The Swedish melodic rockers H.E.A.T have released a lyric video for “Time On Our Side” — the first track to be released from the band’s upcoming fifth studio album titled “Into The Great Unknown” and reviewed below.
The band was formed in Upplands Väsby, Sweden in 2007 and is heavily influenced by melodic rock groups like Whitesnake.
After a year and a half of solid songwriting (with guitarist Dave Dalone back in the fold) the band went to Thailand to record an album at the Karm Sounds studio with award-winning Swedish producer Tobias Lindell. The result is an heroically ardent and fluorescently impressive collection of songs.
We had a listen:
“Redefined” reminds us of something taken from “The Works” album by rock group Queen — perhaps not surprising since the H.E.A.T lead-singer played the lead role every night in the Queen musical “We Will Rock You.”
If you’re of an age, you can probably remember — after years of proudly bragging “No Synths” — Queen unexpectedly released a retro-futuristic electro pop album. Perhaps it is easy to forget that most Queen songs incorporated at least some keys before this point. It’s just that in 1984 the Queen sound became dark, regular and funky with cold and aseptic rhythms.
This H.E.A.T track has all of those of 1984 “Works” elements plus moments of glamour and audacity too. And, of course, there’s the ever-present & impetuous emotion: For example, “You tell me what you want/ I give you what you need” screeches the verse as ululating guitars bring the piece to a climactic peak.
“Time On Our Side” (the official lyric video is shared below) has a punchy rhythm, a distorted bass and a whirlwind of overloaded vocals that perch dangerously above a pulsating frame. At times this is reminiscent of Muse (or even Thirty Seconds to Mars?) — but it’s also light symphonic pop-rock.
But “Time On Our Side” doesn’t move the tectonic plates of metal in the same way that perhaps the band might have desired. And certainly not as Queensrÿche or Symphony X have achieved before them. Nevertheless, this is pleasing enough.
Swedish pop-idol vocalist and H.E.A.T. front man Erik Grönwall rips into the intercellular muscle of “Eye of the Storm” right from the very beginning. Grönwall recognizes that Mercury’s grandiose and monumental extravaganza has been a great influence on his own art. So, on this piece, he cultivates the sound to its cumulative apogee. The song is an amazing & theatrical piece of histrionic rock… Perhaps, however, it is overly dependent on the vocal-refrain (Eye of the Storm? Or is it Eye of the Tiger?)
Sounding like Hawkwind‘s Silver Machine (1972) from the first, “Do You Want It?” develops into a lop-sided fantasy-march with an accompanying Pan Piper.
This number sits somewhere between the romantic folk tradition of Sweden (where the main voice takes the fiddle part and the twiddly lead guitar becomes a nyckelharpa) and the glamorous hair-metal huffer-puffers from the mid-1980s (think Bon Jovi).
There’s still lots of thumping and thoroughly regular Queenish beats though, and other distractions: like yummy twirls and fake cornices. There’e even (oddly) a bit of Gwen Stefani (“What You Waiting For?”) But, on the whole, this is a crowd-pleasing, concert-hall swayer.
“During the making of this album, I think we all felt a little bit like astronauts going off into space for the first time...” said guitarist Dave Dalone, about the recording process. “We set out on a journey not knowing what we would come back with, or even if we’d make it back… Somewhere along the way the pieces began to fall into place. There’s just no point in doing the same album again-and-again […] when it comes down to it, you want to make the songs shine to their full potential, and if that includes bending the rules of the genre or crossing paths into unknown territory, so be it.”
If you enjoy uncontrolled exuberance and sublime majesty in your glam-metal and you still get hungry for the delicious atmosphere evoked by Musicland Studios-era Queen and/or the polished glam of “Rage for Order” era Queensrÿche then you will find “Into The Great Unknown” to be a magniloquent confection of sugary delights.
Into The Great Unknown will be released on September 22 via EarMusic, and is available to pre-order now.
H.E.A.T will tour the UK in December (dates announced soon)