Start from the Dark

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They're baaack! Nearly a decade-and-a-half has passed since we last heard from one of hair metal's leading bands, Europe, and the group has returned with Start from the Dark. While the group has earned a bit of a bad rap over the years (their keyboard-heavy tale of Armageddon, "The Final Countdown," was voted one of the 'Most Awesomely Bad Songs of All Time' on VH1), there's no denying that under all the pretty boy good looks and pop hooks, Europe was a talented band -- especially when compared to the other similar acts of the era. Europe's latest sees the group toughen up their sound a bit (especially when compared to their aforementioned Final Countdown era), as guitarist John Norum's heavy riffs serve as the main focal point, not keyboards, especially on such tracks as "Got to Have Faith" and the title track. In fact, even when the band takes the volume down a notch, as on "Reason," they wisely no longer try to heighten the 'syrup factor' with keyboards. Fans longing for Europe's return should enjoy Start From the Dark, even if their sound may be a bit heavier nowadays.

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