H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II (earMUSIC)

The H.E.A.T is on for the best band to come out of Upplands Väsby since Europe.

The super Swedes have long since been tipped as melodic rock’s next big thing.

And it feels like now or never on album number six.

But this isn’t the career-defining opus Rushonrock craved.

In fact, H.E.A.T II is a largely lukewarm affair from a band that must do better.

Eight years ago their third album topped the 2012 Rushonrock Roll Of Honour.

Back then we described Address The Nation as ‘an unashamed 80s throwback that threatened to put hair metal/pop rock’s new breed in the shade’.

It was that good.

And subsequent releases Tearing Down The Walls and Into The Great Unknown maintained the momentum.

But much like its unimaginative album title, this album is, in places, alarmingly mediocre.

The hard rock of Victory is hardly a triumph.

And We Are Gods is as plodding as it is presumptuous.

Have H.E.A.T gone off the boil? It seems that way.

Heaven Must Have Won An Angel and the AOR tinged Dangerous Ground are much more like it from the honey tongued Erik Grönwall and his buddies.

But too often it sounds like H.E.A.T have hit a brick wall rather than freed Grönwall.

The multi-talented frontman is the ace in the pack.

And yet his soaring vocals are frequently smothered in a mix that’s more about volume that melody.

If you like your hard rock loud and unrelenting then H.E.A.T II is the record for you.

But if you prefer chorus-driven melodic rock fused with hair metal posturing then look away now.

H.E.A.T wrap up a wildly inconsistent set with the Dio-lite Rise.

On this evidence they’re only headed for a painful fall.

Main image by Klara Fowler