Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

patrickbarnes, 32 guests

Welcome to our newest member, patrickbarnes

Highway Queen – Bitter Soul

Highway Queen
Bitter Soul
by Phil Tyler at 09 May 2023, 5:17 AM

HIGHWAY QUEEN are a rock band from Lahti, Finland. Formed in 2019, this is their debut album released by Rockshot Records. I’m a great fan of female-fronted rock and metal bands; bands like EPICA, WITHIN TEMPTATION and OCEANS OF SLUMBER blow me away with their stunning vocals. Many years before being into heavier music, I listened to singers such as SHERYL CROW, ALANIS MORRISSETTE and ALANNAH MYLES and I’ve listened to a load of others. The reason I mention this is that Virpi’s vocals fail to excite and pale in comparison. Perhaps it’s a little unfair given that this is a debut album but I wasn’t left wanting more.

“Hey” starts off the album with a slow plodding drum beat and a fairly forgettable riff apart from a decent lead towards the end. The vocals seem a bit ‘off’ on this track and it certainly didn’t excite me. “Get on Your Knees” has a decent verse, a much more interesting riff and has a degree of swagger in the heavier part of the verse. I did feel that the pre-chorus and chorus let it down, though the production is decent enough. In the opening riff of “Here I Am” there is a definite THIN LIZZY vibe and there’s some heavier and more urgent riffage. The chorus is fairly catchy but I was generally underwhelmed. I liked the riff at the opening of “I Dim The Lights” but the song is a bit dull and the lyrics aren’t great:

“You kiss my neck on the floor
I feel the heat in your core, I let it go
I am dancing like a whore.”

The title track follows next and is in my opinion, the best track on the album. The drum beat reminded me of the aforementioned ALANNAH MYLES and has a similar kind of swagger to “Black Velvet”. It has a strong verse and chorus where Virpi starts to shine. She shows passion on this track which I found to be lacking elsewhere and definitely a song I’d listen to again. It’s no surprise that the band chose it to be the first single. The 7 minute “In Vain” does drag though the last bit is more interesting with a pretty decent solo towards the end of the track. “Own Will” has a dirtier fuzzier riff that opens up the track and there’s a jazzier feel to the verse which speeds up towards the end though I was still underwhelmed.

This is in the CLASSIC ROCK vein but there were too many moments where I felt bored and wanted to listen to something else. It’s not a terrible album by any means but it’s just a bit average. The musicianship is decent but apart from the title track, there was nothing here that would warrant a repeat listen. Maybe their next album will show more passion and energy but until then…NEXT!

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Hey
2. Get On Your Knees
3. I Lean On You
4. Here I Am
5. I Dim The Lights
6. Bitter Soul
7. In Vain
8. Own Will     
Virpi Kääriäinen - Vocals
Teemu Kääriäinen - Guitar
Henri Backman - Drums
Juha Skog - Bass
Record Label: Rockshots Records


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green