Ronnie Atkins - One Shot

One Shot

· Udkom

Type:Album
Genre:Melodisk Metal
Antal numre:11

Officiel vurdering: 8/10

Brugervurdering: 8/10 baseret på 1 stemme.

Fuck cancer

Der findes plader, der er af den ene eller anden grund bare er en udfordring for den/de kunstnere, der står bag. På samme måde findes der anmeldelser, der er mere vanskelige at skrive end andre. Med Pretty Maids forsanger Ronnie Atkins’ nye soloalbum, One Shot, er der i den grad tale om begge dele. For i påsken 2020 fik Atkins den nedslående besked, at kræftsygdommen, han havde kæmpet med igennem flere år, alligevel ikke havde forladt ham. Tværtimod blev han nu diagnosticeret med uhelbredelig stadie 4 kræft. Hvordan rejser man sig efter den besked? Det er nærmest umuligt at sætte sig ind i, men efter det første chok havde fortaget sig, gjorde Ronnie Atkins det, en ægte musiker selvfølgelig bare må gøre: Han satte sig ned og skrev nogle sange. Resultatet blev i samarbejde med især en stribe nuværende og tidligere Pretty Maids medlemmer til sangerens første soloalbum, One Shot.  

“Get busy living, or get busy dying”

Når man lytter til sangene på One Shot, kommer man uvægerligt til at tænke på ovenstående citat fra Stephen King-filmen, The Shawshank Redemption. Godt nok er der overalt på dette album en følelse af refleksion og en snert af melankoli - alt andet ville være mærkeligt. Men det tipper aldrig over til rendyrket resignation eller bitterhed, tværtimod, for der er masser af kamplyst tilbage i Ronnie Atkins og en insisteren på at synge om livets lyse sider. Desuden er One Shot først og fremmest et ’melodic rock album with a heavy twist’, som Atkins selv har kaldt det, og det genrevalg er jo i selv et udtryk for, at han ikke har tænkt sig at give efter for melankolien. Citatet kunne jo i øvrigt nemt bruges på Pretty Maids selv, men som det skal vise sig, er der dog alligevel forskel på One Shot og Ronnies ’andet band’.

Åbningsnummeret, ”Real”, er en temmelig poppet sag med guitaren godt gemt nede i mixet, men omkvædet fejler bestemt ikke noget, guitarsoloen heller ikke, og en trodsig Atkins proklamerer ’In the end, I wouldn’t change a thing’! Titelnummeret starter som en klassisk ballade med et smukt, klangfuldt klaver og nogle strygere, men bliver forholdsvis hurtigt til endnu en melodisk rocksang. Men det swinger, lyder forbandet godt, og er i det hele taget gennemført og yderst vellavet. Og så giver det sgu denne anmelder gåsehud, når Atkins og koret, omstændighederne i betragtning, synger ’one shot, one life, one chance to throw the dice’.

Den melodiske side af Pretty Maids klares med andre ord fornemt, men hvad så med de episke ’bangers’, som jyderne har mestret lige siden debuten i 1984? Jo, med ”Before the Rise of an Empire” får vi højt tempo og langt tungere riffs, blandt andet et, jeg føler mig overbevist om, Eddie Van Halen gerne ville have lagt navn til. Der er også et forrygende næverne-i-vejret omkvæd og flere lækre harmonier fra guitarerne. Et gennemført fedt nummer altså, og sammen med ”One Shot”, albummets bedste. Der er også glimtvis tunge riffs på “One by One”, men de får aldrig lov til at fylde ret meget, og det er faktisk lidt ærgerligt. Man kunne i det hele taget godt ønske sig, at den gamle rocker slap noget vrede og frustration løs over hans ulykkelige og tilsyneladende håbløse situation. Selvom det melankolske præger albummet på smukkeste vis, ville det gøre One Shot endnu mere komplet, hvis den anden side af Atkins’ karriere, den rå metal, spillede en lidt mere fremtrædende rolle. Ronnies stemme, tror jeg sagtens, kunne bære det, for det er i det hele taget en fremragende vokalpræstation, som veteranen yder her.

Umoderne, og hvad så?

