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Another one of those - 50%

PaganiusI, August 12th, 2017

The 90s were a pretty hard time for real heavy metal, the hype of the 80s was subsiding, Grunge destroyed the hairspray era, other genres took its place in the mainstream media and what was left of it was overlaid by the tragedies and scandals surrounding the Norwegian extreme metal scene and the rapid invention of dozens of new genres in the underground. In these rough times a young German band called 2nd Heat was born and tried to raise the flag of heavy metal once again. 4 years after the formation of the band, the five-piece released its first and only album "Shreddervision" which contains eleven songs about sex, profanity and "Homeless Children" dispersed on one hour worth of music.

The first thing you'll notice when listening to the record is the pretty flat production that takes away quite a lot of the energy and especially the vocals lost lots of their power due to that. Don't get me wrong, the album has some powerful moments and energetic riffs, but compared to bands like Manowar or Judas Priest even 2nd Heat's most energetic riff sounds just like a faint fart in the wind. That might be a bit overstated, but nevertheless some more energy could've made this album so much better.

Despite that "Shreddervision" is a very solid album that actually delivers many strong riffs, very melodic guitar melodies and some epic solos that are supported by a foundation laid by the deep and kind of raw rhythm guitar and energetic drums that are pushing the songs forward. Always on the edge between heavy metal, hard rock and AOR, these guys deliver some serious action with fresh riffs and nice ideas that keep the record fun to listen to, catchy and exciting. While mostly delivering some straight forward heavy metal in the vein of Stryper, TNT or Pink Cream 69, they often take away the heaviness and put in some slow, very melodic and sometimes even pretty epic rock moments. That combination actually works pretty well and the overall songwriting of 2nd Heat's debut album is good. Especially the energetic "Fuel to the Fire", the fast title track, the slower heavy rock song with some southern influences "You Smelle Like Mother" and the very groove driven "F..ked Up Slut Groove" really stick out and show the potential of the guys. The rest of the songs isn't far behind them, but lacks the last bit of tension and sounds like any other band out there. It just does not have anything remarkable or special, they're fun while listening to them, but that's it, which is really sad, because there is a lot of potential to be found here, it just can't make it to the surface.

Catchy songs need catchy vocals and the band nails that down pretty well with melodic clean vocals that sound a little strange in my ears, but are performed quite well and entertaining. Those are commonly surrounded and supported by some epic choirs that are also used to present the refrains and invite the listener to sing along with them and have a good time. While the lead vocals come along with a descent amount of power and energy, despite the low production, the choirs are powerless and just as flat as the earth in Medieval times. Besides that the vocals probably are the strongest part of the album with strong melodies, a fair amount of variation and an overall strong performance. While talking about the vocals we might just take a glimpse at the lyrics and those left me quite surprised. While the band delivers a quite big number of songs about sex, sex and the smell of someone's mother, there are a couple of songs that focus on some more serious themes like homeless children or humanity's future. That's something I did not expect after looking at the album and seeing song titles like "Electric Dick" or "Swallow My Load", but "Homeless Children" and "See the Sun" proof me wrong, even though they feel quite misplaced on the album.

While having some really strong songs, "Shreddervision" lacks identity, a good sound and the cherry on the cake to be considered a really good album. The strong moments even the weak ones out and in the end there's nothing that gets stuck in your mind or is somewhat remarkable. The songs are quite good, catchy and while they are running, it is actually fun listening to them, but in the end there's not much of an impact whatsoever. This album deserved a way better sound and a fair amount of improvement here and there and it might have been really good, but as it is, it's neither bad nor good, it's just...meh.