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Heir to Madness - The Citadel CD (album) cover


Heir to Madness


Heavy Prog

3.09 | 3 ratings

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3 stars "The Citadel" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive rock/metal act Heir to Madness. The album was released in September 2008 and is available for a "Name Your Price" option on the bandīs official site. Heir to Madness is a one-man project consisting of Jason Wiscarson who handles all instruments/programming and sings all vocals.

Stylistically the music on "The Citadel" is an alternative type of progressive rock/metal and especially an act like A Perfect Circle comes to mind. Heir to Madness uses some of the same dynamics with subdued melancholic vocals and louder more epic sounding sections. The playing is decent and itīs obvious that Jason Wiscarson is a pretty skilled musician. His singing could be improved upon though. He hits the notes alright and even add some nice harmony vocals too, but he often sounds a bit shy and I miss a bit more bite and conviction in the delivery. His vocals are often placed a bit low in the mix which doesnīt help either.

And regarding the sound production itīs actually relatively well sounding considering that this is a one-man project, and that the album was probably recorded on a home computer, but itīs not a fully professional production. That is especially heard in the way the clean guitars are produced. They sound a bit like the guitar is just plugged directly into the amp and then recorded. Itīs not a huge issue, but it does provide the album with a slightly amaturish touch.

The material are relatively adventurous and well written, although the vocal lines could have been more memorable. In fact "The Citadel" is not an album that sticks much after it is over, but itīs pretty enjoyable while it plays, so itīs not like my attention wanders or anything like that, but a few more hooks and more focus on memorability would have made "The Citadel" a stronger release.

The album is overall both a good and a bad example of one-man recordings done on home computers. On the positive side Jason Wiscarson has been allowed to let his creativity flow fee without outside influences, and that has made for an adventurous and compositionally quite intriguing release. On the negative side of things, it also means that the sound production is slightly amaturish (in the good end of amaturish though), and that the tracks havenīt been listened to by a professional producer, who would probably have cut some of the fat, and who would have brought more focus on the strong elements in the music. As it is a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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