War of Kings (album)

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War of Kings
Europe War of Kings album.jpg
Studio album by Europe
Released March 2, 2015 (2015-03-02)
Recorded October–November 2014
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 48:59
Label UDR Records
JVC (Japan)
Producer Dave Cobb
Europe chronology
Bag of Bones
(2012)Bag of Bones2012
War of Kings
Walk the Earth
(2017)Walk the Earth2017
Singles from War of Kings
  1. "War of Kings"
    Released: February 4, 2015
  2. "Days of Rock 'N' Roll"
    Released: March 13, 2015

War of Kings is the tenth studio album by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was released on March 2, 2015 by UDR Records.[1]


In late 2014, the band signed deal with record label UDR. Tempest explained: "We’re really excited to be working with the people at UDR. A very credible label and I am impressed with their work building a future and a solid foundation for their Artists". UDR president and owner Ulrike Rudolph expressed her delight in capturing the band for the label. She said: "We are always looking to expand the label’s stable of bands with quality, not quantity, and Europe represent the finest in supremely written hard rock music. They are a group who refuse to rest on their past and continue to grow as artists and musicians, so we are absolutely delighted they have come to us."[2]

Europe band members contacted Dave Cobb in 2014. They met up in Stockholm and rented vintage recording gear from the band The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Joey Tempest recorded demos on his phone and those demos were in poor audio quality. At first Cobb didn't want hear any of the Joey's demos, but in the end he agreed to. Next day Cobb contacted the band and said that he is impressed by the songs and that he also have ideas how to fix those songs. He joined the band in the studio and they all work together on those songs. They changed the arrangements on 4 or 5 songs and also wrote bits and segments for others. Cobb was involved in writing and instance on songs "War of Kings" and "Praise You" and keyboard intro on "Second Day".[3] Ultimately, band recorded 12 songs.[4]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Song "War of Kings" originate from a riff made by John Levén. After that, Joey started to build song from that riff and Cobb was involved to write instance for that song. When the song was written there were no lyrics for it and Joey sang vocal melody over it, but then Tempest started to think about adventure novel The Long Ships (1941-1945) written by Frans G. Bengtsson which he read when he was a kid. He thought it would great idea to write lyrics about Viking's early beginnings and battles between Norwegians, Danish and Swedish. Tempest explained: "There were important battles early on, where self-proclaimed kings were fighting - elected kings. It was chaos in Scandinavia. I thought it was a fascinating background for a lyric, and the melodies and the riffs lend themselves to it. So that's how it started." [5]

"Hole In My Pocket" also originate from riff made by Leven, while "Second Day" and "California 405" are developed from Mic Michaeli's riffs. "California 405" is a song about hoping and dreaming. It was inspired by time band had spent in California in late eighties and early nineties and driving Interstate 405 highway. Tempest explained: "When I go to California now, everything has changed. The late 80s and beginning of the 90s, it was a completely different place as far as music and MTV, airplay and rock music on radio. But I still get a great feeling driving south. Things have changed but there is still hope. You can still feel free. Get in the rental car, put some great music on and drive south in California and feel that sense of freedom, it's still there!"[3] "Days of Rock 'N' Roll" originates from an idea and keyboard riff made by Tempest in 1988. It was called "Out of This World" and this keyboard riff had a fanfare pattern and the idea was to make a fanfare kind of song out of it. That riff never turned out to be a song, but the band named their album Out of This World (1988) by that riff. In 2014. band picked up this old riff and tried it on a guitar and with different drum tempo and Tempest also wrote new lyrics which talk about rise, fall and rise of rock'n'roll.[3][6]

"Rainbow Bridge" was born out one of the jams between Tempest and Michaeli, where Tempest played drums and Michaeli played keyboards. After that, they took parts of the jam they've liked and wrote song from those parts. Tempest wrote fictional lyrics about bridge in Tokyo called Rainbow Bridge, which he saw from a skybar.[7] "Angels (With Broken Hearts)" originates from a riff made by John Norum. That song was finished later in the studio with a full band and Cobb. During the writing process, band found out that Jack Bruce had died. Moved by his death, band and Cobb rewrote the lyrics and lyrics turned out to be about people passing away in out lives. "Light It Up" also originates from a riff made by Norum.[3][7] "Vasastan" is an instrumental written by Norum and Michaeli. It was named after Vasastan, district in Stockholm where PanGaia Studios is located.[7]

Album artwork and release[edit]

After they played with album title ideas, band decided to name the album "War of Kings" because is opening song on the album and everyone in the band considered it special. Band then decided to contact Paul Tippet, artist from London, after they have seen the album cover of the first Black Star Riders album that he designed. Band sent the song "War of Kings" with the lyrics to Paul and they have insisted that he doesn't use elements such as swords, fire or Vikings, but only contemporary elements like presidents, kings, businessman's and that he can also use chess angle. Paul took the shot of the man in the suit and designed the whole album cover and band later only did small changes on it.[8]

