Heaven's Cry - Wheels of Impermanence (2012) - Technical ecstasy but dull song writing at times - 71% (15/07/14)
Eight years after its previous output, Montreal’s progressive metal act Heaven’s Cry comes around with its third full length release entitled Wheels Of Impermanence. In comparison to Food For Thought Substitute, which opened up to me after only two spins, and Primal Power Addiction, which immediately hit me like a train and has become one of my all time favorite progressive metal records, the band’s third output is more sophisticated and definitely harder to digest.
Most of the band’s trademarks, such as the vivid bass guitar play, the powerhouse drumming, and the quite unique and perfectly imperfect vocals are still present, and quite convincing at that. While the guitar riffs are still good, and probably heavier than before, I miss some of the great harmonies and charming melodies that made the first two outputs so special. Let’s also add that this record lacks catchy hooks and more commercial tracks like “Your God’s Crime”, “A New Paradigm”, or the exceptional Midnight Oil cover “Beds Are Burning” have been present on the band’s past releases.
This is especially why the songs with additional instruments are more convincing this time around, and help add some diversity to the mix. The piano work in “The Hollow” makes the dynamic song special, and reminds a little bit of modern Dream Theater. This song also includes what is probably the record’s best guitar solo. The dreamy and epic chants and the soft keyboard layers in the title track “Wheels Of Impermanence” are stunning, and contain everything I expect from a great progressive metal song. “Consequence” includes saxophone parts that add a colorful note and make this piece of music really stand out. Amorphis has already proven how great saxophones can fit to progressive metal music in their masterpiece “Alone”, and even if Heaven’s Cry doesn’t quite reach that level, they pull together a very decent song here.
The other songs aren’t bad per se, but they rush by without any truly memorable passages. Even after four or five spins, the songs are nice to listen to, but fail to impress or even grow on me. This is still a very good progressive metal album, but definitely the weakest release of the band’s so far. Heaven’s Cry fans should get this album anyway, but occasional fans should stick to the first two outputs. The band is working on a fourth album which hopefully won’t wait to be released until 2020. I remain curious to hear and see what they will do next.
Originally written for Black Wind Metal« Hwimory - Hwimory (2010) - Mainstream European power metal from Korea - 60% (15/07/14)Heaven's Cry - Primal Power Addiction (2002) - An overlooked masterpiece of progressive metal - 99% (15/07/14) »
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