High Spirits – Hard to Stop

High Spirits made their debut with us three years ago with the EP “Scape.” If memory serves me right, and if I read the review correctly – one must use all the resources one’s got! -, “Scape” had a strong taste of the good old Hard Rock combined with an AOR mood. Well, in fact, things don’t change that much in this full-length “Hard to Stop.” It’s not that this album is like an extension of the EP. No, sir. In fact, there are two details that I missed reviewing it three years ago. The first and more important is that Chris Black’s voice and style remind a lot, but a lot, classic Melodic Hardcore vocalists. The tone of voice and the way he sings take the fan direct to this remembrance and comparison. Take “Voice in the Wind” for instance which has a great taste of Californian Melodic Hardcore. The second thing is that the way High Spirits conduct their songs in this album is very near the way UFO used to do. Listen to “Face to Face” and tell me the first seconds of the initial riff doesn’t remember UFO’s “Lights Out.”

To be real honest, “Hard to Stop” keeps the best things of “Scape” which are the excitement and the melody. High Spirits are a band that with great mastery are able to combine high doses of adrenalin and emotion, the two most important features in any Hard Rock/AOR bands, if you ask me. But that doesn’t make it an one theme only album. There are NWOBHM moments as well as in “Midnight Sun” and its guitar riffing. The Melodic Hardcore elements added to it help a lot to keep the flame and the excitement. On second thought, or in a deeper analysis, it’s not only the vocals that brought the aforementioned elements. Guitars and drumming brought them too. It’s a slight approach, but enough to make the fan note them. “We Are Everywhere” tells a lot about that. Its guitars are hard and strong repeating the same note for a while with the simplest and direct rhythm. The effect the fan feels in the head making it bang at large.

Unfortunately, today’s Metal is so divided in subgenres that I don’t think this album will be as delightfull to many as it was to me. A real pity. “Hard to Stop” deserves to be appreciated for a larger audience.

By the way, I know that the die hard fan may have noticed, but first track “Since You’ve Been Gone” isn’t a Rainbow cover. Just the names are exactly the same.

High Spirits “Hard to Stop” will be released on July 31st via High Roller Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Since You’ve Been Gone  (5:04)

  2. Restless

  3. Face to Face

  4. Hearts Will Burn

  5. Voice in the Wind

  6. All Night Long

  7. Midnight Sun

  8. Now I Know

  9. We Are Everywhere

Watch “Restless” official video here: