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CD REVIEW: HAREM SCAREM – Thirteen

| 6 January 2015 | Reply

hs13cover

Label: Frontiers Music SRL

Release Date: December 9, 2014

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Harem Scarem burst on the scene more than twenty years ago, just as melodic and glam metal were being replaced by grunge.  The recent resurgence of the genres has allowed this great band to enter the studio and give us another disc full of great MOR tracks.  “Garden Of Eden” opens the disc with killer riffs and huge vocals.  The blending of the lead and background vocals gives the song depth, as does the guitar solo during the bridge.  “Live It” has a different feel and opening than the previous track, but it soon turns into a cool song with a driving beat thanks to a full sound from the rhythm section.  “The Midnight Hours” begins as a mellower track that showcases the lead vocal prowess of Harry Hess.   As the song kicks in, the guitars on this track cannot be ignored, but they seem to be more of a support for the vocals on this track.  “Saints And Sinners” kicks the attitude up a bit with a lot of guitar riffs and noodling that builds a landscape for the vocals to soar over during the chorus and bridge.  The bass and drums amply anchor the track.  “Troubled Times” feels a bit different from everything else on the disc, but seems to fit in to the groove created by the other tracks, thanks to a catchy and anthemic chorus.

“Early Warning Signs” is a full blown rocker that benefits from pounding drums and a heavy bottom end courtesy of the bass.  The vocals help tie the rhythm section to the guitars by creating a bridge of sound when the chorus explodes.  “Whatever It Takes” is the first full-blown ballad on the disc and features a cool piano and vocal duet to open the track.  Soon the rest of the band joins in and gives the song a little punch, but the original feel of the track remains.  “All I Need” is a cool track that layers the different sounds of other tracks and acts as a song that brings the different styles and vibes from the disc together.  The vocals on this one really reflect the emotion of the lyrics.  “Never Say Never” opens with a cool guitar riff that chugs along and is built upon by a great percussion line and droning bass line that wraps itself around the track and helps drive the tempo of the song.  Disc closer “Stardust” stands out from other songs on the disc, due to its heavier opening groove and guitar work.  Once Hess dives in with his vocals, the song takes on a classic Harem Scarem feel while demonstrating the bands growth and acceptance of a heavier modern sound.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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