HEARSE – Single Ticket To Paradise

HEARSE - Single Ticket To Paradise
  • 7.5/10
    HEARSE - Single Ticket To Paradise - 7.5/10


Vic Records
Release date: June 15, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Do you have recollections of Peter Steele’s old band, before he formed Type O Negative? Carnivore? If you do, try melding various Hard Rock melodies and slightly slowing down the tempos and you’ll have a Hearse composition (yes, the singer sounds like Peter Steele in his Carnivore years).

Hearse are a band of mish mash, their intention is to be diverse in the music they create. In most cases, they succeed on doing that, in their own special way. Single Ticket To Paradise made a nice impression after its spin up, you can really understand the band’s need for diversity and the mixing of sub-genres. Every so often, the diversity element has, virtually, helped the band to compensate on sections of their material that are not to the liking of every listener.  Basically, Hearse are presenting a blend of bits, which actually means pieces of Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Death Metal, Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock and in the slow tempo tracks you’ll have a reminder of Black Sabbath’s old Doom inspiration.  Such kind of blending might shock you in a way, but be sure that these guys are well experienced to do so and they have been doing it since 2001.

Hearse’s story is relatively interesting; it all began as a result of a big disappointment.  The band’s lead vocalist and founder, Johan Axelsson, was the front man of the Swedish supreme Melodic Death Metal act, Arch Enemy, for a period of five years (the first 5 years of the band as well). Near the end of Axelsson’s way with Arch Enemy, its fellow band members criticized him for being quite a bad performer. Therefore, after being replaced by the German Angela Gossow, Axelsson formed Hearse.

Until this year, Hearse released four studio albums and a couple of EPs. This year they give us, Single Ticket To Paradise, which is yet another example in an effort to be different from all other Extreme Melodic bands. In general, they did well to be special and made this one hard to analyze. Not because of its complexity, it’s because of the tons of influences that run deep within the veins of the band, influences which are generated into every album of theirs.

Let’s take the best song of the album, “The Precious Embrace”, as a little lab rat. This one has the atmosphere of a Melodic Death Metal song and both raspiness and growl are accounted for. Conversely, many alterations are taking place on this track and they divert you to numerous directions.  Its starts with a Rock N’ Roll / Hard Rock overture, after that it proceeds with a Melodic Death Metal trills which are embraced by squeals of the lead guitar. Moreover, the song’s chorus is composed of a melodic lead guitar riff under the rhythm of Melodic Death / Doom riff, the song’s solos are a straightforward Hard Rock / Heavy Metal blowout. Now here is something else, in the middle of the song, to be more accurate, near the two sets of the final chorus, there is a small section of what seems to be a Jazz / Polka, island like, acoustic music, very obscure but entertaining.

From that little example you can sense that Hearse are doing more than just Death N’ Roll or Melodic Death Metal, they travel around and take what they need in order to make good heavy music.  If Axelsson had that impeachment from Arch Enemy coming, it surely made him better, both as a vocalist and as a writer. However, Single Ticket To Paradise is not the best of Hearse’s album career, not all the songs hit you in the face and leave a mark, most of them just fade away. To summarize this up, the album is good and it can be a great collectible, yet, although it holds a big chunk of the band’s efforts, it’s not that type of album that will sweep you off your feet.

Highlights: “The Precious Embrace”, “Single Ticket To Mayhem” – A Sabbath like instrumental with lots of reminders to their 70s era. This track symbolizes great importance, which is implemented by news flashes / broadcasts that present you the true shape of today’s world. “The Moth” – This one has some mystery behind it, an enjoyable track. “Your Purgatory” – Is like a Melodic Death Metal ballad, if there is any like that, embraced by a cool atmosphere. “Degeneration X” – A nice song with riffs that resembles Heavy / Thrash Metal off shoots, yet they are fast to be replaced by Deathly / Doomish like riffs.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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