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Heaven's Cry - Food For Thought Substitute CD (album) cover


Heaven's Cry

Progressive Metal

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a prog metal gem. Unfortunately these incredible musicians are far less popular than they should be, as their albums easily compete with the best works of Pain of Salvation or Shadow Gallery. At the same time, they are also very different. They have an unique approach to songwriting, most of the time far from the usual metal structures. This band might be really something for prog fans who dislike prog metal because of the rigid form and structure of most metal styles. That doesn't mean that they're not heavy though - the band has three guitarists.

The vocals are truly amazing - they have three vocalists and make as heavy use of them as of the guitars, so most of the time, all three of them are singing. The lyrics are also really clever. Generally, Heaven's Cry lyrics deal with social issues, environmental pollution and other serious problems. But they're going about it in a mystic and really artsy way.

The production is great - they created a good balance between guitars and vocals in the mix. Also, you can always hear the bass guitar - Auclair plays with a plectrum most of the time, and the bass has a life of its own on their albums, unlike many other prog metal bands where the bass doubles the rhythm guitar most of the time. The original CD pressing suffers a little bit from digital distortion (clipping) - you can purchase a remastered edition from their website.

Your God's Crime: This is quite an aggressive opener for an album. Most of the time, all the instruments and vocals play "in sync", resulting in an impressive sonic onslaught, only occasionally interupted by short breaks.

Out of Me: Magnificent song, full of exciting vocals, guitar harmonics and very dynamic.

March: This song starts really mellow and builds up nicely towards the end.

The Alchemist: This is one of the highlights. The song consists of six chapters, which are all very different from each other. The lyrics are quite interesting and not really about alchemy, although it is interwoven with the actual topic in a mystical way

Gaia's Judgement: This song features a beautiful acoustical guitar interlude, followed by some really great emotional vocals. The lyrics get very mystical again, mixing interesting subjects like new world order and environmental pollution.

Face: Here the lyrics are a bit more obvious, the song is about people hiding behind masks. The music is also great, the verses are really laid back and a bit funky, while the chorus is quite heavy - and towards the end you get lot's of interludes and variations.

Cruel Disguise: This song starts with amazing acoustic guitar riffs. This song is very dynamic, with the different moods of the music matching perfectly with the lyrics.

The Horde: One of the most interesting songs on the album. Crazy vocals, frantic bass riffs, and really interesting chord progressions and interludes in the quiet passages.

Passage: This short song is mainly based on synth textures and is the intro to the next song. It flows quite nicely, dwelling on minor chords most of the time, which turn to a major chord towards the end.

Wings: This song starts with some beautiful guitar licks. Based upon a major chord, this song is more uplifting than the others, and musically it's quite interesting - full of twists and turns, and a weird 7/4 based oddity.

Report this review (#40631)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Food For Thought Substitute is the debut studio album from Canadian progressive metal act Heavenīs Cry. I read about Heavenīs Cry in magazines in the nineties but never got around to listen to their music which is such a shame because this is a great band with an original style. Iīve heard a lot of progressive metal since the early nineties and sadly most bands sound very much alike. They sound either like bad ( or occasionally good) imitations of Dream Theater or power metal influenced clones. Itīs very seldom that you hear anything original in this genre but I do get surprised once in a while which is my whole reason for still listening to progressive metal because quite frankly Iīve lost faith in the genre more than once because of the hordes of generic acts out there. They are usually well playing and well produced but thatīs about it. No soul or willingness to experiment.

Heavenīs Cry is just the opposite of that above description. They are very willing to experiment and they have their own sound even though there are lots of recognisable elements from the progressive metal genre. I donīt expect revolutions, just a personal sound and thatīs exactly what Heavenīs Cry has got.

The music is pretty eclectic in nature and draws influences from many different genres like metal, jazz, hard rock and prog rock which are all blended into a personal sound. The mood ranges from dark and angry to beautiful and melancholic. A band like Psychotic Waltz does come to mind as well as a band like Extreme and an occasional nod to Alice in Chains. But as I stated above Heavenīs Cry have their own style and the above mentioned influences are only hinted at.

