Released By: STORMVOX RECORDS OUT NOW!!
Style: Melodic Rock
Kenny Leckremo – vocals
Dave Dalone – guitars
Eric Rivers – guitars
Jona Tee – keyboards
Jimmy Jay – bass guitars
Crash – drums, percussion
1. Beg, Beg, Beg
2. Black Night
3. Danger Road
5. We’re Gonna Make It To The End
7. Nobody Love You (Like I Do)
8. Everybody Wants To Be Someone
9. Know What It Takes
10. Living In A Memory
11. Cast Away
12. I Can’t Look The Other Way
13. Who Will Stop The Rain
When I first listened to H.E.A.T’S self-titled debut album upon release back in 2008, I knew had stumbled upon something special. After some time with that album I rated it 4.5 stars and gave it position eight in the best albums of the year. I did feel that there were a few fillers and that the band stayed around long enough to record a second album it would be something amazing.
When the release of FREEDOM ROCK was announced, to say I was excited would be an understatement, but I was also nervous that maybe I had built it up too much in my head and would end up disappointed. Well, after spending quite a bit of time with the album, I can happily say that it met every expectation I had, and up until now is clearly album of the year, and it’s gonna take something pretty damn amazing to knock it off the perch.
H.E.A.T have followed on with the sound of the debut, but this time with some much stronger songwriting and a more experienced KENNY LECKREMO sounding purely amazing and surely in the running as one the best melodic rock vocalists in history maybe, or if not at least in the last two decades The only singers of the current generation that I can think of to be up to this standard are JORN LANDE and JEFF SCOTT SOTO. Not bad company to be compared to surely.
Stormvox Records were kind enough to send me the Japanese version of the album that features two bonus track, but of which were made available earlier in the year on the BEG, BEG, BEG E.P, which has already proven to be a rare and highly sought after collectible.
FREEDOM ROCK opens with the lead off single BEG, BEG, BEG and it is Catchy, Catchy, Catchy and reminds me a bit of SAMYY HAGAR at his best, a great first track. BLACK NIGHT is a duet with TOBIAS SAMMET and is a great thundering rock track that is a perfect amalgamation of AVANTASIA and H.E.A.T.
DANGER ROAD is a thumping melodic rock masterpiece and a perfect road trip song. SHELTER is the first big power ballad on the album and one my favorites for sure. WE’RE GONNA MAKE IT TO THE END is straight of the eighties and would have been a perfect soundtrack song for movies like IRON EAGLE or ROCKY. STAY sounds like 1986 EUROPE and toward the end features an awesome a-capella segment that will chill your spine. NOBODY LOVES YOU (LIKEI DO) is a more straightforward hard rocker but another stellar song none the less. EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE SOMEONE is the clear cut highlight track for me personally with a great lyric, a nice intro and perfect mix of rock & ballad, a pure AOR gem for sure.
I KNOW WHAT IT TAKES is another pure AOR song which features a very stellar vocal from KENNY. LIVING IN A MEMORY is the first of the tow bonus tracks and worth getting the Japanese version for. CAST AWAY is a bit of a slower number that’s full of class. I CAN’T LOOK THE OTHER WAY sees the band sounding a lot like classic era SURVIVOR and is yet another top class song. WHO WILL STOP THE RAIN is a late highlight that is set to be one of my favorite songs of the year for sure. The album closes with the second bonus track in TONIGHT, and is yet another reason to seek out the Japanese version, it would be a damn shame if fans of the band didn’t get to hear this one.
It seems to me that 2010 will be the year of H.E.A.T and if the new album FREEDOM ROCK doesn’t help them rise to the top of the melodic rock ladder I don’t know what would. A true 10 star album if ever there was one and I can totally recommend to anybody with any interest in the melodic rock/AOR genre. A MUST HAVE!!
Written by Zeezee
Ratings Zeezee 10/10