Released 2006 (Black Lodge)
01. Midnight Riders (Riding Free)
02. Turn It Up Loud
03. Heading For The Top
04. Rambling Man
05. Hard Luck Lady
06. Speeding In the Night
07. One Deal With The Devil
08. Rock Steady
09. Leather Love
10. Raise Hell
11. Bang Your Head
Hell Hofer - vocals and backing vocals
Hampus Klang - lead guitar and backing vocals
Erik Almstrom - lead guitar and backing vocals
Lenny Blade - bass and backing vocals
Gustav Hjortsjo - drums and backing vocals
Produced by Jonas Sundberg and Bullet. Recorded and mixed by Jonas Sundberg. Mastered by Peter in de Betou.
We all know how spectacular Bullets' second album Bite The Bullet was -- an amazing collection of riff-laden, chest-pounding, fist-shaking, and speaker-vibrating tracks that demanded to be played loud. Sleaze Roxx loved the CD so much they urged you to let your children starve so you could buy it and named it 2008's top release... and they were right. If you didn't buy it, shame on you... because you're missing something really special.
But this review is about Bite The Bullet's predecessor, 2006's Heading For The Top, and it's another complete belter of an album. Everything you heard on Bite The Bullet was crafted here with the same raw in your face sound and the whole blend of Judas Priest and AC/DC molded into the signature Bullet sound. Hell Hofer's voice sounds great as usual and just seems to fit perfectly with the music.
Heading For The Top starts with the excellent "Midnight Riders (Riding Free)", which is a fantastic way to kick off the album. It just pounds along with real energy and sets us up nicely for "Turn It Up Loud" which is really what the band is all about. Check out the end of this when the live crowd is dubbed in.. it makes for really anthemic stuff that you'll be screaming along to. "Heading For The Top", "Rambling man" and "Hard Luck Lady" all continue with the same pace and all are blistering tracks in their own right. "Speeding In The Night" is straight out of the Judas Priest playbook, conjuring images of riding leathers, exhaust fumes and wild free spirits. I first thought "One Deal with The Devil" was out of place -- its slower and less energetic, but then you listen to it and nope, it's a superbly crafted number. "Rock Steady" shifts us back into full speed again and is great stuff. "Raise Hell" is another Priest-like number that just charges along. At the end of Heading For The Top is "Bang Your Head", again with a live crowd sound added, and is a great way to end the album. Damn, listening to this CD makes me want to go see Bullet live again!
Quite simply, buy, beg, borrow or steal Heading For The Top -- it is an essential purchase for your collection.