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  • Chris Tighe

HIGH SPIRITS - Hard To Stop album review

Release date July 31, 2020 (High Roller Records)

The Mighty Decibel faves High Spirits are finally back with a new full-length disc for our listening pleasure some four years after their last album. For those not in the know, the Chicago-based unit have three previous full lengths to their credit, the first two of which are considered by yours truly as classic ten-out-of-tens (2011's Another Night and 2014's You Are Here). Pure high energy, melodic metal heaven. There are also a bunch of highly addictive EPs and singles that can be found in their discography if you decide to really dive in.

That said, their last full length release (2016's Motivator), while still strong compared to its competitors, proved to be not as magical as its predecessors, hitting my death deck much less often. So with hopeful hand stretched out, your intrepid reviewer presses play ...

The opening two tracks ("Since You've Been Gone" and the uber-catchy "Restless") wash over the listener with the by-now-patented High Spirits sound, a sturdy upbeat rhythm bed supported by a second guitarist playfully and melodically toying around the edges, while Chris provides positive lyrical fodder. Like comfort food, it's immediately satisfying and very welcomed indeed.

To the band's credit though, they move off script somewhat the rest of the way. Sure, it's still firmly ensconced in the melodic metal milieu and is definitely High Spirits, but they steer clear of repetition, applying different shades and speeds to keep you engaged throughout the journey. Faves to date include the in-yer-face "Hearts Will Burn", the radio-ready "Voice In The Wind" and the pulsating "Midnight Sun".

Oh yeah, the concluding two tracks should be referenced as well ("Now I Know" and "We Are Everywhere"), bringing the album to a close on a high note. In retrospect, I guess that means almost all of the tracks here are highlights!

So, in summary, High Spirits have crafted a superb addition to their already stellar catalog. These guys deserve to be huge. Buy!

(8.5)

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