Out Jan 13

(PIAS)

It was the early 90s when relative unknowns Gotthard opened up for Magnum across the UK and those who caught the band’s first, glorious foray into British territory were instantly struck by a precise, passionate and powerful take on hard rock.

Briefly it appeared as if a future outside mainland Europe was all but assured. However,  for a Swiss band, Gotthard’s timing was terrible. The onset of grunge put paid to any sustained assault on an initially receptive public and their self-titled debut disappeared without a trace.

Gotthard didn’t care. Silver is tipped to become the band’s 12th successive number one album in Switzerland and as a 25th anniversary celebration it’s simply stunning. British audiences might never have embraced one of the continent’s most consistent and compelling quintets but that’s their loss.

Silver is hard rock gold. The Thunder-esque opener Silver River exposes a rich seam of melody that runs right through an ambitious and multi-faceted record. Whitesnake meets Rival Sons on Everything Inside and David Coverdale again looms large over the elegant Electrified: this is as good as it gets in 2017.

Not Foolin’ Anyone might be a poppy ballad too far for those of a heavier persuasion (think latter day Robbie Williams) but it’s another prime example of a band without creative boundaries. Gotthard take risks and take control.

Miss Me’s addictive percussion and the sheer perfection of lead single Stay With Me are two more of Silver’s shimmering highlights. Can hard rock be precious metal? Silver is proof positive.