HEART LINE – Back In The Game (2021)

HEART LINE - Back In The Game (2021) full

HEART LINE is the new AOR/Melodic Rock project by French guitarist and producer Yvan Guillevic (YGAS, PYG, United Guitars). Surrounded by an experienced team, the group consists of vocalist Emmanuel Creis (Shadyon, Equinox), keyboardist Jorris Guilbaud (Devoid, Shadyon), drummer Walter Français (Shadyon) and bassist Dominique Braud (YGAS, EBH).
Powerful and melodic, on their debut album “Back In The Game” the quintet takes us back to the beating heart of the ’80s with heroic guitar solos and soaring vocal lines, supported by a stunning rhythm section and virtuoso keyboard licks.
“Back In The Game” is an album that will appeal to fans of classic sounds from the genre from bands like Foreigner, Journey, Winger, Giant to Whitesnake and many more.

From the get go, it’s clear that Heart Line know their stuff when it comes to this kind of music. Opener ‘Fighting To Live’ has all the ingredients that any self-respecting AOR fanatic will know and love and indeed demand from his/her AOR fix. Emmanuel Creis has exactly the right kind of voice for this kind of thing.
He hits those requisite monstrous high notes with consummate ease and he demonstrates that skill across all eleven tracks on this album. In addition, in Yvan Guillevic Heart Line have a guitarist with all the chops, handling the saccharine-sweet riffs, melodic interludes and shredding solo flurries like there’s no tomorrow.

These two are admirably supported by the rest of the band, notably keyboardist Jorris Guilbaud, who has clearly plundered the bountiful vault of classic 80s AOR keyboard sounds, providing the huge slabs of candy-floss pink fluffiness that this kind of material requires.
All of the tracks have that warm and delicious familiarity that AOR fans love so much. There are absolutely no surprises in store in any of these tracks and if that’s what you like, then you’ll absolutely love this album.

Like much of the best AOR, most of the tracks kinda sound a little bit like something you’ve heard before but can’t quite put your finger on. Two or three listens in and it’s a cast-iron guarantee that you’ll be grinning from ear to ear at the monstrous choruses on tracks like ‘Night in Paradise,’ ‘Fire Dance’ and the killer ‘I’m In Heaven’.
Minutes later, you’ll be air-guitaring like a maniac to the shredding solo in ‘On Fire’ and punching the air to the ridiculously infectious hooklines that fill ‘Back in the Game’ and then you’ll be dragging out the old cigarette lighter to wave in the air during the delicate acoustic introduction to the album’s power ballad ‘Once In A Lifetime’ (which pushes the melodic levels to the max with superlatively over the top keyboard orchestration) and the delightful ‘In The City’ which is so smooth it should have a ‘fluffy keyboard overdose’ warning.
It’s quality all the way here and no mistake!

Overall, with ”Back In The Game” Heart Line have an album which can happily rival the best that the current AOR scene has to offer and if you love any or all of the classic bands mentioned above and have a fondness for any of the many Swedish bands currently playing their trade with this kind of thing, you’ll find a huge amount to enjoy in this album.
Melodic Rock / AOR is quite a crowded marketplace these days, bands have to have a certain ‘something’ to stand out from the pack. Luckily, Heart Line do have some impressive song writing chops to match their undeniable vocal and instrumental prowess.
If you’re a fan of this this musical style, “Back In The Game” is the right album for you.
HIGHLY Recommended


1. Fighting to Live
2. One Night in Paradise
3. Hold On
4. I’m in Heaven
5. On Fire
6. Back In the Game
7. Once in a Lifetime
8. Fire Dance
9. Stranger in the Night
10. In the City
11. I long to rise

Emmanuel Creis (vocals)
Yvan Guillevic (guitars)
Jorris Guilbaud (keyboards)
Dominique Braud (bass)
Walter Français (drums)


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