Heaven’s Basement: Filthy Empire

Classic-sounding hard rockers make a break for the modern era

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It seems so long ago now that Heaven’s Basement were known as Hurricane Party, with an approach owing so much to Def Leppard. These days they’ve kept the best traits from that era – melody and fulminating rhythms – but added a contemporary edge.

Filthy Empire starts off at a cracking pace with the brash Welcome Home, kicks up the anthemic cinders on the sparking Fire, Fire and raises the stakes with Nothing Left To Lose, which is what might happen if Europe and Papa Roach traded punches. There’s a joyous use of vocal harmonies, allied to memorable tunes and dark riffs. The result is an impressive album that isn’t afraid to be bold.

When The Lights Go Out is a warming funk rocker, while there’s a bluesy groove to Jump Back, and The Long Goodbye owes a little something to The Cult. In fact, the latter are possibly the closest comparison, Heaven’s Basement being a younger, invigorated reinvention of what made Ian Astbury and co so formidable.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.