March 11, 2021

ISSA was a project put together by Frontiers a number of years ago to showcase the vocal talents of Issa (Isabell Oversveen), an outstandingly powerful Norwegian singer with a deft line in rock/pop crossover music. Most probably best described as mainstream melodic rock, ISSA is excellent when belting out the power ballads but is just as adept when reining everything back for simple and emotional love songs. What actually began as a project has become something much more as Queen Of Broken Hearts is album number six and I suspect there were not too many who expected this to happen when the very fine debut, Sign Of Angels, was released in 2010.

As with previous releases, Queen Of Broken Hearts is an album that will appeal to fans of Robin Beck, Lana Lane, Pat Benatar and even the unique and outstanding Heart. ISSA has great power and stunning control and has that special wonderful tone that could shatter a crystal chandelier or rock a baby to sleep and she breathes amazing life into just about everything she sings. For sure, most of what is on offer here are quality melodic rock ballads and this has worked so well for her in the past so if it isn’t broken then it doesn’t need fixing.

Being on the Frontiers label means that you have access to some truly world class musicians and she has again picked very wisely with Simone Mularoni (guitar), Alessandro Del Vecchio (keyboards), Andrea Torricini (bass) and Marco Di Salvia (drums) returning again so this is the same team that brought us the sublime Run With The Pack in 2018. Any self-respecting rock fan will know her band with Mularoni being one of the truly outstanding guitarists around with his main job being the progressive metal band DGM and countless other projects and if you have Alessandro Del Vecchio in your team then you know you are in the presence of rock royalty. Torricini is another musician with positions in a number of bands with Vision Divine probably being his most famous unit and Marco Di Salvia being another in demand musician with bands like Hardline and Edge Of Forever. With talent like this then you have to bring your ‘A game’ and ISSA has done this and then some.

This is another of those albums that has something for everyone and is thoroughly enjoyable, sounding fresh and modern but with its roots very much in ’80s big hair metal. To be fair, you always know what ISSA is going to deliver and her wonderful voice continues to thrill as ever so what you have here is a superb collection of very catchy and harmonious songs which are all delivered perfectly and with Mularoni supplying some truly blistering lead breaks and very catchy riffs then you know everything is in safe hands, have a listen to a remarkably talented singer obviously having a great time and you will too.

Queen Of Broken Hearts track list

  1. Angels Calling (3:30)
  2. The Way Out (3:49)
  3. The Night It Rained Forever (3:39)
  4. I’m Here To Stay (3:49)
  5. Blue (3:56)
  6. Queen Of Broken Hearts (4:00)
  7. Derive (4:16)
  8. Without Love (3:10)
  9. Wait For Love (3:11)
  10. After The Rain (3:41)
  11. Die For A Life With You (4:02)