Like many bands releasing their first album, Brit rockers Life of a Hero are keen to cover all their bases on Letting Go; the consequent mashup of modern metal, hard rock and AOR doesn’t always gel, but the heart of the band’s sound is definitely in the right place.
Leadoff track 3D is a powerful opening gambit, the chugging guitars winding themselves up into a frenzy over the top of Pete Newdeck‘s uber-solid percussive battery; Vocalist Russ Grimmett has a fine pedigree, being the son of Grim Reaper throatsmith Steve, but he uses his voice in a far more refined way than the old man. Indeed, the presence of Pete Newdeck may have something to do with that – the Vega/Midnite City man mixes and produces this album – and Grimmett’s style is definitely reminiscent of Vega’s Nick Workman on the more melodic numbers, where ‘a heavier Vega’ would definitely be a viable descriptor of the band’s sound.
Personal taste is going to count for a lot as the band veer across the genres here, and for me the superb melodic hard rock of Don’t Waste My Time is where the band hits hardest; Rumbling bass pushes the song forward alongside Newdeck’s agile drumming, but it’s the superb backing vocals that really push the song skywards as Grimmett’s understated vocals carry the main melody. This is superb, well thought-out and executed stuff, and if there’s any justice this song is going to get a lot of air time on Sentinel Daily Radio in the coming weeks and months…
Shine A Light is similarly successful, with Grimmett’s superb vocals reminiscent of the late, great Tony Mills of Shy fame; If the band should seek to narrow their focus a little on coming albums this is surely where the greatest chance of success lies.
But whatever my slight misgivings, overall this is a pretty strong release – very strong, in fact – and evidence again that the British melodic hard rock scene is in pretty good shape at the moment.
Letting Go Releases on November 12th.