H.E.A.T’s seventh album is exactly what it says on the tin, a Force Majeure of hard rock, that sits right up there with the best the 80s had to offer. It’s the first time that original frontman Kenny Leckremo has been back, after leaving in 2010, and the time away has not dimmed his talents in any capacity, vocals still holding out as powerfully as they were over a decade ago. The album is over the top, as is their modus operandi, but it’s catchy all over and a fantastically performed good time.
They come full force out of the gate with ‘Back to the Rhythm’, with Leckremo providing energetic vocals on the opening track and Dave Dalone matching that same energy with impressive guitar riffs. Its follow-up ‘Nationwide’ picks up the pace the second it starts, maintaining the same enthusiasm, that’s matched almost all the way through the album as a whole. Lackremo’s wailing voice remains an absolute delight on ‘Tainted Blood’.
A standout and my personal favourite of the album is the fourth track, ‘Hollywood’. While it would be easy to name every track on ‘Force Majeure’ as a favourite, the spot can only go to one song, and it has to be the incredibly catchy and melodic ‘Hollywood’, with its brilliant guitar solo and a chorus that’s impossible to get out of your head once you’ve heard it.
Both ‘Harder to Breathe’ and ‘One of Us’ are slightly slower – the latter being a power ballad in its own right – and both provide great balance to the rest of the harder-hitting tracks on the album, showcasing the variety that the band are capable of. The keyboard that’s been present throughout the rest of the album really shines in ‘One of Us’ too, especially as the song builds to its climax.
The entire album is in high gear, an incredible homage to the hard rock and glam metal of the 80s, the pinnacle of what H.E.A.T do best. From both a musical and lyrical standpoint, the band have really hit their stride with this album, with catchy riffs and huge, anthemic choruses, bolstered by the talents of Dalone and the return of Leckremo. All eleven tracks scream of a band that’s having fun in the studio and enjoying what they’re doing – and doing it really, really well.
Review – El
‘Force Majeure’ is available now through earMUSIC.
Catch H.E.A.T on tour this October, tour dates above.
Photo credit -Nils Sjöholm
Live photo – Rob Wilkins