Norway – Arrival [2000]

NORWAY_ARR

Another gem from the glory day’s of 2000. This is the second effort from New Jersey outfit Norway. The band was founded by lead vocalist Glenn Pierson and guitarist Jim Santos (Frozen Rain). Together they released their debut album “Night Dreams”. Then they rercuited Joe Slattery (Melodica) on bass and Marty Brasington (Active, Baron) for the drum stool, for their second release called “Arrival”. Norway have given their souls to bring real rock back in the new millenium. They ignore current musical trends and gets  down to some serious rocking on this album. The band is obviously very influenced by Journey, and play pure 80’s Aor in the mold that Journey created.

They play hard rock in the melodic vein with lots of great guitar hooks and memorable songs and never slip into that twilight zone of cheese that so many hard rock have disappeared into in the past. Plus, the band adds just enough different elements to keep them from being called a clone of Journey. Vocalist Jim Pierson pours his heart into every track, while guitarist Jim Santos lays down the thunder with his great solos on this melodic masterpiece. Both Jim and Glenn are also responsible for the production and they had made a remarkable job. Add to that a great keyboard sound with a solid rhythm section and you’ve got an equation that equals 100% rock.

On this one, Norway really lets loose and rocks and the production is eons better, providing a nice, full sound that’s absolutely essential for this type of music. Songs like the opener “Givin’ It All” with the particularly catchy chorus, the midtempo tune “One Night Alone”, with great layers of keyboards and hooks (amazing keyboard solo after the second chorus) that  could catch a whale, the amazing and catchy “Someday, Someway” with a crystal clear voice from Piersson that can handle the whole range between high and low, although he uses the higher regions a lot more than the lower parts, having great stylish guitar riffs and perfect keyboard work and the superb “Heaven In Your Arms” with cool keyboard action, golden vocals, loads of great riffs, remarkable and very catchy refrain, are all perfect old school summertime cruising songs, that just scream for you to roll down your windows and groove. The raw “Cry Baby” receives top marks for its powerful riffage. Killer massive guitar hooks, solid and tight rhythm section, amazing chorus and highpitched vocals with lots of balls! Just listen to the final part of the song. We then follow with one of the most powerful stunning song of the  album “Hole In My Heart”, that reminds me Scorpions. Big vocals, rocking guitars and keyboards, great riffs with a melodic, weighty catchy chorus that will lock in your head for a long time.

Definetely one of the album’s highlight. A guitar frenzy greets listeners on the startlingly raucous “I Don’t Wanna Love You”, the next piece of sheer brilliance  on Arrival. The riff is huge and the song makes you feel so good, you tend to oversee the desperate message of the lyrics. The keyboard flavoured pieces are quite delicious, as in the beautiful lovesong “When You Close Your Eyes” and in the soul rendering “Can’t Live Without You”, an old fashioned ballad. There’s also some nice lyrical depth and seriousness with songs like the cool midtempo “Sending A Prayer (A Song For David)” which gets points for its honesty  and warmth. An emotional song talking about Glenn’s brother in law who passed away at a very young age. It’s not a  ballad as many might expect, but a fabulous tune in which you can feel Glenn’s desperation. Our last song is the groovy “Find My Way Home” with great guitar crunch from Santos and a perfect pounding drumwork from Brasington.

If you are fans of the 80’s, this album should be given your feedback favorable or unfavorable. Just give such fledgling  new bands attention and keep great culture of AOR everlasting. RECOMENDED!!!

Band Members
Glenn Pierson Vocals, Keyboards
Jim Santos Guitars, Programming
Joe Slattery Bass
Marty Brasington Drums, Percussion

Tracks
01. Givin’ It All (5:01)
02. One Night Alone (4:59)
03. Someday, Someway (3:39)
04. I Don’t Wanna Love (4:21)
05. Can’t Live Without You (5:41)
06. Sendin’ A Prayer (A Song For David) (4:14)
07. When You Close Your Eyes (4:13)
08. Cry Baby (4:33)
09. Find My Way Home (4:04)
10. Hole In My Heart (4:37)
11. Heaven In Your Arms (3:33)

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Norway - Arrival [2000], 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating