Inglorious – Heroine (Album Review)

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The Inglorious machinery does not stop. It continues to show off the terrific results that its new components provide, as it was seen early this year when they launched the fantastic “We Will Ride” back in February. Not satisfied with having released one of the best hard rock albums of the year, the band returns some months later with a unique album called “Heroine”, through which the five young men seek to pay tribute to a selection of female artists admired and respected by them. 

The first thing to point out about “Heroine” is the song selection picked by Inglorious. The mix includes some unexpected choices that keep the album interesting, dynamic, and generally enjoyable. From classic rock tracks as “Barracuda” by Heart, to covers from modern metal outfits as Halestorm’s “I Am The Fire”, as well as surprising choices as “Fighter” by pop icon Christina Aguilera, there should be a treat that suits most of music enthusiasts. 

Derived from the different styles of the chosen songs, surely there will be more than one who does not like all the original versions of the tracks selected. However, if any listener is among them, be advised that there is no reason to fear. All of them had been subjected to an intense hard rock treatment by renowned Dr. Inglorious. So, beyond any personal preferences, the impact caused by each of these female artists on the music industry is undeniable. Yet, their influence on the band, whether musically or vocally, must be deep enough to figure out in their covers album that celebrates outstanding women in music. 

Performing a cover is usually a tricky task. Sounding too much like the source material would hardly add value to the band’s body of work, while sounding too different could result in the loss of the essential elements contained in the original song. In this regard, “Heroine” could be considered a success since it allows Inglorious to stamp their energetic hard-rock style while keeping the cover tracks consistent with the original material. 

The opening track, “Queen Of The Night”, clarifies that the tracklist will be special. It takes courage to decide to tackle a song by legendary singer Whitney Houston and a deserved merit to come out well spared from such onslaught. Nevertheless, Inglorious manages to do it, mainly due to the notable musical contribution that the duo of guitarists provides to the band’s overall sound. As thousands of fans can attest, the chemistry established between Danny De La Cruz and Dan Stevens has raised Inglorious to a higher level, as shown in “We Will Ride”. In this particular track, the duo infuses it with a potent energy that makes it clear that the hard-rock treatment works pretty well. 

As it usually happens regarding Inglorious, the spotlight is taken by prodigious vocalist Nathan James. Throughout “Heroine”, the British singer will showcase his spectacular voice by moving placidly within the wide range that his vocal registry allows him. For instance, in “Barracuda”, the listener can portray a plethoric Nathan James having the time of his life by paying tribute to Ann Wilson, especially during the previous lines before mentioning the emblematic title of the song for the last time, as well during the impressive screams that follow.

“Heroine” Album Artwork

Speaking of unexpected selections, surely more than one eyebrow will rise due to a hard rock band performing a cover of artists like Miley Cyrus. In recent years, Miley has made several presentations in which she has shown that her puissant voice suits well to rock tracks, so this time, we get to hear a Cyrus’ song in a hard rock style. As might be expected, the chorus is extremely catchy, and the rhythmic base commands a simple but effective song that could bring Inglorious to a wider audience.

Inglorious’ musicianship through “Heroine” is well-executed, and per their overall quality, that is not in doubt. However, covering songs from different women that performed under diverse genres could have a hit-and-miss effect on several of the band’s usual listeners. Therefore, it would be advisable to keep an open mind, and perhaps the listener would find a song that surprises him. So it might be through “Bring Me To Life”, which is a remarkable cover that captures the dramatic and tragic spirit of the song originally performed by EvanescenceInglorious delivers it through an emotive, theatrical, and heavy approach that sees Nathan’s voice mostly contained within an unusual range for him, carrying all the intensity that the poignant song encloses. 

“Fighter” surely benefits from the hard rock treatment performed by the band. Inglorious’ take on this Christina Aguilera’s track results in a strong song with multiple hooks, as well as an appealing chorus where overall, the band demonstrates its great form. “Time After Time” turned out to be the most traditional cover but this does not prevent the band to deliver an emotional and a beautiful track that captures the heartfelt essence of the Cyndi Lauper’s classic.  

As previously stated, the execution throughout the album is flawless. However, the listener’s appreciation of the album will be influenced by the selected songs, which indicates the album’s direction. Some of them in their original form are simple, straightforward, and not very challenging from a musical perspective. Others are timeless classics that have marked countless people through the years and will continue to transcend through time. Whatever kind of song it is, Inglorious manages to print their seal on them, resulting in an interesting hard rock experiment.

Being Inglorious a band that with each album has grown musically and, in its exposure, the decision of a cover album could seem questionable, especially when they seem to be at the top of their game derived from the impressive results obtained with “We Will Ride”. Nonetheless, the band took advantage of the additional time that the pandemic brought and did something important to them by creating a tribute to talented and strong women. In addition, Inglorious will donate a pound from every copy sold through the band’s website to a charity called “Women’s Aid”, so their latest album is more than welcome. 

Released by: Frontiers Records SLR
Released Date: September 10th, 2021
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock

 Musicians:

  • Nathan James / Lead Vocals
  • Danny De La Cruz / Guitar
  • Dan Stevens / Guitar
  • Vinnie Colla / Bass Guitar
  • Phil Beaver / Drums/Percussion

“Heroine” track-listing:

  1. Queen Of The Night (Whitney Houston cover) 
  2. Barracuda (Heart cover)
  3. Midnight Sky (Miley Cyrus cover)
  4. Nutbush City Limits (Tina Turner cover)
  5. Bring Me to Life (Evanescence cover)
  6. Fighter (Christina Aguilera cover)
  7. I’m With You (Avril Lavigne cover)
  8. I Hate Myself for Loving You (Joan Jetts cover)
  9. I Am the Fire (Halestorm cover)
  10. Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper cover)
  11. Uninvited (Alanis Morissette cover)

8.5 Excellent

With a risky selection of tracks that mixes pop, rock, and classic tracks, Inglorious took the challenge of paying tribute to a series of female artists through "Heroine," giving the originals a hard rock treatment that results in an enjoyable, fun, and energetic experience

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 8.5
  • Production 8.5
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