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Friday, April 11, 2014

CD-Review: H.e.a.t. - "Tearing Down The Walls"

H.e.a.t. - the melodic rock icones (yes I would call them like that because they never failed so far) from Sweden came out of nowhere in 2007 and with their first two albums they really set a sign in the melodic rock world. At this time no other band was able to transport this 80's mood in such a fantastic way. Then the big shock: singer Kenny left the band, but luckily the band found in Erik Grönwall another gifted vocalist and the third album "Adress The Nation" was another highlight and their best album so far. Now the new record "Tearing Down The Walls" is out and it has big shoes to fill.

If you take a closer look at previous records you see that the musical style shifted into a slightly different direction. While the first two records offered more typical AOR stuff (think of Journey and Toto), "Adress The Nation" added more of an Arena-Rock feeling like Bon Jovi did it back in the 80's. This trend continues on "Tearing Down The Walls". H.e.a.t. present us much more Hard Rock with AOR elements this time. That means it is their "heaviest" album to date, but don't be afraid - the huge melodies and hooks are still there and to my ears they are better than ever. "Tearing Down The Walls" is a monster of an Melodic Rock album, which will take the hearts of every Melodic Rocker by storm. This is the kind of album which unfold its whole magic just after one listen.

The opener "Point Of No Return" is a pounding Rocker in the vein of Whitesnake, which makes you hungry for more. The first single "A Shot At Remption" makes also everything right, although this is the only song, which needed a bit more time to convince me, but once it grabs you, you can't get it out of your head.
"Inferno" is another amazing Stadium-Anthem with a great chorus-line, which will stuck in your head for weeks. The following title track wakes good old memories at older Bon Jovi stuff and is one of many highlights on this album.

I know it's hard to ask a true Rocker this question, but: do you remember the Britney Spears hit "Oooops I Did It Again"? Why I'm asking? Just listen to "Mannequin Show" and you'll see that the similarities are obvious. But you know what? H.e.a.t. made a pretty good "Rock version" of it.
The following "We Will Never Die" is one of the songs, which could have been on the first two releases of the band. This is a typical AOR song ala Journey.
What follows is an absolute highlight for me: "Emergency" has a chorus to die for and I can't stop singing it. When I was listening to this song I had tears of joy in my eyes. That should say it all.
Nex one in line is the only ballad on this record: "All The Nights" is a very quiet song, which features just a piano and some violins in the background. Normally I don't like this kind of songs. I'm more a fan of big Power-Ballads but this tune has again such a nice melody, a great vocal performance and tons of harmonies, which will make you dream.

So after this little break H.e.a.t. come up with another gem called "Eye For An Eye". Arena-Rock at it's best. No doubt about it. The following "Enemy In Me" is the heaviest track on the record, a pounding Hard Rock tune with a cool rhythm.
"Laughing At Tomorrow" closes a fantastic album. This song is a typical smooth Melodic Rocker, which features again a stunning chorus.

Production and Mix was handled again by Tobias Lindell and he makes this album sound f*cking amazing. H.e.a.t. never sounded that powerful! I think I don't need to say that the band performance itself is outstanding, too. Soaring guitars, tight rhythm section and kick-ass vocals make the whole listening-experience very enjoyable.
If I have to complain about something here then it is the fact that the 45 minutes running time are over so quickly.

The bottom line is that "Tearing Down The Walls" is the most mature sounding album by this young band so far, which offers top-notch songwriting, top-notch-performances and a top-notch production. This is Stadium Rock at it's finest! Sadly the times are over where this kind of music ruled the world. Those songs are made for huge arenas and I'd love to see H.e.a.t. play their stuff in such big venues and although I know this will never happen I'm very thankful for such talented, young bands like H.e.a.t., who remind us at the great times, where music was much more than business. To come to an end - "Tearing Down The Walls" IS a future classic, so if you call yourself a Rock'n'Roller go out and buy it!



01. Point Of No Return
02. A Shot At Redemption
03. Inferno *
04. The Wreckoning (Instrumental)
05. Tearing Down The Walls *
06. Mannequin Show *
07. We Will Never Die
08. Emergency *
09. All The Nights
10. Eye For An Eye *
11. Enemy In Me
12. Laughing At Tomorrow

* best tracks

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