THE HEARD is a band from Stockholm comprised of three former members of CRUCIFIED BARBARA (Klara Force – Guitars, Ida Evileye – Bass, Nicki Wikkid- Drums), Skinny Disco on lead guitars, and Pepper Potemkin on vocals. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this new endeavor at first, especially when I realized their debut The Island (out now, Despotz Records) was what appeared to be a concept album with the central subject being Haunted Island in the Baltic Sea where “mysterious and unexplainable situations seem to occur far too often,” according to the band members. But I am nothing if not open-minded, so what the Hell, right?
“Tower of Silence” was the first tune that grabbed my attention because it’s got a dirty, nasty riff, and a certain rawness to it that I really dug. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, acoustic number “Sirens” is all at once enchanting, enthralling, and totally haunting, making this one of my absolute favorites on the record. The duelling guitars throughout “It” keep it nice and heavy, while “Revenge Song” is easily the catchiest tune found here. But it is also a rocker from first note to last, making it my other favorite for sure.
Title track “The Island” has a rough ‘n’ ready 90’s alternative sound that I really wasn’t feeling at first, but it eventually grew on me. I didn’t love “A Death Supreme” or “Queen Scarlet” either, but those are minor blemishes on this record. “Crystal Lake” and closer “Leaving the Island” have a somewhat spooky vibe to them, and both dip their toes in 70’s era-BLACK SABBATH waters, which is fine by me. All told The Island isn’t bad. It’s not a world-beater by any means, but I can definitely hear the potential for growth in THE HEARD. So I’ll be watching from the shadows to see what they come up with next.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Leaving the Island”, “Sirens”, “Revenge Song”, “Tower of Silence”