Hard Riot – The Blackened Heart

Hard-Riot_Bandpic_web

Having impressed and thrilled with their debut album Living on a Fast Lane, German rockers Hard Riot return with its successor The Blackened Heart, a release which immediately shows how much the band has grown in songwriting, craft, and sound. It is fair to say that like its predecessor the new album is not worrying the inventive boundaries of heavy and voracious rock ‘n’ roll, but like the debut it is a thoroughly captivating and mouthwatering blaze of sinewed riffs, feverish adrenaline, and ferocious passion.

Hailing from Heilbronn, Hard Riot began in 2006 and was soon casting a potent web of rock and metal, its spices first showing on The Hidden Truth EP of 2009. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Michael Gildner, guitarist Andreas Rockrohr, bassist Mario Kleindienst, and drummer Carmine Jaucci, the band showed their emerging strength and sound, with its essences of AC/DC, Def, Aerosmith, and Staind, three years later on Living on a Fast Lane which they recorded with producer Vagelis Maranis before unleashing it as the new one through Pitch Black Records. The Blackened Heart, also created with Maranis and with Heiko Härle the newest member of the band on bass and backing vocals replacing Kleindienst, is the next big step in the ascent of the band, a release easy to expect bringing fresh eager attention upon the band.

The album starts as it means to go on with a fiery storm in the shape of Blackout. Riffs and rhythms instantly assault and excite ears as it PBR030takes its first breath before welcoming the excellent vocals of Gildner, who right away seems as the music to have even greater power and confidence in his delivery. The guitars and bass almost stalk the senses as the feisty narrative, musically and lyrically, of the track entrenches its infectiousness into the imagination. There is a real anthemic feel to the song without pandering to easy hooks and though it is not the most inventive track around, the thought and precise alignment of sounds is open to see and devour greedily.

It is a great start matched by the following Suicide Blues, its entrance less forceful but just as dynamic after the first caress of chords. Holding stronger old school metal seeds in its belly and a groove metal hunger in its breath, the track swaggers and surges with a contagiousness which is irresistible. Scorched riffs and pungent rhythms persist on the senses as the track romps with relish for three minutes plus of irrepressible rock ‘n’ roll. It is song made for feet and neck muscles, which get a sort of breather with the next up Devils BBQ, a riveting roar of southern rock based enterprise with a great country/Cajun twang in its veining. Like its predecessors, there is nothing spectacularly new to it but it plays like an old friend with a fresh colour to its creative clothing which simply captivates for a tantalising treat which leaves a smile on face and emotions.

The End strides purposefully into view next, swipes of riffs and tempered rhythms courting expressive vocals before combining for a rich flame of melodic hard rock up to and around a potently catchy chorus. It is not as immediate as certainly the first two songs on the album but once bodies are bouncing around rooms and bums on chairs you realise it has hit the sweet spot just as accurately as any other track on the album. From that Nickelback like canter, the emotive ballad Count On Me croons in the ear with melodic seduction and vocal angst, again recalling spices of the Canadian band. The song is soon under the skin and teasing thoughts and emotions, it’s perfectly crafted body not surprising in any way but certainly lingering with German persuasion.

The pair of Not Alone and The Enemy Within leaves imagination and appetite busy though not matching the strength of the album up to this point. The first builds an evocative flame of melodies and emotive vocals around choppy riffs and crisp beats which binds attention whilst the second teases with another countrified twang before its bluesy heart wraps imaginatively around the ears. Both songs reveal more of the improved skill and adventurous exploits within the thinking of the band whilst pleasing ears with immensely accomplished designs.

Dirty Games steps up next to growl provocatively, its riffs and rhythms a predatory lure over which Gildner again deeply impresses. Crowding around ears with incendiary hues and patterns, the guitars cast a potent enticement which dares to flourish but never exceed the core boundaries of the vivaciously driven track. It is a strong asset of the album, the restraint to the individual’s skill which other bands might fail to rein in, but Hard Riot know when enough is enough to impress and enhance but not overload a song.

