Sunday, May 25, 2014

HARD RIOT / The Blackened Heart (2014)

German hard rockers HARD RIOT are back with their sophomore album, two years after their debut (“Living on a Fast Lane”) was released. Formed in 2006 in the city of Heilbronn, Germany, the band consists of four young friends who share the same passion – hard rockin’ music! The CD version of “The Blackened Heart” includes a bonus track, featuring guest vocals by Richard Sjunnesson of THE UNGUIDED.

The album starts off with the fast paced tune of "Blackout". An 80's influenced rock dynamite that includes a heavy in-your-face riff, powerful with attitude vocal lines and an explosive chorus line. Superb starter and, for sure, a great appetizer of what's coming-up next. "Suicide Blues" is movin' to some U.S. flavored hard rock paths while in "Devil's BBQ" we have a more commercial track with a Southern air. "The End", "Not Alone" and "The Enemy Within" are all three superb hard rock gems with solid arrangements, very good guitar riffs and solos, power and strong vocal lines.

"Count On Me" is the album's first ballad and, believe me, it's a very good one; it features a sweet melody, some really nice acoustic parts and a killer solo! "Dirty Games" is a good rocker, in the vain of Shakra's latest works, "Last Goodbye" is another mellow moment and, for sure, another highlight out of this new record while in "High Society Bitch" and "Hit The Ground" we have a pair of killer songs! Yes, both tracks are absolute winners; the choruses, the hooks, the guitars, everything here is almost perfect. Especially in "Hit The Ground", the chorus line grabbed me at once and made me push the repeat button several times! The album closes with the bonus track of "The End" feat. guest vocals by Richard Sjunnesson of THE UNGUIDED. 

Impressed, really impressed by these guys here. And to be real honest with you, I have never heard the band's debut album. Hard Riot brings back the sound of the 80's, early 90's, and that means loud guitars with a big 'n' fat sound, attitude and a singer that really knows how to deliver a 'punchy' hard rock tune. Some incredible catchy hard rockers here are perfectly balanced with a couple of sweet and emotional ballads and at the end "The Blackened Heart" achieves to be an extremely enjoyable and interesting ride! Check it out NOW!! 
Heavy Paradise's Rating : 8,5/10

Track Listing :
1. Blackout
2. Suicide Blues
3. Devils BBQ
4. The End
5. Count On Me
6. Not Alone
7. The Enemy Within
8. Dirty Games
9. Last Goodbye
10. High Society Bitch
11. Hit The Ground
12. The End (CD Bonus - feat. Richard Sjunnesson of The Unguided)

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