Published on September 7th, 2017 | by Mike Ainscoe0
H.E.A.T: Into The Great Unknown – album review
‘INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN’
Long awaited? After the massive breakthrough impact of 2014’s ‘Tearing Down The Walls’ (and the subsequent strike while the iron’s hot release, ‘Live In London’) you could say that H.E.A.T’s ‘Into The Great Unknown’ fits the billing.
This time round, their huge Scandinavian melodic hard rock spaceship has crashed down on some distant planet or other and a lone figure strides forth, Flying V strapped on his back, to seek sanctuary and bring the H.E.A.T brand to the far flung galaxies. The rock and roll journey into the great unknown. Together with fellow Scandinavians, Eclipse, who are also at the forefront of the wave of Swedish melodic hard rock, they conjure up the image of either (a) the BritPop battle of Oasis vs Blur, or (b) brothers in arms flying the flag from high energy melodic rock.
It’s the first album to feature new guitarist Sky Davids (Dave Dalone to his mum), not that you’d tell as he fits like a glove; a velvet one with the proverbial iron fist that delivers the trademark massive hooks and choruses with a dynamic vibrancy brought to life with a thunderous production. In fact it’s what Blackadder would call a huge production; a multi story one with a flashing neon sign at the top that reads “this is a huge production”
While the sonic expectations may be re-established from early doors, there’s an element of the recognisable genre getting a little spit and polish and twisting into an ever so slightly different shape. A glimpse through the song titles, cue sharp intake of breath, reveals the lyrically questionable ‘Bastard Of Society’ and ‘Shit City’ – Erik Gronwall’s explanations revealing a fighting attitude, as he dons the maverick hat briefly and sounds off on encountering the dark side. The latter comes defined as the H.E.A.T version of ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ – maybe they’re less clean and wholesome than we thought?
On the other hand, ‘Redefined’ reveals a more bubbly keyboard influence, one that resurfaces a couple of times to punctuate the more typical rock orientated numbers. ‘Do You Want It?’ finds them hitting something like a Celtic groove, a clear indication that they’ve hit a winning formula but are still prepared to give it a tweak. It’s the brilliant seven minute plus title track which closes the album, one maybe better placed to opening proceedings, but is more than well worth the wait. An atmospheric intro before another titanic riff and anthemic call developing into a slow burning, stop-start stomp. Add a touch of blues and you’re into Whitesnake/Coverdale territory but the chorus ensures that the AOR brigade have something to hang onto.
So, as you were from H.E.A.T; a hard act to follow, although they’ve not attempted to recreate the ‘Tearing Down…’ package. One that sees the dynamic package of their glorious past doused with a healthy dose of realism and bite.
You can see the video for ‘Redefined’ from the album here:
H.E.A.T can be found online here