Sunday, April 29, 2012

HUMAN TEMPLE: "Halfway To Heartache"

Rating: 6.5/10
Label: Escape 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

I've been reading the following statement about "Halfway To Heartache" where the puzzled reviewer thought of 'I Will Follow' as and I quote, "to be a strange track to open up things with, and it proves that the band of Janne Hurme is heading towards heavier stuff now and probably even more in the future", end quote. But you wouldn't necessarily agree about the 'heavier' note though. Sure, the fore-mentioned opener signals a more neo-classical approach perhaps mostly due to the guitar vs. keyboard interlude.

However, a lot of Scandinavian and especially Finnish acts are always more than keen to throw in a couple of notes in the tradition of Yngwie Malmsteen and Stratovarius. What puzzled me the most, the complete and utter mish-mash of different styles throughout the album. It goes from one side of the spectrum (pop rock) to melodic hardrock, neo rock, some kind of progressive lite, and at times, even the hint of eighties synth. Seriously, 'Because Of You', the bastard child of Brother Firetribe and Midge Ure (Ultravox).

Not to mention, there's a pretty darn decent cover of "Little Lies" (Fleetwood Mac) to be found on the Euro release. Not your ordinary release from the Escape label. It's actually a far cry from the U.S. traditional melodic rock and very much a Scandinavian affair. Keep in mind that old firm people aka AOR nerds are hardly amongst the most impressionnable and easily led people out there. They are blindly following the scene through their eighties memories and/or flashbacks and have to be dragged kicking and screaming to try something outside of their ordinary nostalgia trip. Brother Firetribe extra lite with quite a lot of poppy arrangements and pompous overtures? Sure, why not?

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