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Swiss balladeers Gotthard celebrate their 25th anniversary with the aptly named Silver. Lesser bands may have been content to release a 'Greatest Hits' companion with a few new tracks bunged on the end as a perfunctory afterthought, but not Goddhard; Silver is a 13 track rock monster offering some terrific stadium standard tracks.

Since the tragic passing of original singer Steve Lee in 2010, the band have continued to build on the foundations that were previously laid. The third album with singer Nic Maeder, certainly should not disappoint fans of the Gotthard's brand of canorous rock. This album carries the energy and enthusiasm of a band who are invigorated by making music.

With a retro, semi-acapella opening, Silver River gets the celebrations off to a roaring start. Electrified follows with an equally high-octane mix of crunching guitars, keys, driving percussion and those totally wired vocals. Stay With Me, a standout track on the album, has soaring vocals from Nic Maeder, firmly securing him a worthy successor to the late, great, Steve Lee. There's a mix here of forceful and mellow rock anthems, moody and up-tempo love songs and even an ode finding the answers at the bottom of a glass.

Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer (guitar) make up one of the most tender and dynamic guitar duos in rock, playing with an enormous amount of sincerity and sensitivity. Marc Lynn (bass), Hena Habegger (drums) make up the outstanding percussion section, knowing exactly when to pull back and let rip. There's a graceful feel to the album which is enhanced by acoustic elements, precise harmonies and subtle musical layering which prevents the album from being overly predictable.

Silver makes sure that Gotthard retain their glistening crown as one of Swizterland's finest bands. The album is an enjoyable listen and there's not really a bad track here. It's a fitting celebration of full-blooded, infectious, melodic rock. Here's to the next 25 years.

Groupie Rating: 4/5

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