Heaven Below - Review by Ever Metal (UK) 9/10
I must admit I hadn’t heard of Heaven Below when I was presented with their album to review and all I can say to that now is, WHY THE HELL HADN’T I HEARD OF THEM?
But let’s start at the beginning shall we?
Heaven Below are a four piece hard rock band hailing from Los Angeles who formed in late 2007. As with many bands still trying to find their feet, they underwent several personnel changes, before completing the current line up in 2014.
The band’s debut album “Countdown to Devil” was released in March 2009, reaching no 1 on Tradebit.com and no 15 in Amazon’s New Release chart and single “When Daylight Dies” made waves on the US rock stations in the winter of 2012 leading Hard Rock Haven to hail them as “the next Guns N Roses” with The New York Examiner describing their live performance as “unbridled balls to the wall ferocity.”
It was around this time that the band started work on what be their third album. Says lead singer Patrick Kennison “nearly 4 years ago the band and I decided that we’d like to start working on a concept record. We knew how ambitious it sounded to even consider that but once several legendary artists offered to help make it become a reality, we knew we had something.”
And what better legendary artists than Dirk Schneider himself (U.D.O and Accept), Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys / Broken Teeth / Watchtower), Lita Ford and Kobra Paige (Kobra and the Lotus)
“Good Morning Apocalypse” is a concept album, although what the concept itself is remains a bit of a mystery. Personally, I made it the story of a soldier undergoing medical experiments which results in global apocalypse. Of course, I could be so far off target with that I would be in a different stratosphere but that’s just my take on it. (Bear in mind I had no lyrics in front of me to read through as I listened!)
Anyway on with the review.
The band, it seems, are very much inspired by classic hard rock and metal, featuring the twin guitar set up that this genre favourites, but they have added their own modern twist. There are heavy riffs and guitar sounds influenced by the thrash period, fiery guitar solos and a strong and solid rhythm section resulting in a late 80’s sound that has been mixed perfectly with something more powerful and raw, while maintaining the melody.
The choruses are big and loud, complete with powerful “in your face” vocals from Kennison, whose coarseness is softened at times by dueting with the female guest singers and also, the surprise element of this album maybe, the operatic talents of Mary Whitman, giving the band, at times, an almost Nightwish / Within Temptation feel about them.
The album has been written, performed and recorded with such passion and emotion, it brought me out in goosebumps at times, and the production is absolutely perfect.
With a running time of 56 and a half minutes, this twelve track album, is due for release on October 14th 2016 on Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label, and, if I didn’t have it already, I would be first in the queue.
I absolutely loved this album and despite having listened through it at least half a dozen times, I have not got bored with it, I don’t think I ever will do, and I am actually quite sad to be taking it out of my car now.
This album is a must for any metal listener and I would list it as my joint favourite album of this year.
I loved it…….and I am sure you will too.
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Dead By Wednesday in Legacy Magazine!
Another Lost Year in Legacy GERMANY!
Congrats to Helstar! What an amazing year for the band and their new release 'VAMPIRO'! www.empmerch.com
A Killer's Confession TOUR DATES! Check the dates and go to a show near you! Screaming Guitars
http://screamingguitars.com/killers-confession-featuring-former-mushroomhead-vocalist/ | click here
Cage9 - Review by Crossfire Metal Webzine (Germany) 7/10
Der vielbeschäftigte Mastermind Evan Rodaniche und seine vor zehn Jahren in Panama gegründeten und in Los Angeles ansässige Rock beziehungsweise Metal Band Cage9 legt mit „Illuminator“ ihr mittlerweile sechstes Machwerk vor. Nach sphärischen und leicht industrialisierten Beginn geht es mit dem Opener „Open The Sky“ mit teilweise verzerrten Gesang und knackigen Gitarren los, ehe das ruhig startende „Gallows“ und das folgende „Starry Eyes“ mit opulenter „oho, oho“ Untermalung nachgelegt werden. Anschließend wird das als aufwendiges Vorab Video verfügbare „Everything You Love Will Someday Die“ angereiht. Nach der gelungen Halbballade „Oscuro“ bewegen sich die anschließenden „Black Horse“ und „Death Of The Dragon“ dann doch eher im ruhigen Mainstream Gewässern, um nach dem ordentlichen „Aleatoricism“, in „Birds Of Prey“ teilweise wieder etwas mehr Pace aufzunehmen. Das groovende „Martyr“ wird dann allerdings von dem recht langweiligen Synthie geprägten „Ghost“ abgelöst. Letztendlich bereitet der etwas dichtere Titeltrack den Weg für den rhythmischen und zugänglichen Finisher „Take Back Tommorow“ und beendet damit einen insgesamt gesehen recht empfehlenswerten Rockoutput.
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