by Griff Stevens
Vocalist Åge Sten Nilsen has established himself as an outstanding rock vocalist. Since his success while fronting Wig Wam and playing critically acclaimed parts in musicals like Chess and Which Witch, he also has seen success with his self-produced Queen tribute show, The Show Must Go On. He has made his debut as a television host in one of TV3´s great successes the Singing Bee, and now Åge Sten Nilsen is ready to show his artistic expression with a new band and album, both called Ammunition.
Ammunition was founded in 2014 by the songwriting duo Age Sten Nilsen and the multi-talented guitarist, Erik Martensson (Eclipse (Sweden), W.E.T music, Nordic Union). They released their debut album Shanghaied in 2015 on their own label. Now, the two are teaming up with former TNT and Jack In The Box bassist Victor Cito Borge, keysman Lasse Finbråten (Circus Maximus), skinsman Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse), and guitar player Jon Pettersen, to form Ammunition. Produced by Erik Mårtensson, the album has eleven tracks and is a shining example of a melodic upbeat rock album that hits start to finish.
“Freedom Finder” is a rock-solid selection that incorporates the winning formula of Ammunition. Starting from a strong guitar hook at the beginning with a nice syncopated riff. Nilsen’s vocals are strong and leap out of the speakers with command. The song writing is strong, the melodies are catchy, and the form is easy to follow, which is a key to good songwriting, as the idea is to create music the listener will enjoy. Pettersen’s guitar solo offers big bends, flowing bluesy lines and energy. The background vocals are solid, and the lyrics are memorable.
Starting with double stops that move into a harmonized guitar melody, “Virtual Reality Boy” will engage you from the first notes. Nilsen’s vocals are excellent, big range and attitude in delivery. Again, the song writing is outstanding. Nice hooks, riffs and melodies. This is melodic rock at its best!
“Gung Ho (I Told You So)” continues the formula of great songwriting. Nilsen and Mårtensson obviously work well together and understand how to create rock hits. The guitar sounds create a signature sound, lush and full, the bass is thumping, and the drums are pounding. Add Nilsen’s perfect rock frontman persona and that how you get an outstanding rock tune!
Ammunition is a first-rate rock band that may have started in the studio, but has evolved as a band, cementing their formula, after playing countless live shows, the chemistry is evident. It’s an album brimming with well written tunes, with its main focus, a collection of feel good rock tunes, loaded with Ammunition.
Tracks to sample first: “Freedom Finder,” “Virtual Reality Boy,” “Gung Ho (I Told You So), and “Wrecking Crew.” The song to take a chance on is “Tear Your City Down.”