Have great respect for Europe since the 80's when they gave us classics as "The Final Countdown," "Rock The Night" and my personal favorite "Cherokee". And like many other bands that became popular during that decade they had a really heavy 90's when they also chose to take a break after the 1992 Tour.
The comeback record then "Start From The Dark" from 2004 was eagerly awaited and showed up a "new" and "modern" band. Instead of spraying their hair and go the easy route they chose to go for a darker and less arena inspired sound. A wise decision in my opinion and actually think that their 2000-century albums are more interesting than the classics with a heavier sound and less hockey choruses.
This new album, produced by Kevin Shirley (Journey, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater) once again shows a new shape of the band where they have gone back to their roots even further. It’s far more 70's rock inspired than before and they've also invited the blues, which is a bit surprising. It sounds very much Led Zeppelin, but a more modern version filled with wide legged melodies.
Like the idea and think that the record is a great addition to the bands other 2000-century albums. However, I do not think that song material is good enough and have some problem with the more blues-inspired grooves. It becomes a bit too leisurely overall when most tracks go at half speed and lacks of weight. The more hard rock-inspired "Demon Head", "Firebox" and "Riches To Rags" works very well and if more in this caliber, "Bag Of Bones" should have been a killer album. Now it’s "only" ok even if it is very well made and competent from start to end.