Album Reviews

Heaven If – Introspectral

Released By : UK Division Records

Genre : Progressive Metal

Links : http://www.myspace.com/heavenif

Lineup:

Gabe – Guitar

Iano – Guitar

Luke – Bass

Hugh – Drums

Fabriano – Vocals

Tracklist:

1. Liquid Circles

2. Points Of View

3. Cassilda’s Song

4. Passage

5. Behind The Lies

6. The Neverending Journey

7. Insomnia

8. Instru-Mental

9. The Reawakening

The debut album from Italian progressive metallers HEAVEN IF is a bit of a case of so close, yet so far away.

The brand of progressive metal displayed on their debut full-length album INTROSPECTRAL is from the DREAM THEATER and SYMPHONY X school of music, and the fact that this band is not afraid to wear their influences in their sleeves actually works in their favor. There are two things though, that really hold this back from being something special. The first thing is the same problem that a lot of Italian bands seem to have, that is the vocals don’t sound right. It’s hard to pin down exactly why, because vocalist Matt seems to sing in key and with a lot of emotion and passion, but the accent of an Italian singing in English just seems to miss more times than it hits. Obviously this will be much less of a problem for people on their side of the ocean, but for predominantly English speaking nations, the problem is just too hard to ignore. Secondly, the production leaves a lot to be desired. The guitars and bass guitar all seem to be mixed and mastered well, but the vocals are up way too high in the mix for the most part, and the sound used for the drums is nothing short of deplorable. The drumming itself is excellent, with some great odd time signature beats and a great level of variation, but it all ends up sounding as though is was played on cardboard boxes and tin cans.

Songwriting wise, I can really see what the band was going for, and for the most part the songs themselves are good enough to have been written by some of the monsters of the genre, but the shortcomings are just too strong to ignore. Tracks like PASSAGE and the epic THE NEVERENDING JOURNEY show just what this band could be if they get a few other things right.

Obviously I have no hesitation recommending this album to people who aren’t bothered by the odd accent in the vocal delivery, but for everyone else I recommend approaching the album with extreme caution.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 6/10

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