The Mainstream: ReverbNation Spotlight Artist-Kelen Heller
Images by: Alan MacNorton
Greenville, SC’s own Kelen Heller are in the final stages of completing their next major release, and if their previous release Limited Edition (2013) is any indication of the band’s ability, their new album should be something to behold. Gravid with anticipation, Kelen Heller fans have to satisfy themselves with repeat listenings to LTD while trying to decide which advance copy of the new album they want to pre-order from their website (proceeds from which will help the band afford to complete the new album).
Working with producer Rick Beato (Crossfade/Shinedown), Kelen Heller plans on releasing the new album in Summer 2015. Beato produced LTD, which drew some comparisons to the aforementioned Shinedown. With absolutely no disrespect to Shinedown, Kelen Heller are absolutely NOT a Shinedown knock off. Kelen Heller is a much heavier band with a more diverse personality. Kelen Heller also have more in common with Stone Sour sonically than they do with Shinedown. Most of all though, Kelen Heller are their own band with their own sound and spirit.
LTD was hands down one of the best EP releases of 2013 in the hard rock/metal genre. Kelen Heller is incredibly gifted at mixing heavy riffs with great uplifting melodies. “Burn It All” is a perfect example of this gift. Heavy fat bottomed riffs bridge the song to its soaring chorus which is stacked with some powerful lead vocals. “So Deserving” changes up the pace of LTD without sacrificing the heaviness. It’s really a standout track that, even though it’s a bit more radio friendly (and possibly the source of the Shinedown comparisons), with some of the EPs best lyrics. “Without The Pain” showcases the band’s best wall of guitar sound on the EP. “Nothing Ever Breaks” marks the return of the heavy riffing and closes out the EP strongly. “Never Lived,” the EP’s opening track is a powerhouse of a crowd pleaser that’s been the band’s biggest breakthrough thus far. It’s a track worthy of that distinction through and through. Everything that is great about Kelen Heller (thus far) is embodied in “Never Lived.”
Kelen Heller are currently on tour, and coming to Charlotte NC soon. In a music industry crowded with bands trying desperately to sound like each other, Kelen Heller is an outfit worth checking out. Strongly within the hard rock/metal genre, they nevertheless one of the best and complete sounding member of it.