H.E.A.T - Tearing Down The Walls
SCORE - 100%
Swedish melodic rock heroes H.E.A.T return with an album that evens the ledger as far as the fan base goes. It’s now 2 albums with the original vocalist Kenny Leckremo and this makes two with new recruit Erik Gronwall.
The band’s debut was utterly sensational and put the band on the map instantly. Freedom Rock let the foot off the pedal a little I felt, but with Erik’s addition to the band, Address The Nation in 2012 well and truly put the band back into high gear, even if the direction changed ever so slightly.
So on the back of 2 years of touring, the guys return tighter than ever (minus second guitarist Dave Dalone). Dave’s departure hasn’t affected the band at all – strangely, the use of the one guitarist and song choices here have toughened up the band’s sound.
Tearing Down The Walls sees the band continue the winning formula of Address The Nation, albeit with a slightly heavier approach on the songs and a more straight ahead, take no prisoners attitude.
Let’s no beat around the bush here – this is a monster album. It is the sort of album that comes around only once every year or two that firmly stamps it’s authority on the rock scene and through its brilliance, defines just why we are all fans of this music and of tis band in particular.
If they could bottle up the energy on this record, it could power a small nation of metal heads for a decade.
Point Of No Return is everything you could wish an opening track to be. It builds, it explodes, it delivers a knockout chorus, and it delivers all the guitars and big harmonies you would die for.
I didn’t expect the style of A Shot At Redemption at all. It snuck up on me and is something fresh and original for the band. But as with everything H.E.A.T – it latches on and doesn’t let go. Ever!
Inferno is simply a monster, barnstorming rocker with a screw you attitude, a few edgy lyrics and a head pounding beat.
The Wreckoning is a short intro into the big anthem ballad for the album. Not too often does a title track lend itself to being a big chart topping, hands in the air ballad, but Tearing Down The Walls is just that. And what a soaring chorus it is!
Too much has already been made of the similarities between the track Mannequin Show and that of a chart topping bimbo and to those comparisons I say, screw it! This is a deliciously quirky melodic rocker with another great chorus that really digs in. It grooves, it rocks and it’s as catchy as hell.
We Will Never Die is one of the album’s more straight forward tracks – but that said – the mid-tempo rocker still contains all the energy of the other songs and delivers another great chorus.
Another classic comes immediately with the driving, fast beat of the ‘urgent’ track Emergency. It rocks and it rolls and the chorus goes right over the top, with harmonies and guitars to the rafters.
All The Nights is the album’s quietest moment. The classy and emotional, sentimental piano ballad is a great change in pace and beautifully produced.
Eye For An Eye has to be one of the standout hard rockers of recent years. This hard hitting, powerful rock track is another classic on an album of classics and one I still look forward to hearing even after 100 spins of this album. Another killer chorus.
Enemy In Me lifts the intensity just slightly, but not the pace. Fast and furious and full on. Another great hard rock track with immaculate production.
Laughing At Tomorrow is yet another highlight and yet another H.E.A.T classic for me. As if all the other tracks aren’t anyway…but there’s something special about this one especially. The mellower verse that leads to the big harmony filled chorus is a lesson in great songwriting for most. After the rollicking ride that this album delivers, it’s simply a perfect way to close out proceedings.
|The Bottom Line|
The production on this album is simply breathtaking as is the mix – it’s just so easy on the ears, no matter what volume it’s played at – the majority of occasions obviously being ear splittingly loud.
H.E.A.T deserve to be where they are – which is on an upward trajectory – but they deserve to be worldwide sensations, not just European or Swedish stars. This album, coupled with their growing legacy as a killer live act, will hopefully prove to be another step towards world domination.
Based on how long I listened to Address The Nation after its release and how fresh this sounds each time I put it on, I have no hesitation in delivering the first 100 score at MelodicRock.com in 2 years!