Sound — 8
Many people wrongly consider Europe as one of the many one-hit bands of the eighties, due to their incredibly famous song "The Final Countdown". But many don't know that Europe started as a metal band and that their second album, Wings of Tomorrow, is a really great record that any hard-rock and metal fan should enjoy. Sure, it's not as heavy nor deep as an Iron Maiden album, to make an example, but has some great songs which feature an excellent guitar work, with heavy riffs like in Scream of Anger or the self titled track Wings of Tomorrow, togheter with the vocals that have that more "pop" style that became the main highlight in the next albums. John Norum, the guitarist, is in my opinion very underrated if not unknown to most, but he always has the right solo for every song, and he's fast, but in the right way. The highlights of the album are the opener Stormwind, with a catchy chorus and a great solo; Open your Heart, a ballad that builds slowly and becomes heavier when you wouldn't expect it; the instrumental Aphasia; Dance the Night away, a rather fast and catchy rocker. But the best track on the album is Scream of Anger; it's, in my opinion, a very underrated metal song, really worth listening. Sadly, the album has a rather raw sound, and doesn't sound like it was mixed too well. There's no comparison between this and the next albums, which have a better sound but don't compare to this one content-wise. There are also some background synths which have the right volume in the mix, and blend well with the heavy distorted guitars.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are the "weak" point of the album, and of all Europe albums in my opinion. They're not bad; the choruses are catchy, more catchy than a lot of other stuff I've heard, still not falling in the simplicity and silliness of pop. But they don't say much and don't have that deepness that the music would deserve. The vocals are excellent though (except for the background vocals in Wings of Tomorrow during the chorus that sound incredibly stupid).
Overall Impression — 8
In my opinion, the mix of catchy, "poppish" choruses, double bass drums, and heavy riffs and fast solos that this album features remind a bit of Power Metal, even if it's not nearly as heavy. It's a shame that Europe didn't keep on doing this stuff, but I guess they had reasons for doing that. Overall, this album is really worth listening; it has some great material in it, and it's suitable both for metal fans and for people who approach the genre, because it's not as heavy as other stuff.