• The Wizard

High Spirits Arise!

Band: High Spirits

Album: Hard to Stop

Label: High Roller Records

Style: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

Release Date: 7/31/2020

These guys have been around for a few years and they’ve put out consistently rocking material the entire time. High Spirits are Metal, but in a more old-school style. Mostly what they are is anthemic Hard Rock, something more along the lines of Thin Lizzy and Starz. The sound is always smooth and all the jagged edges are rubbed down and polished to a high sheen. How you feel about this band probably will echo how you feel about radio-friendly rock. All that said, they are back with a new record, another set of fist-pumping, sing-alongable songs for the world during our dark times.

The first side of this collection has it all, the twin-guitar melodies, the soaring but polite vocals, the crunchy riffs, all of it palatable and going down easy. Songs like “Face to Face” simply rock. They don’t try to reinvent anything or wow you with technical skill; they just deliver the goods with competent fun. Opener “Since You’ve Been Gone” really sets the stage for this part of the record, smoothed-out AOR, resembling Journey but heavier, everything about it screaming “Summer, windows rolled down, wind in your face” rock n’ roll. And it’s all good like this, until song number six rolls along, “All Night Long” with its Thin Lizzy swagger, and the album takes a subtle shift. Things get slightly tougher, slightly heavier, all the while remaining melodic as hell. “Midnight Sun” has a whole Hair Metal cruise, getting more serious but still epic. Follow-up “Now I Know” is dark and a stomper, quick to kill and bitter as hell. The darker tones really work with their sound, creating a nice friction with the more soaring qualities. The album ends with “We Are Everywhere/Hard to Stop,” a song that returns to the lightness of the first side, the anthemic and the heavenly.

All in all, High Spirits don’t change much here, keeping their solid rock on track, giving the fans more of the same from the last decade. If you’re new to the band, this is a good one to start with, and if you’re already on board, this album is just another in a long line of joyful moments for you. Hard Rock, with a 70s foundation and an 80s swagger is what they do, and they do it well.

The Wizard Has Spoken!


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