Hootenanny Freaks - Eyes of the Warrior

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9/22/20212 min read

Band: Hootenanny Freaks
Title: Eyes of the Warrior
Genre: Heavy Metal / Hard Rock
Label: Inverse Records
Release Date: August 27th 2021

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Tracklist:
01. Down to Drain
02. Night Train
03. Eyes of the Warrior
04. Girl on Fire
05. Are You Ready
06. Shadows in Paradise
07. Isolation
08. I Don't Care
09. Die Happy
10. Gone

Lineup:
Pepe Tamminen - vocals
Esko Kemell - guitar 
Aapo Häyrinen - guitar and keyboards) 
Marko Leino - bass 
Marko Kuurne - drums

We got to know the band with the first album "Freakshow" in 2019, Hootenanny Freaks returns now with the second album "Eyes Of The Warrior" with the same energy, verve and 100% rock adrenaline. The album was preceded by three singles: "Isolation", "Girl On Fire" and "Night Train"and just this last one song was combined with an outlaw themed story, inspired by the Sons Of Anarchy TV series.
With the new guitarist/keyboardist Aapo Häyrinen the band set to offer a 80’s heavy rock, most of the ten tracks are based on ‘70s and ‘80s rock including heavy guitar.
Surrounded by a typically 70s and 80s atmosphere, we manage to juggle that hint of nostalgia at the level of our years gone by with the panache of a tribute to a musically rich socio-cultural period. Between cult music and fluffy hair, this metaphorical journey is definitely brilliant.
"Down To Drain" opens this beautiful album with good arrangements, a good melody and a good guitar work, with a brilliant solo, a great start for this journey back in time. The following "Night Train" is so typically eighties so catchy and convincing, the guitars and keyboards work great and the vocals are perfect for both tone and immersion. The unadulterated vocals of Pepe Tamminen are complemented by a rocking aura that relies heavily on melody and punchy rhythms and it's the drums and the bass that complete the musical carpet on which the voice and guitar riffs, often virtuosic, are laid.
The title track "Eyes of the Warrior" has a completely different atmosphere from the previous two tracks and immediately surprises and seduces with the symphonic introduction and acoustic guitar, the voice is strong and melodious becomes more powerful and contrasts well with the keyboards. The solo, on the other hand, is divided into two parts, first tense and then becoming lighter.
While the following three tracks "Girl On Fire", "Are You Ready" more upbeat with its choruses and "Shadows In Paradise" strongly hard rock soul with good rhythm and melodic chorus (in "Shadows In Paradise"), we move on to another track that deserves a lot of attention, I'm talking about the evocative "Isolation" which shows a remarkable rhythm section with a melodic feel. A well-executed piece that gives us an idea of the ensemble of these musicians who know how to express a very strong emotional charge.
Between punk, rock and a hint of rockabilly, we find the cheerful "I Don't Care" that with its powerful solos gives us another brilliant song, as well as the following "Die Happy", catchy with a brilliant vocal and always the solos full of energy.
"Gone" is the song that closes the album, a melancholic ballad with piano and keyboards, between symphonic and classic ballad, it concludes this beautiful album that gives us an air of freshness with a look back to the past and that makes us relive the golden years of hard rock, even melodic, that we have lived. Eyes of the Warrior is highly recommended.

Valeria Campagnale



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