Second ballad Last Goodbye with its great violin call is an enjoyably decent companion before the bold wanton sounds of High Society Bitch ignite in ears and imagination. It is a tremendous snarl of dirty rock ‘n roll with a raucous edge to its infection which is surpassed by the closing brawl of Hit The Ground, a thumping stomp of a song which again has nothing truly new to show but all the virulent contagiousness and quality you could wish for in a heavy rock song.

The CD version of The Blackened Heart comes with an additional track, a reworked version of The End featuring Richard Sjunnesson of The Unguided which to be honest we preferred to the original just because of the great union of the two vocalists. The album itself is another impressive and exciting encounter from Hard Riot, a release showing the band yet to find its distinctive voice is certainly on the way to being a potent force and attraction; already they have a thrilling and appealing presence sorted.

The Blackened Heart is available via Pitch Black Records now in Europe and North America from July 8th.

http://www.hard-riot.com/

8/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

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A SILENT ESCAPE’S Black Heart out 27th January, 2014‏

 A Silent Escape Online Promo Shot
COMMANDING QUINTET, A SILENT ESCAPE UNLEASH THEIR SOPHOMORE ALBUM THIS JANUARY!
A Silent Escape nationally release their spanking new album ‘Black Heart’ on Monday 27th January through all digital outlets.
Blending the potent prowess and hardcore edge of ‘Comeback Kid’ and ‘In Flames’ with the melodic fluency of ‘Millencolin’, A Silent Escape have formed a devastating sound that is ball-bustlingly heavy, abundantly tuneful and utterly engaging.
Born in 2010 and hailing from Falkenberg, Sweden (which is also home to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, Venerea, and The Unguided, amongst others), A Silent Escape are compromised of vocalist Patrick Stenborg, Martin Karlsson on bass, Joel Nilsson on Vocals/Lead Guitar, Eddie Hanlsa on Guitars and Per Qvarnström on drums(temporarily). Wanting to put the fun back into music after splitting from their previous bands, the rejuvenated combo began to write and soon amassed enough material for a stellar live set and debut album.
The energetic outfit soon toured extensively and released their self-titled album to the UK, garnering high praise from widespread national publications such as Rocksound, Big Cheese and Powerplay Magazine. The melodic hardcore crew will step up again with the national release of their sophomore album ‘Black Heart’. The album immediately grapples with your aural senses as ‘Gone’ ferociously bursts out of your speakers with pulsating beats and cut-throat riffery; and the pace doesn’t let up there. ‘Black Heart’ continues in a hearty vein, hammering your head into oblivion with a perfect assault of high velocity infused metallic punk-rock. The quartet shifts dynamics on ‘When The Last Song’ and unleashes an alluring cut that is blessed with an elephantine refrain. The album then strides forward with the monstrous ‘Gagball’, which again displays the band’s deft ability to merge blistering riffs with killer hooks, before closing with the immensely powerful and captivating ‘Still Commanding’. Look out as the band lay siege on the UK this year and next!
-A SILENT ESCAPE RELEASE ‘BLACK HEART’ ON MONDAY 27th JANUARY THROUGH ALL MAJOR STORES-
A Silent Escape Cover Artwork

