Europe - Walk the Earth

Europe Walk the Earth cover
Walk the Earth
Silver Lining Music
I was very disappointed when I saw Europe for the third time, this Summer in Barcelona, as Tempest must have been in a really bad day, really struggling with most of their old material, despite the lower tuning, so I tried to oust the afterthought from my mind, for a while.
Some time ago however, the news that them Swedes would be releasing their eleventh album broke, along with the leadoff single, the eponymous “Walk the Earth”, which despite being a measured number, was a pretty good one. I decided to give em another chance, despite considering the albums they have released in the past decade, patchy at best, despite their best intentions and I was surprised to find another great tune in the form of the rather epic “The Siege”, a heavy Deep/Rainbow, inspired sort of tune, via Yngwie.
And surprisingly even “Kingdom United”, which maintains an epic air sounds neat, with a sweet riff repeating and a bizarre Lizzy meets Europe aesthetic, mostly in the way in which Tempest tries to sing to cover up his diminishing range. They actually manage to pull things of rather gracefully.
“Pictures” is an acoustic ballad that is quite reminiscent of Bowie, I suppose.
“Election Day” feels like Deep Purple of the last few albums... willing, but not quite ready (or not). Despite all their neat instrumental efforts the song falls rather flat, other than its nice solo.
“Wolves” is Europe doing Candlemass (hehe)… well, it’s a weird slow and heavy song, with Tempest singing well but very low in terms of volume and tone. It’s not a bad track, but it’s odd at best. Again Norum’s solo is a highlight, but feels almost wasted in this subdued number.
“GTO” is Deep Purple done by Europe, with Tempest trying to do the best with what he’s got left. He’s not running on empty, but a wild hurricane and a highway star, this is not, no matter how swiftly Norum solos yet again. However, back in the day, this would have been a relative highlight.
“Haze” is a fuzzy, heavy, mid-tempo, that is probably the most plain and boring song of the album, with a hastily put together chorus and a simple unimaginative and repetitive riff.
“Whenever You’re Ready” attempts to push the pedal to the metal, with Michaeli uping the ante with some “Lord-ian” keys. It’s OK, I suppose.
“Turn to Dust” is the longest song on the album and it’s closing statement. It’s rather melancholic with a somewhat Scorpionesque atmosphere mingling with some Purple “shades of grey”… 50 of them, I must have counted (lol). It’s actually nice, but a bit too sorrowful.
I must say, that despite suffering because of the diminishing abilities of Tempest seem to hold the entire band back, the overall result seems to be justifying the band for sticking to their guns and by their comrade. It’s probably too late to bother, with member changes and all that hoopla. The result is the most focused Europe album in a long while, that could have been a bit better, but is completely adequate and doesn’t disappoint or make you feel sorry about its creators. There’s still some gas in the ole’ tank, but I think the end of the road must be in sight, unless they choose to crush and burn…