Album review: HEARTWIND – Strangers

HEARTWIND - Strangers

Escape Music [Release date 20.11.20]

Heartwind formed around keyboard player Mikael Rosengren and guitarist Goran Engvall (who also played bass on the album). Since their debut release they have changed vocalists bringing in not one, but two vocalists – Nina Soderquist and Stefan Nykvist – with only drummer Peter Svensson remaining from the original line-up. There are a few notable guest spots too including Mike Lavér (Dynazty), Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse/W.E.T.) and Mats Levén (Malmsteen).

Heartwind’s debut ‘Higher and Higher’, released in 2018, didn’t really do much for me, so expectations weren’t overly high ahead of listening to this album. Pleased to report that ‘Strangers’ is a big improvement all round. From the off ‘Stranger In The Night’ takes the listener on a ride of Scandi melodic treats, with its keys, guitars and catchy chorus.

Nina Soderquist belts it out on ‘Line Of Fire’, a cracking hard rocker, with another fine performance on ‘Angels Cry Again’. The song has a West End/Broadway feel, which suits her style as she has appeared in a number of stage shows.

Stefan Nykvist shows his vocals off to good effect on ‘Amanda’, a song steeped in 80s AOR complete with a scorching solo from Goran Engvall.

There are a few moments of ‘spot the riff’, be it a Kansas or Journey one, but then this sort of music is all about the melodies/songs and having top notch vocalists, which Heartwind certainly have in Soderquist and Nykvist.

Much more impressive than the debut album, ‘Stranger’ is a ‘must have’ for lovers of Scandinavian melodic rock/AOR. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 22 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 24 November 2020


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Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
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