The Poodles released their third album, "Clash of The Elements", in 2009, as the follow-up to the mixed-receptions of 2007's sophomore release, "Sweet Trade", and also the first album with the new guitarist, Henrik Bergqvist, replacing the departure of original guitarist, Pontus Norgren. This album's style is a polished melodic rock, less metal if compared to their debut, and apparently was made to accommodate the tight competition with fellow Scandinavian melodic rockers, Brother Firetribe, Wig Wam, or H.E.A.T.
"Too Much Of Everything", in my opinion, is a weak opener and a poor positioning by the band. This midtempo track is too average to elevate the listeners' mood, instead they should have put the great anthemic and upbeat, "Caroline", or probably, "Don't Rescue Me", another better pick with a wonderful chorus. Giving 14 tracks to the fans surely a big treat, considering if you can find 3-4 fillers, you still have the chance of stumbling with at least 5-6 killer tracks, but after couple of listens, I think the good news is there's no filler at all here, but only half of them stand out as killers, while the rest of them are good, if not decent.
"Like No Tomorrow" and "One out of Ten" are among the highlights, worth checking out. "I Rule The Night" has catchy hooks and sing-along chorus, they even added a middle-eastern flair and I think this is their best work here. "Give Me A Sign" came out second with a modern melodic riffs and dreamy chorus. "Wings of Destiny" is such a beautiful and moving ballad, and packed with an unbelievably stunning chorus.
The production level is awesome, the rhythm section is tight, Jakob Samuel's voice is consistently great on every songs, I think "Clash of The Elements" put the band on the track again. If only several songs were tweaked better, this probably could top out their debut, but with "Metal Will Stand Tall" kept the champion title, this one is very close to beat it and a good buy if you like a fine melodic hard rock.