger’s nearly militaristic drumming that sets a brilliant contrast – and to the fact that the track could easily be cast in a monumental film soundtrack. Then it’s time for a classic. “MY OH MY” is best GOTTHARD tradition and an honest tribute to best buddy rock ’n’ roll. There’s nothing gimmicky or artificial here: “My oh my, noone’s gonna stop me ‘til I die”. Full stop. At the end of the digital edition, “SILVER” puts the pedal to the floor once again, and with a broad grin takes responsibility for getting literally everybody off their feet with “BLAME ON ME”’s breathtaking solo parts.
Owners of the physical Digipak album get two bonus tracks. Led by Habegger’s whipping beats and staged by rock-hard riffing, the propelling swing of “WALK ON” definitely doesn’t miss out on anything. The axe is swung in “Dail Hard” manner on “CUSTOMIZED LOVIN’”– including subtle Hammond sounds, harmonizing intelligently with the hellish track’s wild habitus. A worthy closer for a versatile, innovative, and yet tradition-bound album, which suggests precious metal even before the release. It’s official: Friday the 13th of the next year will be a lucky day for rock ’n’ roll. Go find your little black dress and ask somebody to remind you how to tie a tie – we’re dressing up for 2017, because there’s a quarter of a century of GOTTHARD to celebrate, and Nic Maeder, Leo Leoni, Marc Lynn, Hena Habegger, and Freddy Scherer will be live on tour with “SILVER” from February on!