Heat, Into the Great Unknown, earMusic
Heat set themselves an ultimatum not to do any more live shows till they had a new album and this is the result of a trip to Thailand to record in the studio. Amazingly enough despite the distractions they pulled it off. After this group’s history of strong melodic hard rock albums it is perhaps not surprising that this their fifth studio album continues their fine legacy while going somewhere new.
Starting with ‘Bastard of Society’ the lyrics are designed to shock and since the song is about staying off the treadmill of 9 to 5 and shakin society up a little it is designed to have that impact. It has great energy and pace, soaring vocals, singalong chants, driving riffs and a good guitar solo. ‘Redefined’ and ‘Time On Our Side’ are about a love plateau and how to overcome it once the first phase of love is over, they are soft rock tracks but with clever structure, rhythms and rhyme it’s quality songwriting with some beautifully sung high notes.
‘In the Eye of the Storm’ is an epic song about the quiet periods between fights for a volatile couple with some operatic and fine vocal work it’s emotional stuff. ‘Shit City’ is about a rough period for the band, kicked out of their rehearsal space, sewage drowned their gear in a new one and just at the start of their self imposed live exile to try to concentrate on the new album. So there’s an angry energy about the song and some passionate Viking screams. Sometimes bad things lead to creativity. ‘Best of the Broken’ is about how rough the music industry can be. With rougher vocals than the usual smooth aor approach to match it is also an outlet for explosive energies. ‘Blind Leads the Blind’ has some apocalyptic keyboards and is about the world going to hell. Passionate guitar playing and vocals lead a challenge to the human race to wake up and change. ‘We Rule’ is a song about brief liaisons on tour that another place and time could be love, but because of circumstances never will be anything but a memory. It’s written in a grand ballad style that reminds a little of X Japan and got that band legions of young female fans. ‘Do You Want It?’ another song about sex has an unusual melody and was apparently was inspired by an incident in Thailand. Experiences are one thing recording there is good for no doubt. Final song ‘Into the Great Unknown’ has a double meaning of the human race about to become an interplanetary species and the band seeking to do something new and not just make the same albums again. Is it the end..or just the beginning? This is a fine album and we are sure it’s just the end of the beginning.
From the topics of these songs this has not been an easy period for Heat, involving a lot of soul searching and analysis of their situation. One thing for sure out of bad situations comes growth and the band have produced a worthy album and achieved their goal of taking a step forward rather than staying in the same place.