HEAVEN’S BASEMENT – Filthy Empire + Unbreakable + 2 rare B-side
As requested, here’s the two HEAVEN’S BASEMENT released via the Red Bull label, the EP “Unbreakable” and full length ”Filthy Empire” (2013). Easily one of the best and most most interesting young Hard Rock bands from UK surprised us with their mature songwriting and musicianship.
The band’s first EP was amongst the favorites of this site in 2011 with its blend of Thunder, Pink Cream 69, Skid Row, an equal amount of Motley Crue, Crazy Lixx and a dash of the very early Guns ‘N Roses. After endlessly touring North America, the band recorded “Filthy Empire” in California, a terrific 12-song scorcher even more catchy and elaborated.
As bonus we have the rare (not available anymore) standalone single released the same year of the EP, and the B-side of Filthy Empire’s single, a non album track.
After their self released EP debut in 2009, Heaven’s Basement certainly managed to create a buzz. The band has been featured in Classic Rock Magazine and also two tunes from the EP have aired on the accompanied Classic Rock CD.
Heaven’s Basement seen a couple of line-up changes since they formed. At the time of ”Unbreakable” the had new vocalist Aaron Buchanan, founders Sid Glover (guitar and vocals) & Chris Rivers (drums), and Rob Ellershaw (bass).
“Unbreakable” features some tracks produced by legendary multi-platium Grammy nominated U.S. producer Bob Marlette (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper).
Heaven’s Basement sound and style reminded me a lot of the bands that came out of the late Eighties, except heavier.
“Unbreakable” is a guitar-driven release, chock full of hard bluesy, ballsy tunes that are extremely fun and enjoyable to listen.
Each track is full of swagger and attitude, packed with screaming choruses and tons of hot and vintage valvular guitar work.
Put in your mixer Thunder, Pink Cream 69, Crazy Lixx, an equal amount of Motley Crue, Skid Row and a dash of the very early Guns ‘N Roses, and you have Heaven’s Basement recipe.
This test-the-water 7 tracker finds the band stoked up, aggressive as marooned dogs, imbued of fiery melodies. Bristling riffs and jagged, riotous hooks are their poison, and they shoot their songs out like desperate, last gasp bullets.
“Unbreakable” certainly got the energy.
Signed by Red Bull Records, “Filthy Empire” was produced by John Feldmann, whose production credits include him working with bands such as Papa Roach and Black Veil Brides. It’s Heaven’s Basement turning modern alt metal here? Fortunately, not at all.
The full length debut from the guys is a bold, hard-hitting album full of anthem-style choruses, mixing the best of the ‘80s and ‘90s hard rock scene with today’s modern metal sounds. Production is more updated and thick than on their awesome EP, but Heaven’s Basement essence is still here, furious than ever.
The riffs are heavy enough right out of the gate to warrant your immediate attention while Aaron Buchanan’s vocals ice the cake early and often. His vocals are slightly gravelly than before given to the songs a more aggressive punch.
“Welcome Home” comes barking out of the speakers with all the rabid intent of a possessed dog with ambitions to kill. A big track that immediately will put your views of them just going through the motions firmly into place.
“Fire, Fire” rolls up and takes its place immediately in your head – these boys are not here to gently slide into your affections, they’re going for a sledgehammer to your heart. Big sound, big crunching riffs, big vocals and, quite simply, a great song.
Follower “Nothing Left To Lose” is somehow of a let down for my ‘classic’ ears: less Skid Row and more Fall Out Boy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really well crafted track with a terrific impact, but as it will be the single to sell the album through American radio, this is a modern sounding rock song. Completely justified if you ask me, as they needed a cut like this one.
But things get back to the real Heaven’s Basement with the catchy chorus of “Lights Out In London” and never lose the grip through the rest of the disc.
“I Am Electric” brings the frantic pace right back up and if you don’t get moved to get out your bored life and see this band live, I’d be amazed – The Cult with anger issues could sum this little ditty up; brilliant. This song is more in your face than the rest of the tracks on here. It grabs you around the neck to wrestle you to the ground with ferocity that you wouldn’t expect from a band of this ilk.
“Heartbreaking Son Of A Bitch” is a blistering barn burner, while “Can’t Let Go” is another Skid Row-styled basic rocker that keeps the flow of the album ticking along nicely indeed.
“The Price We Pay” is the one track where they strip everything back and go acoustic to reveal a side that stands out as equally as their bombast; classic ballad without trying to be anything else makes a nice refreshing change.
Then “Jump Back” has an almost Rolling Stones vibe running throughout – not easy to pull off for anybody and the soulful vibe is a welcome addition.
“Executioners Day” rounds off the album and one of my favorites. It’s an old track from their earlier EP, now revitalized by the bigger, meaty production.
“Filthy Empire” shows Heaven’s Basement can ‘rawk’ with the best them. The tracks on this disc are finely crafted excursions into the realm of rock. If you want lightweight feelings or relaxing rock don’t bother listening this scorcher. This is pure energy, a blistering attack to your ears.
If you want a band trying to prove their worth, trying to grab you by the scruff of the neck and simply trying to rock hard then you’d be foolish not to try and enter their “Filthy Empire”.
01 – Welcome Home
02 – Fire, Fire
03 – Nothing Left To Lose
04 – When The Lights Go Out In London
05 – I Am Electric
06 – The Long Goodbye
07 – Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch
08 – Be Somebody
09 – Can’t Let Go
10 – The Price We Pay
11 – Jump Back
12 – Executioner’s Day
13 – Sick Jack Savage (B-side) [Bonus]
01 – Unbreakable
02 – Guilt Trips And Sins
03 – The Long Goodbye
04 – Close Encounters
05 – Paranoia
06 – Let Me Out Of Here
07 – Leeches
08 – Paper Plague [standalone single]
Aaron Buchanan – Vocals
Sid Glover – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Rob Ellershaw – Bass, Backing Vocals
Chris Rivers – Drums