ERIKA, COLD WINTER NIGHT (1990): Swedish Crystal Winter Wonder

Season’s greeting and New Year is coming soon. But the majority of people in North Hampshire gotta know that the colder season is approaching while being excited with those joyful festivities…though here in New York City is warmer than average in this season. 
Winter is also artistically blessed season. Many beautiful arts were created in winter, and beautiful winter songs made us feel clean and beautiful like pure snow. 

Here introducing one of the best winter albums. Cold Winter Night by Erika from Sweden, one of the world’s coldest countries. Not Roxette, not ABBA, not Europe, but Erika. Cold Winter Night was released in 1990 as Erika’s debut album.

Many music fans might not know Erika, but know her first husband who married shortly after this album…Yngwie Malmsteen, neoclassical heavy metal guitar hero. Yngwie played solo on the ninth song, “Emergency”.  

Cold Winter Night definitely does not need Yngwie’s name to describe the album (Yngwie didn’t involve with the songwriting and production). Erika’s super beauty as seen on the album cover was unnecessary, either. Cold Winter Night is a hidden Scandinavian hard rock jewel with the medley of superb melodious songs.  

This is literary a winter album. Cold Winter Night is no lie. From the moment “Prelude” starts, you’re standing alone in the world of 0 Fahrenheit (-17.8 C) in the snowfield between the forest under the dark navy night sky that won’t see the sunrise for a while. A beautiful lady even cries “I’m out in the cold”. Your body temperature is even dropping down. The beautiful lady’s voice changes to frosty breath with “Together We’re Lost”, then snowstorm starts. “Cold Winter Night” calls blizzard with symphonic keyboard and edgy guitars. “Last Call For Love” and “Postlude” are the February solitude before long cold winter is finally over  

Between the cold songs are mainly warm pop-rock songs, but they are what I want to enjoy listening in front of a warm fireplace, definitely not under the Florida sunshine where Erika used to live with Yngwie. 

Absolutely Sweden. The beautiful and mysterious arctic winter is the world of this album. No betrayal by the beautiful winter-inspired album cover, either. 

Cold Winter Night contains the beautiful elements of Swedish metal in the ’90s all over, such as thick harmonized chorus over sparkling melody and crystal clear sound production. If you like melodious rock, this is the album to listen, no matter what the artist’s nationality, the album’s age, and hit album or not.

The best part of Cold Winter Night is the songs with the almost best track list. Especially from the first song (“Prelude”) to sixth song (“Cold Winter Night”) is the chain of gems. “Together We’re Lost” and “Cold Winter Night” have dramatic and neo-classical North European hard rock melodies with thick choruses. “Line Of Fire” (3rd) is melodious pop-rock with an impressive chorus that emphasizes thick vocal harmonies and heavy guitar lines. “Hurting So Bad” (4th) is a hopeful song about beautiful relationship/friendship offering supports over pop-rock melodies. The verse is normal with slow “Heavenly (5th), but the beautiful chorus is, indeed, heavenly. It’s so addictive that those 3 warm pop-rock songs are cut shape by the following cold and heavy title track. Cheesy and dull “Living Like A Hurricane” is the only con of this album, but excitement is back with thrilling rock anthem “Emergency” with Yngwie’s eye-popping solo.  

Erika’s voice is not characteristic. Frankly saying, regular clear and high female voice. However, Erika’s voice hides sharp edges like cutting aurora, stretches like touching heaven, straight power to knock you out, bounces to rock you, and feminine sentiments. They showed on point like a ninja and hook listeners up with addiction. And Erika’s voice never falls behind powerful and technical instrumentals, even Yngwie’s speedy guitar storm. Another example we can’t judge by the surface. Attractive clear hard rock voice. 

Instrumentals and production make this album enjoyable as well. There are many highly skilled instrumental players in Sweden, and Cold Winter Night is no different. Each player shows high tech without hesitation and harmonizes perfectly with Erica’s beautiful voice. And this super clear production quality….is this really the album of 28 years ago? No fading at all. Boosted sounds are comfortable, too.

Cold Winter Night became a smash hit in Sweden, and “Together We’re Lost” reached at #7 on Swedish chart. Unfortunately, this beautiful masterpiece has already been discontinued. You can enjoy on YouTube though.

Erika is still active as a hard rock singer in her home country. Her latest album, Deaf, Dumb & Blonde was released in 2016.

OVERALL POINTS: 94/100

  • Eternal dopeness: ★★★★★
  • Overall integrity: ★★+1/2
  • Songs: ★★★★+1/2
  • Originality: ★★★★
  • Song orders: ★★★★+1/2
  • Vocal: ★★★★★
  • Background: ★★★★★
  • Production: ★★★★★
  • Strong songs: “Prelude”, “Together We’re Lost”, “Lines of Fire”, “Hurting So Bad”, “Cold Winter Night”, “Emergency”

EXTRA (NOT COUNTED TOWARD THE OVERALL POINTS)

  • Title: A
  • Album cover: A++

ERIKA’S FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/erikaerika666/

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