Mange vil måske blive irriteret over alle sammenligningerne med Pretty Maids i denne anmeldelse, men det er Ronnie Atkins nu selv ude om, når han lægger sig så forholdsvis tæt op af lyden fra sit mere velkendte band. Det er dog for det meste en styrke, for når One Shot er bedst, er det melodisk, medrivende og topprofessionelt. Jeg tror godt, at Atkins ved, at han er håbløst umoderne, men jeg er også ret sikker på, at han er pisseligeglad. Og hvad er egentlig mere ’metal’ end det? Tak for sangene, Paul ♥

To hell with cancer

For various reasons, most musicians will inevitably find themselves struggling with the making of certain albums throughout their career. Likewise, some reviews are harder to write than others. Ronnie Atkins’ new solo record, One Shot, was indeed a record that was hard to make, and it also turns out to be a record that is difficult to review. Atkins have been struggling with cancer for several years, and in the Easter of 2020, he was diagnosed with incurable stage IV cancer. Getting back up on one’s feet after receiving such discouraging information can seem like an impossible task, but Ronnie Atkins, being a genuine musician, started to write a whole new batch of songs to process the bad news. From this writing session, Atkins’ first solo album was created.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying”

Listening to the songs on One Shot, the listener might just find himself thinking of the famous quote: “Get busy living, or get busy dying”, from the Stephen King movie, “The Shawshank Redemption”. Given the tragic circumstances surrounding the making of the album, Atkins’ CD naturally has a sense of introspection and a touch of melancholia, but Atkins doesn’t come across as an embittered person. Neither do the songs give the impression that the danish singer is giving up on life. On the contrary, Atkins is full of fighting spirit, and he seems adamant on dealing with the more positive aspects of life. Atkins describes his debut solo album as a “melodic rock album with a heavy twist”. This description is in itself an expression of the fact that the charismatic singer refuses to give in to the feelings of melancholia. As a matter of fact, the quote could just as well have been used to describe the sound of Atkins’ notable band “Pretty Maids”, but as it turns out, there is actually quite a difference between the sound of One Shot and that of the celebrated danish hard rock orchestra.

Album opener “Real” turns out to be an easily digestible song where the guitar sadly ends up getting buried in the mix. The chorus of the song, however, isn’t half bad, and neither is the guitar solo. A defiant Atkins fittingly announces: “In the end, I wouldn’t change a thing”! The title track of the CD starts out as a typical ballad with a beautiful piano and string arrangement, but quickly evolves into yet another piece of melodic rock. The song, however, has a great groove and sounds really neat! Given the circumstances surrounding the making of the album, the line “one shot, one life, one chance to throw the dice”, becomes a particularly touching and memorable moment.

All in all, the melodic traits that one has come to expect from the singer of Pretty Maids are used to great effect on this record. But how about some epic, loud and energetic tunes in the style of  Ronnie’s renowned rock band? Look no further than “Before the Rise of an Empire”! The track is characterized by a fast pace and some very heavy riffs, quite reminiscent of something that Eddie Van Halen could have come up with. The song also has a catchy singalong chorus and some tasty harmonized guitar playing. This particular track, together with “One Shot”, turns out to be the greatest compositions on the album. Other tracks, such as “One by One”, also have moments of heavy riffing, but sadly these moments are too brief and too short. Despite being quite a melancholic record, the final product could arguably have been better if Atkins had infused the songs with more of his anger and frustration. Despite the pronounced lack of explicit heavy metal elements, Ronnie’s vocal performance nevertheless remains impressive throughout the album.

Not exactly a modern sound… but who cares?

As previously mentioned, the vibe of this record is very similar to that of a Pretty Maids’ record. So one can’t really be faulted for making comparisons between the sound of Atkins’ solo record and that of his main band. The fact that this record sounds so reminiscent of Pretty Maids, however, is mostly a positive aspect. When One Shot is at its best, it is melodic as well as captivating, and it is clear that the record was made by dedicated and skilled professionals. With the strong Pretty Maids vibe that this record has, it can’t exactly be considered “modern music”. Atkins is probably well aware of this fact, and it is also quite likely that he doesn’t give a damn about that at all. And at the end of the day, I can’t think of anything more in the spirit of “metal” than that. Thank you for the songs, Paul.

 

Tracklist

  1. Real
  2. Scorpio
  3. One Shot
  4. Subjugated
  5. Frequency Of Love
  6. Before The Rise Of An Empire
  7. Miles Away
  8. Picture Yourself
  9. I Prophesize
  10. One By One
  11. When Dreams Are Not Enough

Kommentarer (1)

Kilden

Overrasket...

... over at Professor Snape har sit eget band!!!

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