"Forever More" is Tesla's first original studio album in 5 years after "Into The Now" and also the first album to feature, Dave Rude, the replacement for long-time guitarist, Tommy Skeoch. The album's musical style picked up from the last album which is a modernized hard rock, shown in a lot of downtuned tone and less high-pitch and screaming vocal. Jeff Keith's vocal is still strong and powerful, though I spotted a downward on the range due to age. Hannon and Rude are complementing each other very well, perhaps because Rude has been playing with them since 2006 and he found a good chemistry within the band and built up the confidence of filling Skeoch's shoe.
The title track, which they considered a strong tune and regularly played in their latest gig, is somehow a filler to my ear. It's too modern, flat, and a bit boring, could be a dangerous starter for long-time fans unless you can adapt to new-school hard rock style. "I Wanna Live", however, is much better, still packed with modern chops but the chorus is anthemic and accessible. Tesla was using a lot of chugging riffs pattern on this album, just like "One Day At A Time", "So What!", or "All of Me". The latter has a powerful and mesmerizing chorus, a great uptempo hard rock which is my favorite, together with an alternative-style midtempo rocker, "Just In Case", the passionate power ballad, "Fallin' Apart" and "Pvt. Ledbetter", and the best song of the album, "The First Time". Funny thing is, "The First Time" started slow and burst out to a mix of hard rock and alternative style in the veins of Goo Goo Dolls, but still has the classic Tesla grips. The single "Breakin' Free" isn't very good and the last two songs are completely passable.
This album is totally different from the "Mechanical" or "Radio" days, but if you like "Into The Now", this one is easy to eat up, but for classic hard rock fans, this might be a patchy album and sounded too modern. I dig this one though still two steps away from their essential records. If you want to know how Tesla is doin' these days, "Forever More" is worth a catch. And by the way, European release is more interesting to buy as they provided you with couple of bonus tracks.