Review 1972 : Bloodred Hourglass – How’s the Heart – English

Bloodred Hourglass returns to question us.

Almost two years after their previous album, Jarkko « Jaredi » Koukonen (vocals), Lauri Silvonen (guitar/vocals, Wolfheart), Jose Moilanen (bass), Jarkko Hyvönen (drums), Joni Lahdenkauppi (guitar, MyGrain, Thyrane) and Eero Silvonen (guitar) return with How’s the Heart, their sixth album, released by Out of Line Music.

The band kicks off with the modern Of Course I Still Love You, a heavy, catchy composition that immediately bears witness to all the band’s influences. The melodies take over from the jolting riffs before an as calm as intense break, which only strengthens the final chorus’ power, leading us on to In Lieu of Flowers and its impressive tones that let raw savagery rub shoulders with a groovy sound in an impeccable mix. The band also manages its transitions perfectly, as on Fragile, which softly starts out before letting aggression take over, making this one of the most diversified tracks, and which leads us to Anomaly, where the vocalist literally goes wild, placing piercing screams over the still energetic rhythm of his comrades. Sharp harmonics give way to sharp contrast on The Sun Still In Me, where the band’s stirring, driving basis welcomes heady leads, but also Emma Moilanen‘s backing vocals, before the band ventures into darkness with the lyrics of Song of Forgotten, a track again at the point of all their influences where the vocalist calls on us to join him in his struggle. Leina immediately calms the atmosphere with a much more melodic and melancholic approach, even as saturation returns to energize the track, and then it’s with the help of the St. Michel Strings, a Finnish chamber orchestra, that the band gives Devotion an extra touch, giving it an overtly more majestic dimension alongside its heady riffs. The End We Start From returns to an assumed melancholy, tinged with simpler sounds on the chorus, then ignited on the verses before welcoming back the St. Michel Strings on How’s the Heart, further nuancing the track’s modernity while giving it a truly epic approach.

The band has also sprung a surprise on the physical versions of the album, in the form of three bonus tracks. Only When I’m Breathing, the first one, develops a massive sound while retaining the heady keyboards, groovy rhythm and melodious leads, while it’s with electronic tones that Hennessy unveils itself, before welcoming the usual elements. The guitars give the track an interesting rhythm, while giving way to some symphonic samples and softer vocal parts, before Twin Flame in turn closes the bonus part with jerky riffs that are easily savored.

Bloodred Hourglass has progressed with this album, integrating sometimes softer, sometimes more aggressive touches to the usual elements. How’s the Heart is just waiting to prove itself live!


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