CD Reviews

H.E.A.T - 'Into The Great Unknown'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 07, 2017    
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Album. Of. The. Year.

In just nine years, Swedish superstars H.e.a.t have developed from the new kids on the Melodic Rock block to become the undisputed forerunners of the genre. With a reputation for amazing live performances, let alone their uncanny ability to write a quite brilliant song, the reverence in which H.e.a.t are held is richly deserved; the growth in maturity since Erik Grönwall joined the ranks setting impossibly high standards with each subsequent album that they themselves seem to have no problems in exceeding.
The prophetically titled 'Into The Great Unknown' once again is a journey of exploration into just how H.e.a.t can elevate their status and advance their style, all without sacrificing the elements of what endeared them to us in the first place. It's very much the H.e.a.t we've come to know and love, but with a few additional tweaks to keep it fresh and exciting.

Continuing in the somewhat tougher and edgier vein of 'Tearing Down The Walls', the seamless transition of returning guitarist Dave Dalone replacing the departed Eric Rivers going virtually unnoticed in that respect, it's unquestionably not as instant as its predecessors, the keyboards of Jona Tee take centre stage with some unexpected programming techniques.

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Rabble-rousing opener 'Bastard Of Society', the Arena Rock of 'Shit City', 'Blind Leads The Blind' and 'Best Of The Broken' are classic H.e.a.t (i.e. immense melodies and soaring choruses that will kill in a live situation), whereas 'Time On Our Side', 'Do You Want It?' and the very classy 'Redefined' are adorned with electronic effects that add a Modern Rock element without sacrificing their Hard Rock credentials. The epic title track that closes out proceedings in dramatic fashion is the finest example of the burgeoning maturity in their writing abilities.

Credit too must go to Grönwall, regardless of his frenetic, exuberant stage persona, he possesses an almighty voice with a stunning range that is well and truly exhibited on the intense, wonderfully arranged ballad 'Eye Of The Storm' and the amazing 'We Rule', the latter highly reminiscent of Queen at their most dynamic and bombastic.
'Into The Great Unknown' will undoubtedly polarise opinions due to the changes in direction, but I absolutely love it, and therefore applaud H.e.a.t for having the determination to push the envelope. It will be fascinating to see where they will go from here. Album. Of. The. Year.

Ant Heeks

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