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Heaven's Basement - 'Unbreakable' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/6d/8f/9e/1624_heavensbasementunbreakable_1317055953.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 26, 2011    
 
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Second release from the UK heavy rock act.

'Unbreakable' is the second release from the UK heavy rock act Heaven's Basement, who evolved out of the excellent band Roadstar and also released an EP under the name Hurricane Party (I hope you're keeping up here?!). The 2008 self titled debut Heaven's Basement EP followed pretty much the same blueprint to the classy blues rich, but in your face good time R'n'R of Roadstar, however since then there have been a number of changes in the HB family. First up bassist Rob Randall left the band due to personal issues, before the real bomb shell that lead singer Richie Hevanz was amicably stepping away from the band landed and as if that wasn't enough guitarist Jonny Rocker also decided that after trying for eight years to break Hurricane Party/Roadstar/Heaven's Basement, that he was going to move into a "More behind the scenes career in music". With the only original member of the band still remaining being drummer Chris Rivers, the smart money was on Heaven's Basement calling it a day, however to his credit Rivers has brought together a new line up of the band, who have released a stunning new seven song disc.

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So with this effectively being a new band with Rivers still behind the kit, the rest of Heaven's Basement is now made up of guitarist Sid Glover, bassist Rob Ellershaw and singer Aaron Buchannan and while the vibe of 'Unbreakable' is decidedly more metallic than its predecessor, surprisingly the overall sound isn't totally removed from the 'Heaven's Basement' EP. Buchannan brings a more contemporary outlook to the vocals with a tougher, grittier delivery that works fantastically with the heavier, brasher sound of the new songs and if this is the direction that Heaven's Basement are headed in for the future, then it is one that will serve them well. As a long standing fan of the band's music, I found that I immediately grasped onto the updated, rasping riffs and percussive punch of the opening title track, which combines a rollicking guitar romp with pummelling drums and a stunningly impressive vocal. 'Guilty Tips And Sins' tones things down slightly, bringing back a more straight rock 'n' roll approach, however the big singalong chorus and Buchannan's vocals once more add an edge that should allow Heaven's Basement to bring on board a younger set of followers while still making their longer in the tooth fans still feel right at home. It is a neat trick and one that I hadn't expected from such an altered line up and you better believe that is no short term illusion, as the mighty roar of 'The Long Goodbye', the pin-point punch of 'Close Encounters' and the most Roadstar like track in evidence here 'Paranoia', all leave you in no doubt that this is a band firing on all cylinders. A more restrained, if no less rockin' attack is taken on the slower 'Let Me Out Of Here', before 'Leeches' closes the disc in a blur of guitar motifs and crashing cymbals.

I really did wonder if such an altered line up would be able to live up to what has come before from the long and winding past of this band, however if ever there was a case of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, then the aptly titled 'Unbreakable' is it.

Steven Reid

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