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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » H.E.A.T (Sweden) - 2010 Freedom Rock
H.E.A.T (Sweden) - 2010 Freedom Rock

ARTIST: H.E.A.T (Sweden)
ALBUM: Freedom Rock
LABEL: Stormvox Records
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Kenny Leckremo - vocals * Dave Dalone - guitars * Eric Rivers - guitars * Jona Tee - keyboards * Jimmy Jay - bass * Crash - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 We're Gonna Make It To The End * 02 Black Night * 03 I Can't Look The Other Way * 04 Shelter * 05 Beg Beg Beg * 06 Danger Road * 07 Stay * 08 Everybody Wants To Be Someone * 09 Nobody Loves You Like I Do * 10 I Know What It Takes * 11 Cast Away * 12 High On Love * 13 Who Will Stop The Rain



2008 was a huge year for Swedish melodic rockers H.E.A.T. These guys tipped over the pundits with a superb debut album which easily made it into most fan's top 5 albums of the year. It was GD's album of the month for May 2008, and had mostly positive reviews all round the hard rock scene. The six-piece combo have been busy in between times, racking up some impressive live performances, and teasing us with an introductory EP earlier this year; in readiness for the 'big kahuna'.. 'Freedom Rock'. My first observation is that second time around - none of us are taken by surprise any more, we all know what to expect from H.E.A.T and given fair warning a couple of months in advance, the new CD comes at us with this comment in mind.. 'recorded, produced and delivered within the expected parameters of H.E.A.T's potential'. To be honest, I found it really hard to get into this album on first listen, but after a few spins I started warming to it a bit more, but it wasn't a heatwave headed my way.

The Songs
We've heard one of these songs on the aforementioned EP. The first track that rings a bell is 'Beg Beg Beg', which has a Giant vibe especially those guitar riffs and overall style employed on this song. No it's not Deep Purple revisited, however 'Black Night' touches on a sound somewhere between Alien and Treat, the chorus is pretty catchy. The same applies to the toe tapping 'Danger Road', commercial appeal with big choruses and sweet harmony vocals. I think this song typifies the overall H.E.A.T style. The hand brake is applied to the first ballad.. 'Shelter', fairly formulaic and patterned, but good nonetheless. 'We're Gonna Make It To The End' is pretty easy on the ear, hooks galore and a chorus that is a winner! 'Everybody Wants To Be Someone' is another ballad with a big vocal performance from Kenny, so too the mid-tempo melodies of 'Cast Away'. 'I Know What It Takes' follows H.E.A.T's pattern for delivering catchy melodic hard rock, and therein lies part of the problem for me with 'Freedom Rock'. I felt that many of the tracks had a cookie cutter template applied to it, with an alternate sprinkling of hundreds and thousands to change the colour, but the formula based approach is evident throughout.

In Summary
No doubt this CD will do well among European audiences but to be truthful, this is not a particularly challenging album with very little in the way of surprises. Delivery wise, there is no issue, the sound is immaculate and the production very good. I guess the genie was released out of the bottle back in 2008, now that it's out, H.E.A.T would be curious as to how 'Freedom Rock' fares against its debut predecessor, and given the sensational comeback of fellow Swedes Treat, this album might be pushed further back down the pecking order of listeners preferences, particularly in Sweden. Call it a case of 'second album syndrome'.

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#1 | dangerzone on June 10 2010 17:56:34
Couldn't have said it better George. This was the first time I'd heard these guys and after a few listens I wasn't convinced it was anything special. Not bad, but hardly essential.
#2 | reyno-roxx on June 11 2010 07:49:37
They're ok, but this stuff isn't anything spectacular. Nothing Europe weren't doing nearly thirty years ago!
#3 | Eric on June 11 2010 12:09:41
Couldn't agree more. That's why the debut didn't do much for me. It was fine for a couple plays, but heard it so many times before...
#4 | gdazegod on June 16 2010 04:49:46
According to reports, lead singer Kenny Leckremo is to leave the band. Seems he is moving to England, and has also struggled with voice related problems. Good luck to the band in their quest to find a new lead singer.
#5 | jeffrey343 on July 15 2010 16:40:54
Judging by the review and comments, I must be one of the few that thinks this one is actually even better than the debut. I don't mind that it may sound a bit 'formulatic'; the songs are catchy and not 'samey', and the production is great. I don't think it is quite up there with the new Treat, but I expect this to be a strong contender for #2 for the year and definitely in my top 5 (if not, then this will have been an extraordinary year).

I hope the band is able to continue without Leckremo. I wouldn't put him in the absolute top echelon of vocalists, but he is definitely very good, and I doubt it would be easy to find someone who can step in and be at least as good. I've heard a fair amount of this type of music where the one thing holding it back was the vocals. I sure hope that doesn't end up being the case with H.E.A.T.
#6 | kim_hp on July 26 2013 15:41:21
Jeffrey, you are not alone. For me it's a classic and their best album so far. (ok ATN is not far behind but I pretty much prefer Leckremo as a singer).
All tracks are solid here and the ballad ("Shelter"Wink is nothing short of amazing, on par with any classic 80's ballad.
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