The fourth full-length album by the German Melodic Hard Rock/AOR band.
The Hartmann records are full of tasty but quite slow paced AOR or even Classic Rock songs, very different from our every day galloping Epic Power Metal or Neo-Classic Metal. For the fourth album, it's once again the same case, but the voice of Hartmannis also much more in the forefront and he sounds more powerful than in the previous CDs, much more like his Genius or Eempty Tremors (Oliver Hartmann's past bands) days. Anyway, the third album was disappointing; this "Balance" is his best solo album. The title fits quite well with the musical concept. Indeed well balanced. The band Hartmann plays like a real band, and the chemistry-team here isn’t fake, the sincerity is obvious and pretty clear as the sound of this album is organic and spontaneous. The production and the mix are in the same juicy manner with a full spectrum, thanks to Sascha Paeth’s magic.
The very Zen and confined ambiance of numbers like “From a Star” or “Fall From Grace” is opposed to some more hot rocking tracks but still with a feeling of maturity and an absolute melodic control sensation.
Best tracks are "Like A River", "Fool for You", "After the Love Has Gone" or "Save Me". Others great songs: "You Are the One", "The Best Is Yet To Come" or "All My Life" that are more direct but still entertaining.
The word AOR could divert some, but here you can read Adult Oriented Rock with a big "A", no cheesy chorus with cheap bontempi keyboards in calibrated 3 minutes tracks, but a real Classic Melodic Hard Rock in the best way of the word, with some contemporary touch.
Avenue Of Allies Music, 2012 (Avenue 12 04 0042). Used: very good.
1. All My Life 3:56
2. Like A River 4:06
3. You Are The One 3:53
4. Fool For You 4:07
5. After The Love Is Gone 5:27
6. Save Me 4:59
7. Fall From Grace 5:09
8. From A Star 4:54
9. Dance On The Wire 4:25
10. Shout 5:35
11. Time To Face The Truth 3:11
12. The Best Is Yet To Come 5:04
Total playing time: 54:46