H.E.A.T are one of the finest melodic rock bands to have come out of Scandinavia. It was way back in 2012 when the talented Swedes released their third album, Address The Nation, their first with singer Erik Grönwall. ATN took the genre by storm and still stands in my opinion as one of the best of its kind. After follow-up, Tearing Down The Walls, the band released Into The Great Unknown in 2017 which had a different feel and is widely regarded as H.E.A.T’s most controversial release. Now the band are back, returning to their roots and set to unleash H.E.A.T II.
Picture: Steven Christie
I’m never a fan of long albums, it often signals filler material, so I was pleased to see that H.E.A.T II clocks in at just over 40 minutes with 11 tasty tunes. The band sounds great straight out the blocks. Opener Rock Your Body is a chunky track with a Pour Some Sugar On Me vibe which I love.
Check out the official lyric video for Come Clean!
Latest single, Come Clean is my favourite from the album, the chorus is super catchy with Grönwall’s stellar vocals soaring through the higher register with ease. Think a glorious mix of Living On The Run, with Time On Our Side. Brilliant.
We Are Gods is perhaps one of H.E.A.T’s heaviest moments. Dripping with power and melody, it’s reminiscent of Dio-era Black Sabbath.
Check out the official lyric video for One By One
H.E.A.T II is the first album to be self-produced, with guitarist Dave Dalone and keyboardist Jona Tee creating a crisp and powerful sounding record. The album sounds stunning which is a great reflection on just how talented these musicians are.
Adrenaline is another standout featuring a big, catchy chorus with huge backing vocals and some clever lyrics referring to past album titles – listen out for them!
As with most of H.E.A.T’s records there’s a ballad, called Nothing To Say. Whilst I don’t think it is necessarily their strongest song, it does offer some welcome light and shade.
Check out the official lyric video for Rise
Bringing the album to a close is the epic single Rise. I loved this song when it was released and in context with the entire album it is even more effective.
For many, H.E.A.T are an enigma. Super talented, and in Erik Grönwall they have an astonishing vocalist and frontman of the very highest standard, yet the band haven’t had the recognition that they surely deserve. With more brilliant songs than most bands write in a whole career it’s curious as to why the Scandinavian 5-piece haven’t quite broken through to the big time. I think that is set to change. This release sits up there amongst H.E.A.T’s best work. It’s only January but surely a contender for album of the year. Buy it.
H.E.A.T II will be available as CD Digipak, Vinyl and Digital on 21st February 2020 via earMUSIC. The album is available to pre-order here.