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Human Temple – Halfway To Heartache [2012]

Photobucket The Finnish melodic hard rockers Human Temple after two years of absence are back to shake you with their third full length album titled “Halfway to Heartache”. Their first two albums were both critically acclaimed, and were said to be full of catchy and intelligent pieces of melodic rock. Yet this third release sees the band take a new dimension to their sound close to inspired power metal with many AOR moments and few prog elements, seems that the band have found a good balance point between upbeat, 80s-minded AOR and a more mature modern rock sound.

The production is great with a sound as clear as a well-polished diamond and all the instruments shine without packing it all up to a nice bundle of headache. The band once more has some line up changes with Risto Tuominen on guitars and Kalle Saarinen on drums. The band’s music on this album is richer than their previous works with nicer hooks and finer song arrangements, while Janne Hurme’s beautiful and expressive voice making the whole result more enjoyable. Some of the riffs and rhythms are mega catchy, the songs are well written and well made, with many beautiful key sounds, loads of catchy melodies, super strong choruses while every musician is given space for his own time to show off in almost every song.

The opening hefty power metal tune “I Will Follow” comes with flowery keyboards, fast metallic guitar riffs and a quite orotund sound, where a slow paced back ground rhythm keeps it interesting, while the vocals are melodic and floating along very nicely, followed by the urgent mid -paced rocker “Bleeding Through”, which is deeply interesting, memorable with a great chorus. Both “I Will Follow” and “Bleeding Through” have some steel and grit to them. The pleasant melodic rocker “Like A Beat Of A Heart”, has an incredible opening salvo of music with a memorable and very catchy chorus backed by harmony vocals. The power ballad “Our World Our Time” is a very catchy harmonious song where the band uses a lot of acoustic guitars to great effect highlighting as one of the best song of the album, features some more memorable melodies and a stronger hook, strung together with some lovely guitar work in both the lead and rhythm departments. The memorable rockin’ “Almost There”, where the new guitarist Risto Tuominene plays up a storm will leave you completely satisfied not only with the harmony and catchy chorus or the incredible spacey keys but with the 80s melody that emits. Great tune!!! The powerful “Run Away”, works well in a darker kind of way, while the tuneful mid-tempo “Some Things Are Never Long Time Ago” features Nightwish’s Emmpu Vuorinen on guitar. The song has a great intro utilising some decent hard rock guitar chops, overlaid with some equally effective keyboard, presented highly in the mix.

Once again, the band present a more than reasonable chorus to back up the musical goodness, but the shining moment comes from a twin lead guitar solo, with just enough flashy techniques to sound impressive without being overdone. The cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 hit “Little Lies” turns out surprisingly well moulded, despite the hard rock guitars, this tune is recognisable thanks to the great work of Tojander which reproducing the keyboard line faithfully with an unsubtle 80s rock sound.  The heavier “Because Of You” comes with surfy riffs, creating a tune on which the band sound very assured, while the catchy rocker “Misery” moves quickly with a hard rock edge and a neat keyboard solo. The sensational sappy ballad “She Talks To Angels”, closing the record where we get a good taste of vocalist Janne Hurme’s skill.

I think the whole album is great and well-made melodic hard rock from beginning to end, where the band combines many elements from rock/metal subgenres and appeal to fans of bands like Brother Firetribe, Outloud and Magnificent….

Band Members
Janne Hurme – Lead Vocals
Risto Tuominen – Guitars
Harri “Danny” Kinnunen – Bass
Jori “Jorge” Tojander – Keyboards
Kalle “Cala” Saarinen – Drums

Guest Appearances
Emppu Vuorinen – Guitars

1. I Will Follow
2. Bleeding Through
3. Like A Beat Of A Heart
4. Our World Our Time
5. Almost There
6. Run Away
7. Little Lies
8. Because Of You
9. Misery
10. Some Things Are Never Long Time Ago
11. She Talks To Angels


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