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Harem Scarem
United
June 2017
Released: 2017, Frontiers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: John Haseltine

Harem Scarem are back with an infectious new album, UNITED. Known for their melodic rock / AOR style, they do not seem to stray away much from what has been their formula for well over 20 years.



UNITED is the bands 14th studio release. I may or may not have given them a listen or two in the past. With this genre of music, if I don’t really get into a band right away, I sometimes tend to avoid said artist. Not that Harem Scarem is a band to stray away from, but for me personally, the power pop sound or ‘80s era hair metal they put out does not get a lot of shelf space in my collection. With that being said, UNITED is a really enjoyable listen. From the very first listen, each track has a familiarity of so many others I have heard before or even recently. It could be due to the fact that they are such an influential band that others try to compare. With UNITED, they are on the top of their game.



The tracks are almost on the infectious side. They convey the every so memorable chorus that you can’t seem to kick out of your head after listening to. With the more melodic rock scene growing ever so strongly these days, Harem Scarem are delivering it the right way to the masses.



I recommend this to anyone who likes their rock/metal on the lighter side. And for those who are into more of the heavier stuff, don’t be embarrassed, it is okay to say you are now a fan of Harem Scarem. If you listen to UNITED, you be.
Track Listing

1. United
2. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
3. Gravity
4. Sinking Ship
5. One Of Life’s Mysteries
6. No Regrets
7. Bite The Bullet
8. Things I Know
9. The Sky Is Falling
10. Heaven And Earth
11. Indestructible

Lineup

Harry Hess lead vocals, guitar
Pete Lesperance lead guitar
Stan Miczek bass guitar
Darren Smith background vocals
Creighton Doane drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Mood Swings II
by Erich

» Thirteen
by Erich

» Live At The Phoenix
by Waspman

» United
by John Haseltine

» United
by Erich


Next review: » Harem Scarem - United
Previous review: » Harem Scarem - Thirteen

Harem Scarem
United
July 2017
Released: 2017, Frontiers
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

Harem Scarem has been on a roll since re-recording MOOD SWINGS II back in 2013, a rare re-recording success in that it not only brought the band back together, but they are now releasing music that equals and eclipses most of their 90s material. UNITED is the second album since the reunion, swiftly confirming that 2014’s THIRTEEN was no fluke. Much like Orden Ogan in power metal (see my July review), Harem Scarem resides in that rarified zone reserved for the most distinguished active artists in melodic metal, such as Tyketto, House Of Shakira, House of Lords, and Lillian Axe. While none of these bands could come up with a catchy band name, they all deliver the goods in this style.



UNITED basically continues the direction and success of THIRTEEN as the opening title track reveals with its complex, occidental opening riff before evolving into a catchy melodic thumper. Seriously, the low-end captured on this album should be employed by more bands, but when Frontiers is the label, this kind of crystal clear production is expected. “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” features a sterling, yet more conventional riff and a heartfelt chorus that sticks in the brain.



I’m not crazy about “Gravity” and its circus-like opening, nor its rather basic verse riff. If you are looking for the filler track, this is probably it, though the chorus redeems it somewhat. “One Of Life’s Mysteries” is the ballad, a sincere but ultimately momentum-stealing tune. And that’s it for the bad. The other 9 songs are shining examples of the classy, mature and uplifting melodic metal that the band excels at delivering. Perfect music for a cooling summer night riding along in a convertible.



Naturally, the production is basically flawless, if a bit overproduced, and Harry Hess’s vocals are like an old comforting friend. Hooks are flung here and there effortlessly along with big, inspirational choruses. As I said, this is basically the gold standard for melodic metal that leans AOR. Highly recommended for fans of that style that are not already familiar with Harem Scarem
Track Listing

01. United
02. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
03. Gravity
04. Sinking Ship
05. One Of Life’s Mysteries
06. No Regrets
07. Bite The Bullet
08. Things I Know
09. The Sky Is Falling
10. Heaven And Earth
11. Indestructible

Lineup

Harry Hess lead vocals, guitar;
Pete Lesperance lead guitar,
Stan Miczek bass guitar,
Darren Smith background vocals, Creighton Doane drums

Other reviews

» Mood Swings II
by Erich

» Thirteen
by Erich

» Live At The Phoenix
by Waspman

» United
by John Haseltine

» United
by Erich


Next review: » Harju, Stöbe (Dir.) - Imaginaerum (DVD)
Previous review: » Harem Scarem - Thirteen





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