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ISSA – Queen of Broken Hearts Award winner

ISSA
Queen of Broken Hearts
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 April 2021, 5:35 AM

Norwegian Melodic Rock queen ISSA is back with her sixth studio album, “Queen of Broken Hearts”. As with her past releases, the new release is a melodic rock fans dream come true with huge vocals and soaring melodies. Once again, Issa partnered with Alessandro Del Vecchio to work on her new album and - as with the successful “Run With the Pack” - an all-star team of musicians appear on this new album. Featuring Simone Mularoni (DGM) on guitar, Andrea Torricini (VISION DIVINE) on bass, Marco Di Salvia (HARDLINE) on drums, and Alessandro Del Vecchio on Keys, the album contains eleven new tracks.

“Angels Calling” leads off the album. It opens with keyboards, then guitar and bass join in with a little opening guitar solo. Issa’s vocals are very beautiful, especially when she reaches the upper ranges. The harmonies are nice as well. A guitar solo is laid down, then it ends with some piano and some vocal “oohs.” “The Way Out” begins with guitar and bass. Issa’s vocals are at first pensive and softer, but she let’s loose in the chorus. Those backing vocals create these big layers. Her vocals are definitely the star of the sound here.

“The Night it Rained Forever” opens with keys and piano, and vocals. Guitars, bass and drums come in, lightly at first. Again, the chorus is rich and full, and the focal point of the song. It ends with the opening keyboard parts fading out. “I’m Here to Stay” begins with more keyboards, leading to some twin guitar harmonies and a bit of a melancholy sound. Issa reaches some very high notes in the chorus, with perfect vocal control. It fades out again with those guitar harmonies. “Blue” is the ballad on the album, beginning with piano and vocals. Bass notes play in support, and the attack is full on when the guitars drop. Issa strains in the higher ranges, and this must be a tough song to sing live, because it is very demanding. An emotional and dexterous guitar solo caps the sound here, which is very poignant.

“Queen of Broken Hearts” begins with some guitar harmonies and a big punch to your gut. The chorus is very catchy, but don’t attempt to sing along with it, because there are very few singers who can match both Issa’s energy and range. “Derive” is a bluesy song, with big, slow accents, designed for maximum intensity. It’s a sad song mostly, with Issa giving everything that she has. “Without Love” is the shortest song on the album, at three-minutes in length. It opens with light piano and bass notes. The guitars carry the song forward in the chorus. “Try willing to give up and live without love” she croons. The guitar solo is very emotional.

“Wait for Love” is another short song, that begins with guitars and keys and a big sound. In the verses, it’s just bass, keys and vocals at first, then guitars join in. This song is full of big hooks, along with some strong drum work from Marco Di Silva. “After the Rain” opens with keys and an energetic guitar riff. Bassist Andrea Torricini holds down the bottom end with thick notes, while guitarist Simone Mularoni dances around here and there. The synergy in the band is obvious.

“Die for a Life with You” closes the album. Distorted guitars roar in at the beginning, then it drops to bass and clean guitars in the beginning of the first verse. As the guitars re-enter, it pushes towards the chorus, where Issa shatters glass with some of the high notes she hits. A bluesy guitar solo done at the hands of a very talented Mularoni shows that this band is packed with talent. The album as a whole might be Issa’s best work, and that is saying a lot. She assembled a great group of musicians here to support her outstanding vocal efforts. Though her vocals are the highlight of the album, each other member contributes strongly as well. It’s full of energy, big hooks, and catchy choruses, and will land firmly on your playlist, not likely to leave anytime soon.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Angels Calling
2. The Way Out
3. The Night it Rained Forever
4. I’m Here to Stay
5. Blue
6. Queen of Broken Hearts
7. Derive
8. Without Love
9. Wait for Love
10. After the Rain
11. Die for a Life with You
Lineup:
Issa Oversveen – Vocals
Simone Mularoni – Guitars
Andrea Torricini – Bass
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Keyboards
Marco Di Salvia – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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Edited 18 April 2021
 

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