Company: AFM Records Release: 2010 Genre: Power, hard rock Reviewer: Chris Kincaid
Pretty standard fare
French Power Metal band HEAVENLY are back with their 5th album called "Carpe Diem" an album that doesn't quite match up to it's 2006 predecessor "Virus".
Before I get into what's good and what's lacking in HEAVENLY's newest effort let me point out that in a genre that is weighed down with bands it's hard to standout. It takes alot to be distinctive in Power Metal when the percentage of bands are using the same formula of soaring vocals, plus keyboards, mixed with a polished production.
Sure the opening track, which is also the title track, a song about fornication, is killer yet complex in structure with the way it breaks down in the verses before going into a different stratosphere on the choruses. Undeniably it is the best track out of the 9 featured. 'Lost in Your Eyes' has a catchy chorus even if it does continue the stance HEAVENLY have taken to limiting but not eliminating entirely the double bass drum furry that was present on their first 3 albums. There's also 'Full Moon' to wet your appetite if you're looking for the rich group harmonies. And the bombastic 'Ashen Paradise' along with 'Face of Truth' are hymn like in structure reminding me of a Theocracy album.
But the rest of the album is pretty standard fare. After awhile the high pitched climbs in the choruses become annoying. It also chooses to stay away from simplicity in favor of an epic structure that works on a couple songs but doesn't hit the mark on the rest. Not to mention there are 2 tracks so heavily influenced by Queen...yes Queen...that it brings to mind the 'one of these things is not like the others' line. It also brings down the quality of the album. Both 'A Better Me' and 'Farewell' feel like they belong on "Night At The Opera". Distinctive? Yes. But it doesn't gel! Experimentation is fine when it's within the same style you're known for.
"Carpe Diem" is good but not as strong as other HEAVENLY releases. Still it's solid on the melodies that will make a fan of this genre's heart melt.
And oh yeah...the cover art is pretty cool too!
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