The Black Planet

HIGHWAY – IV

Vasco Baptista 02/04/2018 Comments Off on HIGHWAY – IV

Highway

If there’s a band committed to the Rock n’ Roll legacy, it is without a doubt these French fellas from Montpellier, place where founding brothers Ben and Romain Chambert were born and raised. Highway present the fans with “IV”, their 4th and most powerful album to date. Just as you would expect from true Rock n’ Rollers this record is composed by straight simplicity and a very raw attitude which you can feel right in your gut.

In fact, as we can see from the brotherhood, Highway is a band that lives up to the Rock N’ Roll way of life. As longtime road wanderers, this album seems to be perfectly conceived for the life on the road. The guitar work is amazing. It features great riffs, always with good rhythm and a characteristic charisma. Something the band always had since their genesis.

You can witness the diversity as well as the story embodied in the «Psycho Lover» track. Featuring an amazing Blues-style harmonic intro (as well as in “Chemical Trip”), the song escalates quickly to the main riff.  This section will stick to your head and you will find yourself humming it around without even realizing. And it really fills the whole song.
From start to finish Ben Chambert is literally the driving force behind this album. Exploring melodies influenced by southern Blues Rock, with a heavy taste of early Guns N’ Roses, it immediately grips your attention. And the solos, though short, are very decent.

Another interesting feature about Highway that really stands out is the outstanding vocals chorus done in a very Queen-like fashion, without taking the spotlight away from the lead singer Benjamin Folch. Naturally, his voice is very pure Rock oriented, with a taste of whisky to it. Harsh, yet melodic, and capable of diverse vocal arrangements, and a brilliant English fluency. This is brilliantly demonstrated in “Separate Ways”, as well as a Ronnie James Dio reminiscence in “Damned Me”.
Jeff Scott Soto, longtime friend as roadrunner of the band, made a strong contribution in «Wake Up».

In conclusion, “IV” is a great return from Highway and it won’t disappoint Rock fans, especially those who are already familiar with the band’s work and sonic identity.

8/10

About Highway

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Review by Vasco Baptista
Managing Editor: Filipe Gomes

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