2018 is the year that a new Gospel is bestowed upon the world, ‘The Gospel According to Thomas’. This is the long-awaited full length from Thomas Silver. You may recognise that name from his days delivering the riffs with Swedish sleaze gods Hardcore Superstar. Thomas parted ways with the band in 2007 after the awesome Dreamin’ in a Casket album. Over the last 11 years, he has teased new music a few times but finally, the news drops that it’s time for an album. Silver is back, and he’s got some preaching to do.
Hardcore Superstar was one of my biggest influences growing up as a musician and a person. I always loved Silver’s playing and I’ve certainly been hoping for years that one day he would come crashing back onto the stage. Time to strap in, it’s time to listen to the sermon.
‘Caught Between Worlds’ kicks off proceedings. The guitar tone, the rhythmic and bouncy riffs… I’m back in 2005 and I am loving it. This song feels like a natural place to pick up from an 11-year break. This is vintage Hardcore Superstar, but with a more mature edge. Big choruses, big riffs, and big hooks, what a way to start an album.
‘Public Eye’ is track number two and there’s certainly no resting just yet. We’re straight in with a big, head bobbing verse before launching into quite possibly the best chorus hook I’ve heard in 2018. There was a feeling that Silver’s playing created inside me when I spent countless hours trying to learn riffs from their self-titled album and its follow up Dreamin’ In A Casket, two tracks in and this album has transported me to that moment again.
‘Minor Swing’ keeps the tempo up with it’s short, stabbing groove and huge backing vocals. You cannot help but nod your head to this. This banger is short and sweet, before we drop the tempo into D-Day, with it’s clean, sparkling guitars coupled with moody vocals which instantly remind me of the 69 Eyes. The chorus is full of that bombastic, Helskini gothic groove that the 69 Eyes pioneered but with the streetwise attitude of Gothenburg. The mid-section even bears a slight resemblance to an Iron Maiden style section with some driving riffs, soaring solos and harmonized guitars.
‘Coming In, Going Under’ kicks things back into gear with its driving punk riffs and infectious melodies. I’m a sucker for a dramatic pause in any song, this song has plenty to keep me happy. ‘Time Stands Still’ has anthem written all over it. This is the type of song that just demands a room full of people waving their arms and singing along. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the number of guitar harmonies on this album hadn’t been exciting me and we’re only halfway through!
‘Bury The Past’ is a song that anyone who has closely followed Silver’s career over the last decade should be familiar with. It was released as a single back in October 2015. Upon hearing this for the first time three years ago, I was extremely excited, was this marking the comeback of Silver? Unfortunately, at that time, the album didn’t materialize, but as they say, good things come to those who wait. We’ve waited, and Thomas has delivered.
Then we launch into ‘On A Night Like This’, but what’s that? Horns? I always think rock and roll musicians should be more receptive to experimenting with other instruments. The horns perfectly outline the 80’s rock swagger of the songs main riff and chorus.
‘Mean Town’ makes me think of some tracks Silver wrote with HCSS over their first few albums. A combination of pop sensibilities, cleaner guitars and big choruses. For me, the song really takes off when the guitar solo kicks in. The next track, ‘Not Invited’, follows suit with its cleaner guitars and catchy hooks. I’m getting a slight Hanoi Rocks vibe from this track which is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at.
‘All Those Crazy Dreams’ brings the album to a close, the first verse has only just begun, and I know this is going to be a fist in the air, anthemic singalong. It references dreaming about being a rock and roll star, we’ve all been there. The song chronicles the rise of a band from a teenage dream to the big stage. What a ride and what a story.
11 years of waiting has provided 11 tracks of pure gold. I for one have missed the sound of Silver’s guitar playing. Was it worth the wait? You bet it was. If this is the gospel, I’ve seen the light. Let’s hope the next gospel isn’t far behind. It’s time to rejoice.
Released 23/11 & 21/11 in Japan