From having been a somewhat mediocre band, albeit with
potential, Heavenly really bloomed with Dust To Dust (2002) and especially
Virus (2007). Phenomenal power metal, and one of few remaining bands
in the genre that were doing this with their heads high. The last album
was powerful in a Gamma Ray-ish kind of way, contained great riffs and
refrains and had some great composed songs.
This is however, in my ears, quite mediocre and there are not many
moments of good music to be found here. While the previous release
showed very good potential with distinct songs and melodies, this
is merely a mishmash of flamboyant ideas that do not work as a whole.
Quite often it is very musical-like, with some Queen vibes and theatrical
elements, and that can be brilliant if it's done in a good way, but
just like Sonata Arctica have managed to end up astray and lost in
that jungle on their last albums, Heavenly feels to be heading the
same way on this album.
There are no real highlights here, only fragments of quality, but
way too few to spark an interest in me. A riff here, and bridge there
that works well, but as a whole this is flat and weak compared to
before. The best song here is not even as good as any one on the past
two albums, and then I don't see the use of listening to this one
if you already own their previous recordings. Farewell is close to
being one of the worst song I have heard in this genre in many years.
Benjamin Sotto has a special voice that works most of the time, but
when singing high notes which is not really suited for him, it it
close to embarassing to listen to.
You know how some bands are accused of being Helloween clones without
actually sounding one bit like Helloween (early Helloween, that is,
which is the role model for this comparison)? Well, in the song Ode
To Joy, Heavenly definitely takes the ultimate price. It is remarkably
similar to anything that could have been on for example Keeper Of
The Seven Keys II, and since I don't like that era with that band,
and I am no fan of the Michael Kiske type of vocals either, I quite
frankly think it stinks.
Even though Save Our Souls saves the whole thing from being a total
fiasco at the finish line, this album is still to be considered a