Title track "War of Kings" was released as a first single. Song was premiered exclusively on Planet Rock radiostation on January 30, 2015. at 8:10 a.m. and it was released for a digital download on February 4, 2015. Music video for the single was directed by Patrick Ullaeus and it was premiered on February 9, 2015.[9] Two of the songs: "Nothin' to Ya" and "Days of Rock 'N' Roll" were streamed on VH1 website until morning of February 27, 2015.[10] Album was released in United Kingdom on March 2, in Japan on March 4 through JVC, Europe on March 6 and in United States on March 10th, 2015. Album was released in four different formats: CD digipack, CD jewelcase, Vinyl LP and in digital download format. All the versions of the album included 11 songs, except CD digipack and Japanese version which also have a bonus track Vasastan, which is an instrumental.[11][12] Limited edition boxset of the album was released on March 6 in Germany and EU countries, on March 9 in United Kingdom and EU and United States on April 28, 2015. It contains War of Kings Deluxe Edition, extended 7 inch booklet, the "Making of" DVD "War of Kings - How we Did it", t-shirt, postcard and sticker.[9]"Days of Rock 'N' Roll" was released as a second single on March 13, 2016. Music video was directed by Ullaeus and it is featuring the footage of the band performing in Manchester and Wolverhampton. Video was premiered on April 27, 2015. On the same day, limited edition CD of the single was released through Europe's own Stereo Boutique Shop.[9] On December 4 in North America and in Australia on November 27, 2015., band released Special Edition of the album which includes original "War of Kings" album and DVD/Blu-ray with performance of Europe on Wacken Open Air in 2015. The set was released in three different formats: 2-disc ecolbook with CD and DVD, 2-disc ecolbook with CD and Blu-ray and limited edition deluxe package with CD, DVD, Blu-ray and photobook. Also, audio-only edition of Wacken Open Air performance was released in digital format. Preorders for Special Edition of "War of Kings" album began on October 21, 2015. Live video of "Nothin' to Ya" was also released on record label's YouTube channel.[12][13]

Track listing[14][edit]

1."War of Kings"Joey Tempest, John Levén, Dave Cobb4:36
2."Hole in My Pocket"Tempest, Levén3:42
3."The Second Day"Tempest, Mic Michaeli5:23
4."Praise You"Tempest, Michaeli, Cobb4:34
5."Nothin' to Ya"Tempest, John Norum, Michaeli, Levén, Ian Haugland3:54
6."California 405"Tempest, Michaeli4:31
7."Days of Rock 'N' Roll"Tempest3:05
8."Children of the Mind"Tempest, Michaeli, Cobb4:30
9."Rainbow Bridge"Tempest, Michaeli3:16
10."Angels (With Broken Hearts)"Tempest, Michaeli, Norum, Levén, Haugland, Cobb5:19
11."Light It Up"Tempest, Norum, Levén6:10

War of Kings: Special Edition[edit]


  • Produced by Dave Cobb
  • Engineered by John Netti


Chart (2015) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[15] 27
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[16] 58
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[17] 83
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[18] 35
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[19] 38
French Albums (SNEP)[20] 69
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[21] 23
Italian Albums (FIMI)[22] 41
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[23] 38
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[24] 41
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[25] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[26] 6
UK Albums (OCC)[27] 50
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[28] 18
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[29] 44

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Japan March 4, 2015 Victor CD VICP-65293[30]
Europe March 6, 2015 UDR Records Digipak CD, DVD, T-Shirt, Photoalbum, Postcard, Sticker UDR 0492[31]
March 10, 2015 UDR Records LP UDR 0483[32]
Taiwan September 4, 2015 Magnum Records CD MVP-65293[33]


  1. ^ a b "EUROPE To Release 'War Of Kings' On UDR Records In March MelodicRock.com". melodicrock.com. Retrieved 2014-12-05. 
  2. ^ "Europe signs with UDR Records". udr-music.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved 2016-12-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d "antiMusic.com: The antiMusic Interview: Joey Tempest of Europe". antiMusic.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  4. ^ "EUROPE Complete Recording For New Album Due March 2015". melodicrock.com. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  5. ^ "Joey Tempest of Europe: Songwriter Interviews". songsfacts.com. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Metal-Rules.com News, Interviews, Concert Reviews >> EUROPE - drummer Ian Haugland". metal-rules.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  7. ^ a b c "Lords of Metal ezine". Lords of Metal ezine. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  8. ^ "Exclisive Interview with Joey Tempest of Europe". overdrive.ie. Retrieved 2016-11-20. 
  9. ^ a b c "JOHN NORUM OFFICIAL WEBSITE". johnnorum.se. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  10. ^ "Europe Premiere 2 New Songs - VH1". vh1.com. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  11. ^ "Europe To Release "War Of Kings" Album In March - Blabbermouth.net". blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  12. ^ a b "EUROPE To Release 'War Of Kings' Special Edition". melodicrock.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  13. ^ "Europe Announces "War Of Kings" Special Edition, 2016 Usa Tour - Blabbermouth.net". blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  14. ^ "EUROPETHEBAND.COM". europetheband.com. Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  15. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Europe – War Of Kings" (in German). Hung Medien.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Europe – War Of Kings" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Europe – War Of Kings" (in French). Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Europe – War Of Kings" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Europe: War Of Kings" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  20. ^ "Lescharts.com – Europe – War Of Kings". Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  22. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Europe – War Of Kings". Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Europe – War Of Kings". Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Europe – War Of Kings". Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Europe – War Of Kings". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Europe – War Of Kings". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Europe | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  28. ^ "Europe Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Europe Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "CD Japan: War Of Kings Europe CD Album". CD Japan. 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2017-09-09. 
  31. ^ "EUROPE WAR OF KINGS - Fanpackage". Silver Lining Music Ltd. 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2017-09-09. 
  32. ^ "Europe - War Of Kings (Vinyl LP) - Amoeba Music". Amoeba Music. 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2017-09-09. 
  33. ^ "你正在找 europe war of kings - 馬雅音樂". Magnum Records. 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2017-09-09.