Believe | review

Just a few extra comments now that I have had a chance for the album to grow. And you know what? Grow it does! Just like the three albums before it, 'Believe' just gets better and better. The melodies come easier than on 'Voice Of Reason' and the songs flow better than on 'Mood Swings'. Basically it is all class, and not in the least average. A contender for album of the year. I have moved my mark up to 90. Harem Scarem have released three of the finest rock albums of all time. Each one has had it's own identity, and style, each time building on what was previously released. With 'Voice Of Reason', the band reached a pinacle I think will be hard to ever beat. But not everyone loved that album. It was darker, moodier, and the choruses were not immediately identifiable. But if you listened and listened hard, there were more melodies than ever to feast upon. And now we are at a stage where the harmonies of Harem Scarem rank up there with the best ever in hard rock. So here is 'Believe', the first album in a couple of years, and there are a few changes.
I had heard that this album was a mix of both 'Mood Swings' and 'Voice Of Reason', and sure enough, that is pretty acurate. Basically it is the heavy 90's feal of V.O.R. mixed with the best melodies and choruses from both M.S. and the band's debut. It is a hybrid of all three albums.
The record kicks off in similar style to V.O.R., but with a mellower verse, and kicks in with a killer chorus, the harmonies flowing full throttle.

Next track, the first single 'Die Off Hard' has a pumping rythm and another great chorus, although not as big as 'Believe'. 'Hail, Hail' has a ballady feel to it, although the chorus, another big time harmony fest, is considerably rockier. 'Staying Away' is sung by the drummer Darren, although on the Japan release Harry sings it. The song has one of the most 'metal' riffs ever from the band. Track five is a good instrumental, but it's a shame to interupt the album at this stage. Better left till the end. The next couple of songs are similar in vein to 'Voice Of Reason', heavy, moody and in need of several listens to catch on. The big ballad 'Rain' is classic of the band, a big and heartfelt ballad, but possible unlike any other Harem Scarem ballad. 'I Won't Be There' is another great melodic rocker, and 'Karma Cleansing' is a real screaming 90's hard rocker, with Harry really stretching those vocal chords.
The bands' forth album is another essential piece of work, show casing their awesome vocal and harmony skills, not to mention the brilliance of the song writing. In the negative, it is true that this reord is a mix of the last two, but is possibly not as strong as either. At 9 tracks plus an instrumental, they are probably a couple of good tunes short of an absolute classic release. But, average for these guys is still far above the work of any of their competition. Buy it!!

Review by Andrew McNeice
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