Review: H.E.A.T – ‘Live At Sweden Rock Festival’

How do you capture the lightning strikes-like onstage energy of H.E.A.T on a live recording? Press “record” and let vocalist Erik Grönwall do the rest that’s how.

If you have yet to encounter H.E.A.T and Grönwall in concert, then imagine a human spinning top after being wound up for 24 hours straight. Put said spinning top in a pair of black skinny jeans, shave it’s head and give it a mic. Then release it. That’s Grönwall. Easily one of the most electrifying young performers out there today. He played Simon Zealotes in NBC’s lavish live production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, alongside Alice Cooper and John Legend last year. A TV audience of millions were introduced to the young Swede, and watched slack-jawed as he delivered a staggering performance. One can only hope that even a small percentage of the viewers put the Easter eggs down long enough to check out H.E.A.T on Youtube. America had been a vital breeding ground for top quality melodic rock bands, but Sweden has long overtaken it, with H.E.A.T being just one of the many Swedish bands that would find an audience in the land of plenty.

They are obviously a major draw in their homeland, so it made sense to record H.E.A.T live at the famous Sweden Rock Festival. You can check them out in glorious hi-def for the first time as the gig was also filmed for a visual release. Just over an hours worth of some of the best melodic rock heard this side of Tyketto and Hardline’s respective magnificent debut albums.

2017’s ‘Into The Great Unknown’ album drew some criticism for what some perceived as a more polished, watered down sound. True, it was a slick, professional production, but by God it was glorious! As you would expect, much of this live bundle covers the album. From crunching album opener ‘Bastard of Society’, through the life-affirming ‘Redefined’, the gritty ‘Shit City’, to the uplifting ‘Eye Of The Storm’, four prime counter arguments to each and every criticism of ‘Into The Great Unknown’. There is also a healthy smattering of older material to raise the arm hairs, none better exemplified than the towering ‘Mannequin Show’, ‘Tearing Down The Walls’, ‘Living On The Run’ and ‘A Shot At Redemption’.

If you go to a H.E.A.T gig then you can expect to sing your heart out, bounce like Tigger, and smile like a loon. ‘Live At Sweden Rock Festival’ will have you doing at least two of the three, totally up to you about bouncing in your front room like Tigger. Imagine these guys on the Jon Bon Jovi ‘Runaway To Paradise’ cruise? It would truly be a “follow that” moment.

Available now through earMUSIC

Review – Dave

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