Heaven's Cry - Primal Power Addiction (2002) - An overlooked masterpiece of progressive metal - 99% (15/07/14)
Six years after the strong debut Food For Thought Substitute, Heaven’s Cry is back with the promisingly titled Primal Power Addiction. Both records have been re-released in 2013, and are even available as a bundle. The new version of the second release features a slightly revised track list, for example. The six years were definitely worth the wait, as this second release manages to beat out the first. While the debut contained more metal-oriented tracks, a rather epic feeling, and a couple of longer songs, the second strike includes a bunch of shorter songs with tight song writing, and without any unnecessary lengths. These tracks hit faster and are even catchier than the previous songs. While a few are even heavier than the tracks on the debut release, Primal Power Addiction is overall even calmer and more progressive than its predecessor.
Just as the first record did, Primal Power Addiction opens with the hardest song on the album. On the re-release, the band decided to place the energizing “Komma” in the first position instead of the calmer and progressive “2k Awe Tick”. This was definitely the right decision, as it opens the album with a bang and takes no prisoners. The band also switched a couple of other tracks out, and the new version of the record turns out sounding much more coherent and fluid than before. “Komma” should take the metal fans by storm with its almost thrashy riffs, progressive breaks, and oriental guitar sounds that add an exotic touch to the opener and serve as a guiding line throughout this diversified and passionate outburst. Even the vocals have become much more versatile than before. This kind of track should please fans of bands such as Voivod for sure. The influence of Quebec’s most important metal band becomes even more evident on the highly imaginative “Waves”. The abrupt and mechanical (but still surprisingly catchy) opening riff could have come straight come from their late guitarist Denis “Piggy” d’Amour. The faster middle part of “A Higher Moral Ground” brilliantly meanders from progressive, thrash metal-driven riffs to more melodic power metal influences, and then back to hectic but refreshingly straight progressive metal passages. This is also comparable to some works of Voivod, but surpasses rather than copying them.
Overall however, the record has become calmer and is mostly driven by a dreamy, floating, seventies’ or eighties’ progressive rock atmosphere. The vivid “Masterdom’s Profit” and the catchy “A New Paradigm” are, for example, not a far cry from projects like Ayreon (with its spacey keyboard sounds), or a retro atmosphere reminding me of more traditional progressive rock bands like Yes (without sounding too old fashioned). The bass guitar driven “Divisions”, with its cinematic introduction, the slow paced but very emotionally sung “Remembrance”, and especially the dark “One Of Twenty-Four”, with its exotic and progressive acoustic and electric guitar work, are three tracks that represent the logical progression of the band’s sound, and can easily be described as three, almost equally great, smooth progressive rock or metal masterpieces. “The Inner Stream Remains” impresses me even more, as it features a great laid back drum track, peacefully pumping bass guitar lines, harmonious acoustic guitars, and decent keyboards. The emotional vocals really make this song stand out. This track is like the best Queensrÿche ballad that that band never wrote.
The cherry on the cake is the absolutely outstanding cover of the popular “Beds Are Burning”, by Australian rock stars Midnight Oil (which is one of my favorite commercial rock songs ever). The original track is great, but Heaven’s Cry has managed to do what only a few bands could. They’ve made an excellent song perfect. They kept all the important elements of the catchy original track and added some of their own trademarks to it. Let’s cite the powerful and dominating bass play that starts the track with a little surprise, and add the shimmering acoustic guitar sounds that fit perfectly to the track. The riffs have become straighter and the drum play tighter, but they are not too far away from the successful original recipe. The vocals are powerful as well, and the song doesn’t even sounds as if it was from a different band. When I bought this record, I listened to this track at least twenty times in the first two days. The song never let me go, and I consider this to be the best cover of a song I’ve ever heard.
In the end, this record has no fillers and is full of creativity that will grow and grow on you. As I simply can’t find anything negative about this release, I’m ready to do something I rarely do and give the perfect rating to this haunting and imaginative album. You definitely shouldn’t miss this progressive rock and metal masterpiece, and expand your horizons with these underground progressive heroes.
Originally written for Black Wind Metal« Heaven's Cry - Wheels of Impermanence (2012) - Technical ecstasy but dull song writing at times - 71% (15/07/14)Heaven's Cry - Food for Thought Substitute (1996) - Accessible but technical progressive metal - 92% (15/07/14) »
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