» Cdreviews  
« back

Heavenly - Virus

Published Dec. 27 2006

=Staff's pick

The Dark Memories*
Spill Blood On Fire
The Power & Fury
Wasted Time
Bravery In The Field*
When The Rain Begins To Fall
The Prince Of The World

Genre Power Metal
Benjamin Sotto
Tracks 9
Charley Corbiaux
Runningtime 50 Min.
Olivier Lapauze
Label AFM Records
Matthieu Plana
Release 26 Jan. 2007
Thomas Das Neves
Country France
Similar artists Gamma Ray, Helloween

(I am re-posting this review because the previous stated release date was unfortunatley only for the Japanese market. This new and corrected date is for the european release.)

France has not raised many metal bands throughout history, let alone any good ones. I can think of a handful decent black- and death metal bands but practically no heavy/power constellations worth mentioning. Heavenly, however, is the exception. A few years have passed since their great album Dust To Dust (2004), which followed up the pretty lukewarm Coming From the Sky (2000) and Sign Of The Winner (2001). They have matured and improved significantly along the way and continue to do so here as well. This album is packed with delicious riffs, leads, bridges and refrains which results in killer songs like for example The Dark Memories, Virus and Liberty but there are also a couple of mediocre ones present like When The Rain Begins To Fall, sometimes just a refrain (albeit most of the times brilliant) saving them.

It is a known fact that Heavenly always have had certain elements of Gamma Ray in their music but this time they really take it to the extreme. Show me the person that after listening to this album says that he or she can not find traces of the Heading For Tomorrow or Land Of The Free albums in each and every song, and I can tell you that he or she is either deaf, lobotomized or a 50 Cent-fan. Strangely enough, it does not sound like direct copying since Heavenly have their own characteristic style and something that makes them at least a tiny bit special. Apart from a few cases where we are talking about actual and full scale rip-offs, they are doing it very well and with class. The fact is that I think Heavenly is doing Gamma Ray-music better than the originals at then moment (and by saying that I am hinting that I realise that I overrated the latest Gamma Ray album quite a bit). So if you are a diehard fan of that stuff, do not read the rest of the review, just run like the wind to your closest cd store and pick this up.

The vocals are worth a few words of their own. Still very Kai Hansen-esque, perhaps even more than before, but they are not quite as good as they used to. They are very characteristic and special and most of the times great but when taking the real high tones, which occurs very often on this album, they sound like they are on the edge of cracking up and it would do the music good if Sotto would keep it more in the lower regions. That would sound better and more powerful and suit the music better.

It is bombastic and well played power metal of the classic school and they keep going and developing on the road the started beating with Dust To Dust and any fan of that album should absolutely appreciate this one. This is among the absolute best the genre has to offer today. What holds back the grade here is that there is a bit too much difference between the mighty peaks and the unfortunately present lows.

See also review of: Carpe Diem , Dust To Dust , Sign Of The Winner






8 chalices of 10 - Tommy

Related links: