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Heaven's Cry - Primal Power Addiction CD (album) cover

PRIMAL POWER ADDICTION

Heaven's Cry

 

Progressive Metal

3.37 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars HEAVEN'S CRY surely is an original band. They play a very unique brand of progressive-metal that doesn't rely exclusively on riffs and that puts a lot of emphasis on textures. They have three guitars playing at all times, creating amazing harmonies that are this band's best feature. Their song structures are not completely regular, and even though the band never seems to try to show-off their abilities, they have a very distinct tech-metal sound at times. Their focus on short and concise songs rather than on long epics give them the possibility to create complex tracks without ever making them sound boring. They love odd-time signatures, and the rhythm section tends to show constant funk influences here and there. It's, overall, a pretty outstanding group.

If we were to talk about what they sound like, here we would have to discard, unlike in most progressive-metal bands, DREAM THEATER. The influence may exist, but it never shows. Neither does any hint of QUEENSRYCHE. If we had to pick the one founder of the prog-metal genre HEAVEN'S CRY sounds the most like, it would definitely be FATES WARNING, even though it would be quite a stretch, as they ultimately don't sound the same. This Canadian band, as said before, sounds a little bit like SPIRAL ARCHITECT but without all the complications and (at times) nonsense displays of virtuosism. ICE AGE, another unknown prog-metal band (which sadly disappeared after showing a lot of promise and releasing two great albums) would be a good comparison, but whereas that group sounded much more like the traditional prog-metal names, HEAVEN'S CRY adds a lot of external influences. I'm constantly reminded throughout the record of grunge music, and there are moments where the vocal harmonies strike a big resemblance to ALICE IN CHAINS. Going back to progland, another huge influence seems to be PAIN OF SALVATION, and in many of the vocals, NEAL MORSE.

Most songs here don't rely on memorable riffs to survive. The band starts most tracks with rather obscure riffs, and build upon them adding layer after layer of guitars and harmonies. Their guitar work is their best feature and we have to applaud them for it. The atmospheric intros to "Remembrance" and "One of Twentyfour" are perfect examples of that. But surely the most amazing moment in the album must be the strangely ambiguous, somewhat dissonant and captivatingly jazzy intro to "Divisions".

So what is not to like in "Primal Power Addiction"? for all the sheer brilliance of the guitar work, the band finds it difficult to write truly memorable songs. For my taste at least, music can't survive only on harmony. Melody is vital, and it's somewhat missing here in this album. There are no songs that stuck in my mind even after repeated listens. The problem may lie in the fact that the band avoids adhering to the usual structures, but even more so in the fact that the melodies are not at all memorable, and that most songs sound alike. The riffs are interesting but lack character, and the rhythm of the tracks is pretty similar; the singing doesn't help matters and we're left with a collection of extremely-well-played songs with incredible textures that, sadly, fail to leave any everlasting impression on the listener, and that sound too similar to each other.

About the musicians a word we can say: they're terrific. All three guitarists create a intricate texture full of colors and sound and also are capable of some displays of amazing technique. The bass is always a star in this record, and the drums are quite original and demand virtuosity. St. Jean's vocals owe a little to Daniel Gildenlow of PAIN OF SALVATION, but also a little to singers like NEAL MORSE. For further proof, checking the "High Moral Ground" or "Paradigm" would be source for good evidence. His voice, while versatile, is not really that melodic, and it contributes to make the record a somewhat dull experience.

All in all, a very, very interesting record from a purely musical point of view. The three-guitar work and the uniqueness of the music surely deserve commendation. But the lack of any hook or at least memorable moments make "Primal Power Addiction" a somewhat dry experience. When the only likeable tune in the record is a cover (a very weak version of MIDNIGHT'S OIL "Beds are Burning", harmed by the awful funkiness of the drummer in that track), it's clear that the band could still use some time to improve their songwriting while keeping the fantastic elements like the harmonic work. For the quality of the music, it gets a 4. My experience with the album was not successful from a personal point of view, and I bring the rating down to a 3.

It's still recommended to anybody looking for original and truly progressive prog-metal. But ratings reflect taste, and HEAVEN'S CRY is not my kind of addiction.

The T | 3/5 |

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