HEARTWIND Higher and Higher AOR Heaven [Release date 25.04.18]
Heartwind hail from Sweden and were formed by guitarist Goran Engvall (ex-Hitworks) and keyboard player Mikael Rosengren (Constancia, Token). They are joined by drummer Peter Svensson (Constancia, Faith), vocalist German Pascual (Narnia, Essence of Sorrow), guitarist Martin Hall and bass player Germain Leth (The Poodles).
Overall it is a decent enough melodic rock album but there are an awful lot of cut ‘n’ paste songs like ‘Creatures Of The Night’ and ‘Game Of Love’ – that song has a Whitesnake guitar riff circa ’1987′ at the start. ‘Through The Light’ (Deep Purple Hammond intro on this one) and ‘Too Late For Roses’ are decent enough as Heartwind seem to do better on the slower songs. Perhaps it is a case of ‘heard it all before’ as you hear snippets of other bands in most songs and the band seems lack their own distinct sound.
It is not bad as you don’t really get duff melodic rock bands from Sweden, however it lacks any really memorable songs and there are much stronger releases out there vying for your attention and money. ***
Review by Jason Ritchie
CAPTAIN BLACK BEARD Struck By Lightning Melodic Rock Records
[Release date 25.04.18]
Captain Black Beard, who despite their name are not a pirate metal band, have been around since 2009 and their debut album was named as one of the ’Albums of the Year’ by ‘Classic Rock’ magazine’s Geoff Barton.
In the summer of 2017 Captain Black Beard entered the studio with Robert Majd and Christian Ek joined by new lead singer Liv Hansson as well as producer Jona Tee (keyboardist in H.E.A.T) and this album is the result of those sessions.
They are very adept at mixing 70′s hard rock riffs with a more modern melodic sound of say H.E.A.T. - no real surprise given Jona Tee’s involvement – as can be heard on ‘Dead End Street’ or ‘Straight Outta Hell’, the latter song features heavy riffage akin to Saxon and a Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman feel to the arrangements. At the other end of the rock scale ’Picture Life’ has the backing of a New Wave/Cars feel to it, the keyboards/synths leading the way on this song.
Singer Liv Hansson impresses throughout and is a real asset to the band’s overall sound. Maybe would have been good to have a slow ballad to let her loose on.
Captain Black Beard will appeal to those who enjoy melodic hard rock from the likes of Europe and H.E.A.T. Set sail to your local record store/download emporium for this little gem! ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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