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HEARTLAND – Into The Future (2021)

Heartland meets Slamer, a perfect combination
94/100

Heartland’s latest incarnation is the first since 1995 to be without frontman Chris Ousey’s musical partner Steve Morris. While Steve continues a break, the album has been co-written and performed by Chris with Barish Kepic (ex Jaded Heart) and the most legendary Mike Slamer. The album also features Ged Rylands, Wayne Banks and David Anthony, who round out the recording lineup.

While Ousey is obviously the main man behind Heartland’s sound, he isn’t the only ingredient that made so many wonderful albums over the years. Thankfully everyone else involved have slipped into place nicely and the sound of Into The Future isn’t a great departure from previous records.

Mike Slamer can be heard adding his touches all over the record – his style fitting this record perfectly. At the same time, he hasn’t transformed the band into a Slamer project. This is not as typical as he has sounded on his records over the years. All in all, it is a nice amalgamation of personalities.

At the heart of the matter is we have a great new 12 track Heartland album here, that sounds like Heartland. As is always the case with any Heartland record, the melodies and hooks take several listens to evolve and develop into the ear worms they end up being.

At times the band stretch the tempo into a heavier realm, Slamer making his mark such as on Caught Up. The pure AOR of A Living Thing is about as instant as any Heartland hook gets and is an immediate stand out.

Plenty of highlights throughout – Not Guilty, A Foreign Land, Climbing Your Wall and When The Band Plays to name a few.

Another great Heartland record. This time featuring two of my favourite people in the melodic world – vocalist Chris Ousey and the versatile Mike Slamer. It’s a no brainer!