Genre: AOR/Hard Rock
Country: Sweden
Label: AOR Heaven
Year: 2014

Singer Tony Niva’s aptly named band Niva return only one year after 2013’s “Magnitude” with “Incremental IV” and 2014 seems to be a good year for AOR/hard rock fans since what we have here is yet another solid album representing the genre.

The record seems to reach its high point very early with incredibly catchy choruses and wonderful melodies, presenting through the first three songs (“Don’t You Know”, “Crush” and “Better Just Forgotten”) well-played, honest AOR that stuck in my head for days. “Magnitude” and “The Reason Why” are one step below but still good songs (in fact I doubt you will find a bad or boring song here) and the following “Travel Back In Time” is a classic example of a nice AOR ballad. And that is generally the case with “Incremental IV”, it has all the elements you always find in AOR albums. In “Play The Game” we find the more anthemic track often present in most offerings of the genre and it’s again a great track. The guitar work is great, the vocals are fitting, the melodies are beautiful, everything is as it should be and “Coming Back To You” closes the album with a slightly heavier riff and a very memorable chorus, an impressive and fitting final track.

Sure, the lyrics consist almost exclusively of cliches and there is no sign of development or progression in the music but those are thing always expected in AOR and not really disadvantages in the genre. “Incremental IV” is as I said a solid album and while it may fail to stand out from other great 2014 AOR releases, it is definitely worth listening to.

4/6