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Heir Apparent - One Small Voice CD (album) cover

ONE SMALL VOICE

Heir Apparent

 

Progressive Metal

4.02 | 8 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Crossing the borders of prog/AOR

The second and last (as of the time of writing) studio release of HEIR APPARENT finds them exploring new song-writing patterns and influences since the excellent debut. Being a five-piece band, with a new singer and a keyboardist on board, the shift to more prog/pomp/AOR forms - while maintaining the main power metal character - is evident.

Escaping from the classic heavy/epic vocal features of the debut, Steve Benito gives a more ''commercial'' sound to One Small Voice. Keyboards and bass playing also add to the transformation to more progressive forms. Similarly to the debut, the strong influences from Queensryche's ''The Warning'' and Crimson Glory's debut are still here, both on compositional approach (mainly guitar lines) and vocals where the high-pitched screams of Benito resemble to Geoff Tate and Midnight.

Melodic lines are regularly in place and the sound of the album is relatively more ''radio-friendly'' than the previous work, without falling in the trap of ''selling-out''. The production is clear and allows for all the instruments to sound at just about the right level. The characteristics that made HEIR APPARENT sound similar to bands of speed/power metal (i.e. Liege Lord, Agent Steel) are not as apparent in this album - slower tempos have replaced them in Alone Again, Decorated (possibly the least interesting tracks) and the title track which adds to the quality of the album with the beautiful acoustic guitars and melodic vocals.

High speed tempo tracks in this album are Crossing the Border, Young Forever and The Fifth Season which, coincidentally, include some excellent guitar work and powerful riffs; these are in my opinion the highlights of the album, though not as prog as other tunes. The rest of the tracks generally flow in a mid-tempo pomp/power metal pattern; We the People being the most interesting of all. The cover of the famous Simon&Garfunkel song does not impress me, as it does not add anything remarkable to the original version.

Although One Small Voice has not had the same impact on me as the debut (quality-wise) and besides its weak points, it contains some excellent pieces of prog/power with touches of AOR, deserving the rounding up of 3.5 to 4 stars. For influences on the latter prog/power bands of the genre, just listen to the opening riff of Crossing the Border...

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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