Review: H.E.A.T – ‘Into The Great Unknown’

When H.E.A.T unleashed the first video/single from their upcoming album ‘Into The Great Unknown’, they might have perhaps expected a few disconcerting voices. It was after all, the first new music in a while, and anything following the bonafide classic album ‘Tearing Down The Walls’ would have to be something special. So, kudos to the Swedes for risking the wrath of their fanbase by releasing ‘Time On Our Side’, one of the few tracks on the new album that sounds the least like any previous material, and one to certainly split the faithful. “Where’s the guitars?… They sound like Muse… They sound like Thirty Seconds To Mars”, and so forth. Well, yes the guitars are there, but no traditional solos though, and the keyboards are pushed way up in the mix, but they are there. Muse? Nope. Thirty Seconds To Mars? Yep, I’ll give you that one, but fear not, keyboard warriors, ‘Into The Great Unknown’ has oodles of guitar everywhere, enough to make every naysayer think again. ‘Time On Our Side’ works very well as a solo track from a band not afraid to try new things, but even better within the context of the entire album. Alongside the nine other tracks, it fits like a glove, albeit one with the middle finger raised. ‘Bastard Of Society’ is the perfect opener. Returning guitarist Dave Dalone plugs in and cranks the sucker up. A simple guitar riff, and then the huge melodies come in. The Swedish version of the Tazmanian Devil, otherwise known as vocalist Erik Gronwall, is on the front foot, as he fights the system and plants his flag firmly on the side of the outcast. No question about the guitars on this one, Dalone is everywhere! Likewise, on the autobiographical ‘Shit City’, he certainly makes his mark. The pacing on the album is crucial, and each uptempo rockier moment is followed by a lighter track like ‘Redefined’ or the aforementioned ‘Time On Our Side’. Never one to shy away from an 80’s influence, ‘Redefined’ sees H.E.A.T go full-on with a keyboard and guitar sound that was very much of it’s day. It’s a fun few moments that, had it been released in the glory days of MTV, Gronwall would have been staring down from the walls of every hormonal teenager in America. ‘Best Of The Broken’ is a curious mix of both sides of H.E.A.T . There is the melodic, poppier vocal harmonies and the light keyboards… then there are the riff-laden, headbanging moments and ‘DC drum grooves. This one will kill live, that’s for sure. ‘Eye Of The Storm’ could easily have been the lead track instead of ‘Time On Our Side’. It’s massive (and I mean arena-filling massive!), but it has the guitars set a notch or two higher. It’s modern sounding and gets better on each listen. ‘Blind Leads The Blind’ could not have been produced by anyone other than a Swedish rock band. The hooks throughout are gigantic, Gronwall sings his little heart out, and this maximum tunage will result in maximum bouncing from the front rows when the band hit the road soon. The closing trio of ‘We Rule’ (think Queen, but in 2017), ‘Do You Want It?’, and the epic seven minute title track are all signs of a band maturing into a classic rock band. Not classic rock as in the genre, but a classic ROCK band. The doubters will be spitting their cocoa out when they check out the title track, I’ll bet my left nut on it. Available 22nd September on earMusic  More information on the official H.E.A.T website  Review: Dave Stott Band image: Klara Fowler]]>

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