H.E.A.T are back to prove they are the absolute gold standard when it comes to delivering instantly catchy, well-written melodic hard rock.
They’re also back with original singer Kenny Leckremo following the sad departure of mega-star vocalist Erik Gronwall who helmed the last 4 studio albums. The bad news was kept to a minimum with the announcement Kenny would return to add to his own legacy with the band, having fronted the first two records. I love it how these guys seem to manage to keep any line-up changes ‘within the family’.
So where does H.E.A.T go for their seventh studio outing? Back to the more AOR sound of the first two records or more commercial like Into The Great Unknown? Or do they keep the momentum of the cracking pace of the last album HEAT 2 and the harder hitting style of the ‘Erik years’?
While Kenny may bring a slightly different vocal style to the party, the songwriting and direction on ‘Force Majeure’ is very much a continuation of the last album and the ‘Address The Nation’/’Tearing Down The Walls’ style of the band. So this is basically H.E.A.T 3 – or H.E.A.T 2 Kenny-style. The same urgent tempo, the same big production and the same big melodies are all over this record.
It is nothing short of classic H.E.A.T through and through.
The format and structure of previous albums is also largely adhered to, with songs here reminding me of the band’s best moments on songs such as Point Of No Return, Breaking The Silence, It’s All About Tonight and Living On The Run.
Harder To Breathe dips into ‘Into The Great Unknown’ territory, but for the rest of the album I’m hearing ‘H.E.A.T 2’ meets ‘Address The Nation’.
Once again, it is killer song after killer song – this band can do (and has done) no wrong.
The three singles Back To The Rhythm, Nationwide and Hollywood all show what the band are capable of, but there’s another 8 classic rockers to look forward to.
Tainted Blood, Not For Sale, Hold Your Fire and Wings of An Aeroplane all deliver and Demon Eyes is the heaviest thing I’ve ever heard Kenny sing.
Only the dramatic and heavy ballad One Of Us slows the pace of the album at all, providing another big highlight. The big anthemic Paramount is something a little different for the guys but keeps in the spirit of the H.E.A.T sound.
With no surprise to any follower of the band, they have proved yet again, they are a magnificent outfit and haven’t let the change of vocalist slow them down in any way. Kenny sings his absolute heart out on this record – probably the best I’ve ever heard his voice.
11 new fantastic tracks to add to the band’s already magnificent career. The definition of force majeure is “irresistible compulsion or superior strength…” Yes, H.E.A.T are an indeed an irresistible compulsion with superior strength!