HIGHWAY QUEEN - Bitter Soul album art
  • 7/10
    HIGHWAY QUEEN - Bitter Soul - 7/10


Label: Rockstar Records
Release date: December 16, 2022

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Finnish Metal band debuting their first album Bitter Soul on Rockshots Records. The album was released on December 16th, 2022.

Highway Queen

Since this is their debut album, there isn’t much to compare this to. That isn’t a bad thing either. Bands starting with a fresh slate and no baggage can focus on the task at hand, making a solid album and creating good music in the future. And, Highway Queen seem to have done just that. Bitter Soul is a solid record that serves up something for just about anybody that is a fan of Metal, Hard Rock, or even a Bluesy style of Rock. Prior to this album, members of the band were in various cover bands playing other peoples’ music. Somewhere in their journey they decided to make their own music and put out an album of original work.

Bitter Soul

Many of the songs on Bitter Soul showcase the various scenarios one might find in their own life: shame, anger and bitterness. And Highway Queen couldn’t have found a better vocalist, Virpi Kaarianinen, to bring the music to life with each lyric she sings on this album. The song “Bitter Soul” is probably one of the more Blues influenced yet heavier songs on the album. When the drums start out the song, it takes you back to the Rock days of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Other songs worth checking out on this record are “Get on Your Knees,” “Hey,” and “I Dim the Lights.”

Overall, the album Bitter Soul, is great. All the songs are varied to some degree, yet still retain a soulful feel with heavy drum and bass. The guitar work on this album sounds like it was heavily influenced by John Christ of Danzig which will hopefully bring in a fanbase with similar taste. The sound quality on the record is good. There are some points when the vocals are drowned out by the guitar, but that happens rarely so it isn’t a nuisance.


  1. Hey!
  2. Get On Your Knees
  3. I Lean On You
  4. Here I Am
  5. I Dim the Lights
  6. Bitter Soul
  7. In Vain
  8. Own Will

Album Credits

• Bass tracks played for the album by Jykke Tikka
• Produced, engineered & mixed by Aleksanteri Kuosa
• Cover and photos: Henri Backman
• Mastered by Jukka Yliaho/Masterlab
• Recorded at Inka Studio


Virpi Kaarianinen – Vocals
Teemu Kaarianinen – Guitar
Henri Backman – Drums


  • Jon Harvey

    Jon is a reviewer at Metal Express Radio and is currently living in Wisconsin, USA. The first thing that made Jon fall in love with Metal goes all the way back to the glory days of MTV actually playing music. Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box" came on and the channel was automatically banned by family. It sparked a curiosity for the music instead of turning him away from it. Things only progressed from there. Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, all the heavier stuff from the late '80s and early '90s were always in rotation. Aside from loving all things Metal, Jon also runs a skateshop in his hometown and is trying to get the scene stronger than ever.

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