Distributor/label: ARISING EMPIRE
Released: 20 September 2019
Buy Album: https://www.arising-empire.com/release/tungsten-we-will-rise/?lang=en
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/tungstenband
Mike Andersson – Vocals
Nick Johansson – Guitars
Karl Johansson – Bass, Screams & Keyboards
Anders Johansson – Drums
1. We Will Rise
3. The Fairies Dance
4. Coming Home
5. It Ain’t Over
6. As I’m Falling
7. Sweet Vendetta
10. To The Bottom
12. Wish Upon A Star
The name ‘Tungsten’ rang no bells with this reviewer, and Metal Archives also drew a blank. Who was this mysterious— yet strangely intriguing—band with whom I was to be initiated? The album cover felt familiar, as if in the company of an old friend, so it came as no surprise that the artwork for We Will Rise, as well as the TUNGSTEN logotype, were both made by the legendary Andreas Marshall, whose artwork has adorned countless classics of the power metal genre through the likes of Blind Guardian and Hammerfall.
And so the next piece of this puzzle fell into place: enter the drumming prowess of the mighty Anders Johansson, currently of Manowar (ex Hammerfall, ex Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force). Now if that hasn’t piqued your interest, then I’m starting to doubt your power credentials! Go, find yourself a copy of Rising Force’s ‘Trilogy’, arm yourself with your nearest Stratocaster, behead your nearest three headed dragon, and return!
Tungsten is very much a ‘Johansson’ project—formed in 2016 by Anders after his sons, Karl and Nick, had played him some songs they had composed together, here’s the story in Anders’ own words:
“I really liked the songs. My sons are of course younger than me, and the songs were modern metal, like something I could never come up with. At the same time, I could hear melodies that reminded me of Nordic folk music that made me think of the past. The overall impression was catchy heavy metal with both past and future present. I asked Karl and Nick if they wanted to join me in a band and play these songs with me, and I’m happy that they accepted”.
I couldn’t agree more with Anders’ description of the Tungsten sound, “the songs were modern metal, like something I could never come up with. At the same time, I could hear melodies that reminded me of Nordic folk music”. This is hardly surprising given the melody for the first song is actually a traditional Swedish folk song “Skänklåt från Rättvik”. Still, with plagiarism aside, the modern metal elements bring a refreshing change to the usual power metal fare, and the guitar-solo amnesty lasts far into the second side of the album—this is millennial power metal!
I must give a special nod to producer/guitarist, Nick Johansson, the sound is simply superb! No matter what becomes of this Tungsten venture, the future will surely be bright for someone so young and talented in the studio, the production really does breathe so much life and energy into the mix on this album. (I’d be interested to see how the band holds up in a live setting.)
We’re not dealing with a new heavyweight of the genre here, some goofy lyrics and a lack of consistency in the songs proved to be the album’s undoing, however, if you’ve been spending a lot of time at the Iron Hill*, perhaps some Tungsten will help bring you bring you back to earth.**
*Credential level: Feanor.
**Credential level: Bob Catley.
Review by Jesse Edwards