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H.E.A.T Live In London

Cheesy Swedish rockers sweep the boards

If H.E.A.T had any irony whatsoever (they don’t), you could reasonably assume that opening their live show with a track called Point Of No Return was a deliberate throwing down of a gauntlet.

Because the moment the wild screams – of dubious veracity for the indoor Garage venue, it has to be said – die down and the band storm onstage to a set of keyboard-driven power dynamics so brazen it’s like Jan Hammer soundtracking Pumping Iron, you’ll either be running just as fast as you can up Holloway Road in search of rational refuge or forever lost in pulldown delirium.

If Live In London doesn’t have quite the sonic clarity of the Swedes’ studio albums, it is them at their most unabashed. Aided immensely by frontman Erik Grönwall’s fondue-dipped exhortations, it’s a 70-minute, hyperreal rampage through the world of 80s hi-energy AOR. It takes a rare, total absence of cynicism to dive so far into cliché and come out with all the jewels, but these are pristine anthems born of genuine, persuasive passion.

Via Earmusic

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.