To see a melodic hard rock band emerged from a relatively unfamiliar European country such as Slovenia is an exciting experience for me. Toxic Heart, as they called their band's name, brought a fresh combination of what's left in the 80s by bands such as Def Leppard, Trixter, or Poison, and crumpled them up with some modern elements that can be found easily in bands like Crazy Lixx or The Poodles. Most of the compositions are cheerful, sparkling, and joyous, very much in the veins of the lyrics they uphold that circled around love and party.
"Ticket" started in an uptempo fashion, clinging to the melodic root, a nice effort but somehow it's too short. "New Generation" exploded with an anthemic arrangement and punchy chorus, the guitars are mind-boggling, I love this track along with other numbers such as "The One" and the title track. Singer Axl's thin tone and sharp scream is comparable to Trixter's Peter Loran or Rockarma's Damon Kelly. I like how he ragingly kicks up high in the sleaze slab of "Big Time", a great hard rock tune. But the real enjoyment behind each song is the guitarworks of Mike. He has some beautiful shred there and most solos are thrilling even though I sense that several of them should have been longer, but take example at the sweet candy radio track of "Baby" or the GNR-fuelled "One Night Stand", he nailed the solos big time, a powerful full-frontal assault I must say.
For an independent release, Toxic Heart rise above many mediocre bands that have been releasing decent albums back in the 80s. If only this was released in 1987, I can see them claiming a spot in the chart and sell a million or two. The production level is quite good, the harmonic gang vocals are awesome, but I still hear Axl's lost of pitch control several times even though insignificant. Maturity and originality in songwriting also needs to grow in the next release, but this one is already a huge first step to leap in the future, let's just hope consistency is the factor they maintain. If you're a fan of guitar-driven melodic glam metal, "Ride For Life" is a nice addition to your library.