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Review: Highways - Breaking the Code
Breaking the Code

Label: Stormspell Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 35:51
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 21, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (5 Votes)

Breaking the Code is the second album from international band Highways. I felt their debut, 2021's Texas is Coming for You, featured songwriting inspired by early '80s US metal, specifically the LA scene prior to glam mucking it up, but this new one has a European sound. The foundation is still traditional metal with a strong focus on catchy choruses and acrobatic lead guitars, but the production is modern and the writing features less of a commercial sensibility. The vocalist sounds a lot like Niklas Stålvind from Sweden's Wolf, so much so that I had to check Highways' bio to make sure he wasn't doing guest vocals. When you combine those vocals with the direct, crunchy songwriting, it is hard not to hear the similarities with Wolf, if less heavy overall. I guess if you're going to emulate or be inspired by an album, might as well make it a good one like The Black Flame. I wouldn't say Highways has hit that level of memorable metallic might with any of the songs on Breaking the Code, but like the last one, every song is a cut above average for traditional heavy metal, so if you like Wolf, Crystal Viper, RAM and bands such as those, it's time to give Highways a listen.

More about Highways...
Review: Never Die (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Texas Is Coming for You (reviewed by MetalMike)
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