Hartmann - 2012 - Balance
01 – All My Life
02 – Like A River
03 – You Are The One
04 – Fool For You
05 – After The Love Has Gone
06 – Save Me
07 – Fall From Grace
08 – From A Star
09 – Dance On The Wire
10 – Shout
11 – Time To Face The Truth
12 – The Best Is Yet To Come
Renowned German multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter & producer Oliver Hartmann made a name for himself as lead vocalist of the Neo Classical Power Metal unit At Vance during the nineties.
Since then, a quick look at his CV will tell you that Oliver is a workaholic, he has worked with international rock acts like Avantasia, Hammerfall, Edguy, Soul Seller and many more.
In 2004 he released his debut album “Out In The Cold” with his own band Hartmann and the disc was nothing but a great Melodic Rock / AOR record much praised by fans and critics.
And with this here "Balance" Hartmann, the band, present their fourth opus, a fruit of labour oozing with emotions and high on charm.
On this record the emphasis is on a more contemporary modern melodic rock style with catchy melodies hidden within the songs.
One of the best tracks here is the super catchy “After The Love is Gone”, which is a tight rock ballad with some cool keyboards in the mix.
Another excellent track is up next with “Save Me” on which Oliver’s strong Coverdale-esque pipes are highlighted. Some fine guitar licks and drums lead the way on this edgy melodic rocker.
“Dance On The Wire” nicks Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home…’ riff and it's used to give the album a bit of a laid back acoustic break without affecting the groove.
Another notable cut comes in the shape of the cover of the famous Tears For Fears song “Shout”. The whole band have really breathed new life into the song and it's truly done justice here. Of all the remakes that have come out through the years of this classic tune, this is the best by far.
There is not a weak moment on “Balance”, and even the lighter “The Best Is Yet To Come” has a certain grandeur that is difficult not to admire.
“Balance” offers an updated modern melodic rock approach with Oliver’s strong vocals leading the way on a very well constructed batch of songs.
Hartmann keeps the listener entertained with catchy melodies and interesting lyrics, proving how much he has grown as a songwriter.
Add to this the sharp production and mix of the famous Sascha Paeth (Avantasia, Edguy, Kamelot) and you have a most delicious package.
If you enjoy well written and played Euro Melodic Rock with a perfect balance of faster rockin’ cuts and more midtempo/slow tunes, you really can't go wrong. In fact there’s a bit of everything that Oliver has delivered on his previous solo albums right here.
Oliver Hartmann : vocals / guitars
Mario Reck : guitars
Armin Donderer : bass
Dario Ciccioni : drums
Jürgen Wüst : organ on “Fall From Grace”
Xaver Fischer : keyboards on “After The Love Is Gone”
Last Updated (Sunday, 24 June 2012 15:56)