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H.A.R.D. - Traveler (CD)

H.A.R.D.
Traveler
by Maria Kallinikou at 09 March 2009, 6:52 PM

H.A.R.D. is a Hungarian Band moving in the hard melodic paths. I do not really have much information on the history of the band, but based on the info we can retrieve from MySpace it seems that Traveler (2008) is their first attempt. The band's influences are having an intense presence in the whole album.

Forever Hard - with a SCORPIONS-basic melody twisted with a more sleazy feeling and a bit of JOURNEY-isque keyboards - makes the start. Rock Is My Name combines Jon Lord's playing style with Joan Jett's riffs. Stay is an 'easy listening' Hard Rock ballad, with all the melodic features expected. Troublemaker that follows has the DEEP PURPLE happy feeling as in Highway Star blended with the 80s sound.  Getting a bit to the WHITESNAKE tribute part of this album, there are three tracks that are almost identical. The beginning is made with Traveler, which could be Love Ain't No Stranger with the guitar riffs played reverse. Voices, which refers to the vocalists of the 80's AOR era, could be a hybrid of Give Me All Your Love Tonight and, last, Dreamworld is close enough to be considered as another version of The Deeper The Love.  

Although the band's members declare fans of the 80's, and there is no opposition to that, somehow the sound goes more back. Hence, Two Hearts has roots to LED ZEPELLIN and Live For Tomorrow DEEP PURPLE's highlights. In Call Of The Wild it seems that the band is slightly anxious and wants to combine effects, so it starts with an ethnic intro that doesn't connect to the following melody, and then in the solo part the resulting effect compilation is not a job well done. Light The Flame, with a TWISTED SISTER guitar influence, is a relief and the acoustic ballad Time To Change amplifies the good opinion about this album.

I think that in what H.A.R.D counts on is making an impressive start in each track, that will remind you definitely of an old tune so intense that will stuck in your mind. To be honest they have done well in that part. The production in this album is somehow dry. There are parts that the vocals are a bit out of tune and - at least there - more had to be done. From the album version that I hold in my hands, I could say that it is a decent work. Once again I underline that not much information could be retrieved, hence I have no idea about the production details and who took over it. If you check the band's MySpace page though, you can hear three of the songs mastered by Beau Hill (RATT, WINGER, ALICE COOPER) and there the difference is breathtaking. If you yearn for a release that is so close to the 80's era, H.A.R.D won't disappoint you. I am expecting more from this band, but for the moment…

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Forever Hard
Rock Is My Name
Stay
Troublemaker
Traveler
Voices
Two Hearts
Dreamworld
Live For Tomorrow
Call Of The Wild
Light The Flame
Time To Change
Lineup:
Zoltan Batky-Valentin - Vocals, Keyboards
Zsolt Csillik - Guitars
Gabor Mirkovics - Bass
Daniel Szebenyi - Keyboards
Zoltan Vary - Drums
Record Label: Hammer Records
     


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