Once more into the breach is Germany's Hard Riot with their sophomore effort, The Blackened Heart. Yet, with some possible minor exceptions, little has changed from their previous album.
Hard Riot still delivers heavier melodic hard rock, leaning towards melodic metal, and with some modern nuances. They still sound like they want to be a German version of Nickelback, just a bit rougher around the edges. Much of this comes from Michael Gildner's raw, sometimes, screamo vocals. Another thing that hasn't changed. He's an acquired taste, but I can say, listening to songs like Count On Me, Last Goodbye, or Not Alone, he isn't totally off the rails at times.
The songwriting seems to have gotten tighter, more melodic and catchy, while still keeping that crunch of heaviness. Hard Riot even gets a little cleaver with Devil's BBQ, dosing it with some faux fiddling. Otherwise, the songs are generally predictable. Alternatively, guitarist Andreas Rockrohr's has been putting in his practice time as his guitar solos are energetic and interesting, and so one the best features of this album. Conversely, the low point of the album is the bonus track, an alternate recording of The End. In it's original form it's a likeable song, now ruined by the hardcore vocals of Richard Sjunnesson from The Unguided. Never could understand why a band wants to do that. Nevertheless, with The Blackened Heart, Hard Riot is staying the course with their metalish, modern edge, melodic hard rock.
With The Blackened Heart, Hard Riot is staying the course with their metalish, modern edge, melodic hard rock.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]