Review: Ailafar – Heartbeat

Review: Ailafar – Heartbeat

Perris Records (November 17th 2017)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Greek AOR band Ailafar return with their third album release ‘Heartbeat‘, on Perris Records, which features twelve new songs and a special guest appearance from none other than the wonderful Steve Overland (FM), among others.

It is very refreshing to hear an album with male and female lead vocals on it, seems to be of a rarity in this day and age, and it’s very welcome as you get a different texture to some of the songs, be it the almost duet style of ‘My Heart Belongs To You’, where as one takes on the lead vocals the other becomes the backing singer, and that works very well.

Throughout the album personally Elisabeth Mari’s vocals grab me a bit more than the others on show and she really sounds superb throughout, most especially on the excellent ‘Stop Running Away’ and ‘Come Like An Angel’, and her delivery is different to a lot of female rock singers which creates a nice variation in how the songs sound.

Having a guest like Steve Overland (FM/Overland) is always an interesting dynamic, and of course it should be a massive plus for your album but it can also bring it with some issues, when it’s a single track it automatically gets separated out as the standout before it’s even been heard, having said that the track on offer here ‘Dream Date’ is certainly one of the strongest songs on the album. As always Overland delivers vocally, and with the added strength of the backing vocals the song stands out nicely.

Musically it all fits together quite nicely, it’s not exactly explosive, but there’s some very smooth guitar work throughout with a nice tone and the solos littered throughout the album are controlled perhaps the best word to use to describe them is elegant. John Tzortzis’s passion for what he does is very obvious and he certainly tries to mix things up, just take a listen to the instrumental track ‘Live Love Dream (LLD)’ which is one of those you can just lay down and really enjoy through whatever medium you listen to your music on.

This isn’t one of those albums that blow you away, but there are definitely some interesting songs and arrangements on here, it’s different to the mainstream and for that alone it’s worth spending some time with. John Tzortzis clearly loves the style of music he plays and alongside Mari’s vocals and the additional contributions ‘Heartbeat‘ is a very decent release and we can look forward to the next Ailafar release.