Generally speaking, one thing our European cousins have over American bands is good sense of history. Rock and metal bands across the Atlantic are not afraid to explore the music and bands that have gone before and still inspire our present and future. Often these bands reinvent or refresh this great for a new era and new generation. Such is the case with Hungary's H.A.R.D. On their first full length disc 'Traveler,' they effortlessly draw from the varied streams of melodic hard rock, glam/sleaze rock, and even a little AOR and melodic metal. Honestly, H.A.R.D. nails the whole melodic rock genre as if they were veterans of the field.
Several characteristics mark H.A.R.D.'s success on 'Traveler.' One is the solid song composition which does not skimp on lavish melody and even larger choruses. The lead vocals and vocal arrangements make this music even more convincing and thrilling. Additionally, though hardly novel at times, the lead guitar work crackles and hooks you. All this is wrapped up in very crisp production and mix.
Though H.A.R.D. gets off on a rather shaky start with the opener 'Forever Hard,' the songs quickly reveal the aforementioned characteristics. They are most prevalent on the following extremely catchy and exciting songs: 'Rock Is My Name' which has 'hit single' written all over it, 'Stay,' a giant melodic rocker with a huge chorus, and ' 'Dreamworld' which, as smooth melodic rock, could also double as AOR. Some of the same motif is picked in 80's style 'Light The Flame' and the nearly anthem-like 'Time To Change' (which even has a country feel in moments). H.A.R.D. stumbles only a few times, but never enough to fall flat on their faces. The aforementioned 'Forever Hard' is a little trivial with it's goofy lyrics in choppy English. Also, though I understand the tribute to great vocalists of the past, 'Voices' is basically sentimental and average melodic rock.
H.A.R.D.'s 'Traveler' is a genuinely first class work of melodic hard rock. Even in it's (few) weak moments, it satisfies and demonstrates solid song composition and musicianship. H.A.R.D. obviously knows their craft and performs it well. I'm sure melodic rock fans across the globe will dig this album. Highly recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
H.A.R.D.'s 'Traveler' is a genuinely first class work of melodic hard rock. Even in it's (few) weak moments, it satisfies and demonstrates solid song composition and musicianship. H.A.R.D. obviously knows their craft and performs it well. I'm sure melodic rock fans across the globe will dig this album.