A SILENT ESCAPE release ‘Black Heart’ on 27th January 2014

A Silent Escape Online Promo Shot
 
COMMANDING QUINTET  A SILENT ESCAPE UNLEASH THEIR SOPHOMORE ALBUM THIS JANUARY!
A Silent Escape nationally release their spanking new album ‘Black Heart’ on Monday 27th January through all digital outlets.
Blending the potent prowess and hardcore edge of ‘Comeback Kid’ and ‘In Flames’ with the melodic fluency of ‘Millencolin’, A Silent Escape have formed a devastating sound that is ball-bustlingly heavy, abundantly tuneful and utterly engaging.
Born in 2010 and hailing from Falkenberg, Sweden (which is also home to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, Venerea, and The Unguided, amongst others), A Silent Escape are compromised of vocalist Patrick Stenborg, Martin Karlsson on bass, Joel Nilsson on Vocals/Lead Guitar, Eddie Hanlsa on Guitars and Per Qvarnström on drums(temporarily). Wanting to put the fun back into music after splitting from their previous bands, the rejuvenated combo began to write and soon amassed enough material for a stellar live set and debut album.
The energetic outfit soon toured extensively and released their self-titled album to the UK, garnering high praise from widespread national publications such as Rocksound, Big Cheese and Powerplay Magazine. The melodic hardcore crew will step up again with the national release of their sophomore album ‘Black Heart’. The album immediately grapples with your aural senses as ‘Gone’ ferociously bursts out of your speakers with pulsating beats and cut-throat riffery; and the pace doesn’t let up there. ‘Black Heart’ continues in a hearty vein, hammering your head into oblivion with a perfect assault of high velocity infused metallic punk-rock. The quartet shifts dynamics on ‘When The Last Song’ and unleashes an alluring cut that is blessed with an elephantine refrain. The album then strides forward with the monstrous ‘Gagball’, which again displays the band’s deft ability to merge blistering riffs with killer hooks, before closing with the immensely powerful and captivating ‘Still Commanding’. Look out as the band lay siege on the UK this year and next!
-A SILENT ESCAPE RELEASE ‘BLACK HEART’ ON MONDAY 27th JANUARY THROUGH ALL MAJOR STORES-
A Silent Escape Cover Artwork

A Silent Escape: Self Titled

From a good but underwhelming start the self titled debut album from Swedish band A Silent Escape digs deep to unleash a series of diverse and imaginative tracks. It is a release which one can argue about in regard to its originality and uniqueness with at times some songs merging into the sea of similar fuelled and sounding songs elsewhere. What is not in doubt is the promise offered up and the skilled and intense imagination deployed when the band expresses and extends itself.

The band formed in 2010 though the seeds of the band can be said to have been planted further back in a band Union Square where A Silent Escape vocalist/bassist Patrick Stenborg, vocalist/guitarist Joel Nilsson, and drummer Nic Antoni Londqvist played together. On the demise of that band the trio linked up with guitarist and friend Eddie Hansala and A Silent Escape was born. June 4th sees the release of their debut as the band look to waking up the UK and beyond to their Comeback Kid/ In Flames/ Millencolin influenced and blended sounds.

The band slaps the senses around from the off with Blackhole Gravity a song of thumping rhythms and insurgent riffs. The track is punchy with a striking melodic grip upon the ear whilst being openly infectious and proudly eager. It does everything right especially with the reserved enterprising moment mid song but just misses lighting up the fires with any distinct individuality. The following Final Chapter is the same, though another good song which is impossible to feel anything but pleasure from it just does not inspire anything stronger, nevertheless both tracks unveil striking elements to ignite sure promise whilst easily entertaining whilst the senses in their presence.

Things truly lift though when From Words to Beating steps forward to ignite the senses. A melodic warmth permeates from it making a smooth yet bristling experience for the ear, the Avenged Sevenfold toned vocals a fine companion for the expressive sounds. From this definite lift to the album things truly explode with best track God’s A Liar(feat. Richard Sjunnesson from The Unguided). From the opening taunting and intimidating riff breakouts on the ear alongside punchy rhythms the track takes a hypnotic hold. Melodic wraps cover the metallic spine and contrasting venomous growls explore and illuminate the song alongside a great clean vocal delivery bringing the most compelling contrasts and startling interplay. The track is mighty and easily the major highlight of the album.

The album is in full flow now unleashing a series of undeniably impressive tunes as the following melodic metal Ticket Back and catchy hook luring Can’t Be The End show. The second of the two is almost like Bullet For My Valentine does pop punk but is not only far better than it sounds but is a captivating slice of infection.  Both songs are powerful and easily accessible without resorting to easy tricks and avenues. Again one could not claim they were breaking into new directions with truly unique sounds but one can easily state not many other releases bring as much fully appreciated pleasure.

The blistering attack of Bullets takes the album down another detour, its electronic spicery a great twist to the growing intensity, whilst Smalltown Outcast peers into the creative well of the likes of Silent Descent with great effect. Ending on another slab of intensity in Goodbye Mr Pig the album is an enjoyable creature with possibly more promise than realisation still upon its breath. The signs are all there and only time will tell if they can cultivate their own distinctive and even more striking sound but right now A Silent Escape, album and band leaves one more than merely pleased and satisfied.

RingMaster 31/05/2012

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