“Out of the Dark” has been released three years after the “Long Way to the Light” record, and is the third ‘solo’ album of the multi-talented musician Robert Pehrsson, who takes no prisoners once again with this beautiful record.

The album, which was recorded, produced and mixed on Robert’s own Studio Humbucker, starts with the groovy and emphatic “All I need is Not to Need You” and sets the tone and the standards very high from the beginning. This is a great Hard Rock, incorporating beautiful guitar and chorus melodies, solid and groovy drumming and seems that every piece has been properly put up to maximize the enjoyment of the fan/listener. “Entombed in Time” starts with a very mellow acoustic guitar and keyboards intro before the main riff catches your attention, and this is another example of the diversity and the dynamics of this record. What I really like on all Robert’s records, and more specifically on this one, is that the straightforwardness of the songwriting works for the benefit of a great result at the end, which combines riffs, melodies, dual guitars, memorable choruses and distinctive vocals. We have an artist who is doing absolutely great on all three aspects: writing music, playing guitar and being the vocalist.

“Out of the Dark” has contributions from Robert’s friends/longtime fellow musicians, like Nicke Andersson, Tobias Egge, Joseph Tholl, Oscar Ulfheden, Jakob Ljungberg, Johan Bäckman, Thomas Eriksson and Andreas Axelsson. All of them adding their own personal touch either on backing vocals, drums, bass or songwriting as well. The whole record is about dark moments in life, but also love, looking at yourself, and overall positive vibe prevails, something that derives from the beautiful arrangements, the lyrics, the uplifting mode of the songs and Robert’s signature songwriting. The album could not have a better cover, than the melodramatic painting of the romantic English artist John Martin (1789 – 1854) called “The Great Day of His Wrath”, a fantastic piece of art, which absolutely fits the themes and the overall feeling of the record.

Robert Pehrsson has created once again a great record which reminds us how great music is hard rock, how fun it is to listen songs like “Castle Turns to Dust”, “Surrender”, “Awaiting the Return of the Light” (one of my personal favorites), and that there is no compromise for high quality songwriting, inspirational lyric themes and great musicianship.

♦ 8/10

Antonis Mantzavinos