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HEARTLAND Mind Your Head Escape Music (2007)

Amazingly this is the band's tenth album and I am happy to report they still produce classy hard rock, including their heaviest song to date in 'The Best is Yet To Come', a real barnstormer of a track.

The band revolves around vocalist Chris Ousey (Virginia Wolf) and guitarist (and bass/keys) Steve Morris with Fredrik Oscarsson on drums. There are some cracking hard rock tunes on here like 'For Pity's Sake' (a definite one for rock radio) where Steve Morris lets fly on the guitar (he is a very underrated guitarist who is a master of melodic guitar riffs).

'Last Man To Fall' features a stunning vocal from Chris Ousey and he excels himself again on the ballad 'A Fathom I Fell'. This builds nicely to an epic chorus. The guitar is back in charge on 'A Mountain To Climb' which reminded me of the new Burn album - good, solid melodic hard rock.

Only one small criticism is the fact that the album could have benefited from another big ballad as Chris Ousey really does have the voice to carry these sort of tunes off with ease.

Excellent production values throughout and special mention to the backing vocals which are all done by Chris Ousey which comes as a surprise on some songs as it sounds like a totally different singer!

Heartland continue to please their fans and yet another 'must have' hard rock album from a year that is proving a vintage year for all things melodic hard rock.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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