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Harem Scarem - Thirteen Award winner

Harem Scarem
by Yngwieviking at 16 November 2014, 9:23 PM

Harem Scarem is one of my favorite bands ever, and the announcement of their new album thru a Pledge campaign was for me, already a souce of joy and excitement. I was one of the many contributors, and the goal threshold was easily and gloriously achieved in a few days! Their refined style and their typical divine harmonies are still as attractive to me and most of their albums are ranked very high at the top of my musical Zenith! However, I must still adopt a dispassionate attitude and tried to describe it as honestly as possible for this disk, without falling into the trap of the blind eloge to the glory of my heros like an old fan boy.

Well, it’s pretty easy to review it, mainly because this album is a killer…(This is something different from my traditional Dialectic labyrinthic analysis)…If I could perceive some incredulity concerning my objectivity among the readers, they should know that my quote is measured, this statement includes the performances but also the songwriting and even the production, and each and every parameter is setting at its own top; a Melodic climax!

In fact, this album is like a short cut to the full musical history of the Canadians. Every elements is here magnified, in many different incarnations, rejuvenated in its finest shape, precision, and genuine splendeur with every little spicy detail and magical chord progression, like in the amazing opening cut “Garden Of Eden” that recall at same the time, the contemporary sound of the mid 2000’s, but also the thrilling “Empty Promises” from the almighty “Mood Swing”. If “Live it” is a little suprising at first, it reveals quite rapidly its classic dose of Melodic infectious hooks and If “Early Warning Signs” sounds more in the Modern Heavy Rock vein than the earliest songs, yet HAREM SCAREM's stunning melodic abilities are developped to the max in a spark of sheer creativity, in a level of quality rarely reached in their late 90’s discography. From that point it’s back to basic, which in HAREM SCAREM’s case, means pure Class, virtuosic yet inspired solo guitar spots, angelic vocals and heavenly back-up harmonies…Its sovereignty is indisputed and obviously unmatched yet .

The tracks “The Midnight Hours”/“Whatever It Takes” or "Saints And Sinners" are like healing honey for my scorched Metal ears; QUEEN meets CHEAP TRICK meets NIGHTRANGER with enough credibility to restore the whole AOR movement at the front helm of the mainstream Rock scene. “Stardust” or “Never Say Never” are also bringing this extreme feeling of exultation, in fact the ending of the album is particulary strong and jubilant.

The Japanese edition in SHM-CD will features a live album recorded in 2013 as a bonus, the advanced release is set for November 19th, while the regular Frontiers Records release will be celebrated in Europe on December 5th. The best way to conclude this wonderful year with another fantastic album with a perfect note to honor its excellency!

5 Star Rating

1. Garden of Eden
2. Live It
3. Early Warning Signs
4. The Midnight Hours
5. Whatever It Takes
6. Saints and Sinners
7. All I Need
8. Troubled Times
9. Never Say Never
10. Stardust
11. Garden of Eden (Acoustic Version)
Harry Hess - Lead Vocals, Backup Vocals, Keys
Pete Lesperance - Guitars, Bass, Keys
Creighton Doane - Drums
Darren Smith - Backup Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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