Swedish band Eyes Wide Open carry the torch for their country’s melodic death metal scene and infuse it with modern metalcore influences and engaging melodies.
The band hail from Karlstad in the southwest of Sweden, which is intriguingly known as the “City of the Sun.” They’ve been through their fair share of lineup changes but settled on the quartet of Erik Engstrand, who moved from guitar to being the vocalist in 2016, Kristofer Strandberg (guitars), Jesper Lindgren (bass) and Lucas Friese (drums).
And on the sound they’ve honed, the band tell us: “As a band, we got together for the love of melodic metal and a burning desire to take our music to a new level. It’s pretty hard to describe the sound but I would say that we are a mix of Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore. Neither one is a perfect match but somewhere there.”
Our latest taste of this is their superb new album Through Life And Death, on which they tell us: “On Through Life and Death you will hear everything that marks us as a band. We feel that on our last album The Upside Down, we really cemented our sound and the new album is an extension of that. We are super excited to release it! The actual songwriting started over two years ago so it’s time for the world to hear it. The response to the singles has been amazing so I hope we see the same from the album.”
The album opens superbly with a building first track that culminates in a dramatic intro to Devastation, which sees stabbing strings meet a big wall of guitars. It develops into a huge track led by vicious vocals, lively riffs and a catchy chorus. Check it out in the video here:
That’s quickly followed by the engaging Burn ‘Em, which begins with stabbing guitars that flow into a melodic verse. The vocals intensify as a stabbing riff joins in and feeds into a powerful chorus. Check it out in the video here:
The album is packed with delicious Swedish metal goodness like the excellent End of Days, the moodier Eraser and the delicious Wildfire. And if you want something really heavy, then look no further than the high-octane Echoes. While we’re big fans of the track Brother, which you can check out in the video below:
And on tracks to look out for, the band told us: “Three of my personal favourites are Burn ‘Em, Devastation and End of Days. I feel that these songs really show what we are all about. One track that I really looking forward to showing the world is When Death Meets Paradise. It’s about losing someone close to you. We have dedicated this song to our friend and also one of our first fans Silas, who sadly passed away about a year ago, way too early.”
The Eyes Wide Open sound has been heavily influenced by the many bands that emerged from the “Gothenburg sound” but has evolved through the years. As the band tell us: “In the beginning, I think our strongest influences came from the Swedish Melodic Metal scene, especially the Gothenburg sound. Over the years I think more core influences have come into the mix but also other influences like classic music and so on. We try to use inspiration from everything we love listening to.”
And on what inspires them to write music, they add: “We usually use topics about struggles and hardship in life. Stuff that everyone has to go through, but also about things that happen in the world and how it affects us all.”
Eyes Wide Open performed their first gig in two years at their album release party and they will continue promoting the new album, with plans for a full year of touring if possible. And you should be able to catch them not only in Sweden but all across Europe.
You can follow Eyes Wide Open on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, support them on Patreon, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster and YouTube. And check out more great new bands through their German label Arising Empire.