Frontiers Records are back with another supergroup, Heroes And Monsters, and they have once again created something tasteful for the ears of rock ‘n’ roll fans. Featuring Todd Kerns (Slash, Toque) on lead vocals and bass, Will Hunt (Evanescence) on drums and Stef Burns (Huey Lewis and the News) on lead guitar, these three talented musicians have created an album full of heavy guitar riffs, thumping drum beats and anthemic vocals that will be sure to have you singing along after the first listen.
Heroes And Monsters – Heroes And Monsters (Frontiers Music Srl)
Release Date: 20 January 2023
Words: Taylor Cameron
With a mix of ’80s influences and 2000s rock, Heroes And Monsters is a unique-sounding album that caters to new and old rock fans alike.
A Skid Row meets Saigon Kick sounding track Locked And Loaded kicks off the album with a bang. With a chugging guitar and a heavy drum beat that you feel in your soul, Locked And Loaded has the grittiness of a late ’80s tune. Kern’s unique tone is captivating and catches your attention right out of the gate as he utilizes his chest voice, adding to the heavier instrumentation on this track. In case your attention wasn’t already grabbed, Burns delivers a solo that’s phrased perfectly and filled with the use of a tremolo and the classic ’80s squeals.
Shifting gears into tracks with a 2000s rock sound, Raw Power and Let’s Ride It follow in the tracklist. Keeping with the heavy tone, the energy stays high, from the heavy guitars in Raw Power to the prominent bass line in Let’s Ride It paired with an anthemic chorus which will have you singing along after the first listen.
Frontiers knew exactly what they were doing when they paired these three musicians together, the content within each track staying consistent with each note played. The ballad-like Angels Never Sleep brings a softer edge to the album, while the AC/DC-esq Break Me (I’m Yours) brings a sense of nostalgia to the album without being tacky.
Never failing to put in 100% on anything he works on, it’s hard to be disappointed by anything Kerns puts his musical touch on, Hunt and Burns being the cherry on top.
The latter half of the track list brings Set Me Free, an early ’80s Heavy Metal sounding tune with a hint of Queen in the bright and layered vocals, and the closing track, And You’ll Return, a Bon Jovi Wanted Dead Or Alive meets Blaze Of Glory sounding song, acoustic blues rock influencing it in the best ways.
Although multiple subgenres of rock and Metal make up the sound of this album, Heroes And Monsters stays consistent from top to bottom of this debut.
Pairing three musicians who play in three wildly different bands doesn’t always make the mark. Kerns, Hunt and Burns, however, work brilliantly together, combining their influences in a way that has created a strong body of work.
It may only be the first month of the year, however Heroes And Monsters is guaranteed to be a top contender for rock album of the year.