Blessed By A Broken Heart – Feel The Power


Blessed By A Broken Heart formed in Montreal, Canada in 2003 as a metalcore outfit and released ‘All Is Fair In Love And War’ in 2004. Following the addition of Shred Sean (guitar) and Tony Gambino (vocals) they moved towards eighties metal on ‘Pedal To The Metal’ (2008) with Century Media Records. After some serious touring, they got picked up by Tooth & Nail for their third album ‘Feel The Power’ (2012).

The band now comprises Tony Gambino (vocals), Shred Sean (guitar), Tyler Hoare (bass), Sam Ryder (guitar) and Slater (drums). Gambino stated “We’ve definitely matured as a band. We really wrote this album collectively, and it just naturally had this progression of where we all wanted to go. The whole band is still obsessed with the ’80s, and that’s bled into our lifestyles. It’s not just when we’re on tour: We all kind of dress ’80s; we still have mullets. It’s become part of our lives. On the last album, we used more of the cheesy side of the ’80s, and this album we used a little more of the mature side. It’s a little less fluff, a lot less cheese, a little more serious. We’ve kind of gone a little more classic metal and heavy rock ‘n’ roll.”

Another key factor is that BBABH chose James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory, and Paramore) as their producer. Slater confirmed “We scoped out a lot of producers, but because this record was a lot more commercial-savvy, we wanted to go with someone who wasn’t just some metal guy. We wanted to go with someone who had a touch with good songwriting, good substance to songs, and someone who has a good background working with people who have written really catchy songs. More than just producing, he brought his engineering skills, too, and he can get a really good, clean sound. I think that was the best thing he brought to the table: being able to take our style and make it sound sonically in the right place.”

‘Deathwish’ gently eases in for a few seconds before pouring out torrents of surging guitar. “You know your walls are closing in / Your shining light is growing dim / Mama sold her soul to the devil / Traded a kiss for a birthday deathwish / Mama sold her soul to the devil / Traded her pain for the love of cocaine”. Gambino shows he has a fine set of lungs with a glass-shattering “DEVIL” scream that easily equals that of Michael Sweet (Stryper).

Whilst they have moved to a polished glam metal sound (think Motley Crue melded with Van Halen-esque synth and guitar shreds), there are still bursts of hardcore vocals in ‘Shut Up And Rock’ and ‘Love Nightmare’. It’s also worth noting that Dallas Taylor (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster) does guest vocals on ‘Shut Up And Rock’.

There is a short, atmospheric track that leads into ‘Holdin’ Back For Nothin’ with “The sign on the wall tells me it’s all for show / Just the say word, I’m ready to go / I think there’s one thing you should know / I want it all / You see me coming / Move outta my way / I’m holding back for nothing.”

The ‘lighters-in-the air’ ballad ‘I’ve Got You’ does initially bring to mind Bryan Adams, whilst also containing sing-along choruses and extensive air guitar soloing. Then it’s back to revving motorcycles and partying in ‘Rockin’ All Night’, before ramping up the tempo for ‘Scream It Like You Mean It’. Finally, the high energy ‘Sleepless Nights’ tells of a relationship gone wrong “Can’t you see / You’re not the one for me / These tears of sweat / Drip in regret”

There are some reviews that think this is too slick, but I think they are missing the point ~ that pop-metal can have an aggressively good-time attitude.

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

Rating: 8.5/10

01. Deathwish
02. Shut Up And Rock
03. Love Nightmare
04. Forever
05. Thunder Dome
06. Holdin’ Back For Nothin’
07. I’ve Got You
08. Rockin’ All Night
09. Scream It Like You Mean It
10. Skate Or Die
11. Innocent Blood
12. Sleepless Nights

Band members:
Tony Gambino
Tyler Hoare
Sean Maier
Sam Ryder

Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records, 2012

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Myspace


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