It’s been a busy year for sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, with the release of a retrospective box set (Strange Euphoria), an autobiography/oral history (Kicking and Dreaming), and now their first album of new material in two years. They’re once again working with producer Ben Mink, who also produced Heart’s last studio effort, 2010’s Red Velvet Car, which hit the Top 10 (Mink also co-writes all the album’s songs with the Wilsons as well as playing a variety of instruments).

Heart released their first album over 35 years ago, and primary lead singer Ann Wilson’s voice has only become stronger over time — as you can hear on the album’s slinky opening track (and title song). Fans of Heart shouters like “Crazy On You” or “Barracuda,” will then want to go straight to the riveting “Mashallah” — the single word of the song’s chorus that Ann takes up to the skies (the word itself appears to be a variation of “Masha’Allah,” an Islamic expression of praise). Ditto “A Million Miles,” which starts out low and then rises in intensity as Ann’s voice leaps into the upper register.

Of course, Heart has always balanced their hard rock side with mellower songs, such as on “Walkin’ Good,” where Sarah McLachlan shares vocals with Nancy, or “Rock Deep (Vancouver),” which takes a contemplative look back at the band’s early days in BC. The album is a bit on the short side (it runs just under 40 minutes). Nonetheless, Fanatic shows a band rocking on after nearly 40 years, and it’s clear they’re not about to stop yet.

Label: Legacy Recordings (audio CD can be purchased here).