According to the lineup there are three guitarists and the music is very guitar driven with lots of great guitar riffs complimenting each other. There are lots of underlaying keyboards and synths in the music but itīs not a dominant part of the music. This is where Iīm reminded of Psychotic Waltz. Iīm not sure who sings the lead vocals but they are really good and adds a lot to the music. As one of the other reviewers MikeEnRegalia ( the only one at this time) stated the bass has a life of itīs own on the album instead of merely following the guitars. This means that you got three guitars, one bass, an extremely accomplished drummer, keyboards and synths and a singer who all competes for a spot in the spotlight. This could be a potential disaster but ends up being a controlled, unique and beautiful union.

The structure of the compositions is generally pretty complex with lots of different parts but still with a coherent idea which is something I value greatly. I donīt like music that is technical for the sake of it. There are so many great songs on the album like the powerful, dark and angry opener Your Godīs Crime, the jazzy Out of Me and the progressive The Horde. There is even an ambient synth driven track called Passage which serves as a mood enhancer. The bottom line is that all songs are excellent, original and unique.

The musicianship is oustanding throughout the album. Challenging parts played with ease and lots of innovative play with chords and notes. Iīm impressed by the technical level of this music. This is not tech metal but itīs still extremely well played.

The production is good. There are some strange choices like the snare drum which is pretty high in the mix but overall itīs a great production. The album has been remastered and you can purchase the remastered version from the official website.

This is without a doubt one of the best surprises from the progressive metal genre Iīve had in years and I canīt wait to get a hold of the second album from Heavenīs Cry called Primal Power Addiction to see if that one is as impressive as Food For Thought Substitute. I strongly urge you to get a hold of Food For Thought Substitute if you like your progressive metal a bit out of the ordinary because this is an excellent album. Iīll rate this with 4 stars but itīs so good that I might have to re-evaluate my rating sometime in the future. I have to see if it stands the test of time before that will happen though. For now itīs highly recommendable.

Report this review (#182848)
Posted Friday, September 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars CLOSE TO PERFECTION!Yes,this is what we can say after a first audition of a trully spectacular debut album of this unbelievebly talented Canadian band!Their music is quite original and,definitellly extremelly technique!They have such a solid compositional arsenal,and for a debut album it's quite astonishing!The dramatic voice of PIERRE ST JEAN is giving to HEAVEN'S CRY something very personal and particular from the point ov view of the intensity of the artistical act!They have ,as I 've told before,amazing technical skills-something really scarry-but in the end their music is quite melodic-and that's paradox-technical but melodic in the same time-a true musical alchemy!!!!The production is excellent and each instrument sound crystal clear-a special mention for the bass-trully sensational mixed!I think that sometimes HEAVEN'S CRY sound like PAIN OF SALVATION -from the point of view of the intensity of the musical message,but it's obviously more metalized and uptempo!Complicated compositions and clever synth passages in a very dense instrumental display!FOOD FOR THOUGHT SUBSTITUTE is a musical pearl,that kind of album thet when you make a new audition you discover each time something new!WARNING-it's not an easy audition-that's for sure-but those who adore technical prog metal will be plenty satisfied by an album .musically and techically speaking,close to perfection! 4,5 STARS for an unbelieveble debut!
Report this review (#261211)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I wished I'd known about this Prog-Metal band from Canada back in the late nineties. Just for the record I have reviewed their followup to this their debut but felt it was a little too complex for my liking while "Food For Thought Substitute" is much more melodic yet it's certainly not without it's complexities. Love the album cover as well. Great vocals, in your face bass and plenty of guitar work with three guitarists although the one guy plays the intricate picked guitar parts only.

"Your God's Crime" has a very heavy intro as determined vocals join in. An excellent start. "Out Of Me" is heavy as vocal melodies arrive around a minute in. The calm with reserved vocals sounds great and this will be contrasted with the the heavier parts. "March" has some atmosphere to start as passionate vocals arrive. This is contrasted with angrier vocals and and a heavier sound. Love the crunchy bass. "The Alchemist" has fragile vocals and picked guitar with atmosphere. It's almost ballad-like until it kicks into gear around 1 1/2 minutes in. Lots of mood shifts in this one. A beautiful section starts 5 1/2 minutes in. "Gaia's Judgement" opens with guitar and heaviness as the synths pulse. The vocals join in but when they stop after 2 minutes we get lots of synths with heaviness which is kind of cool. The vocals are back after 4 minutes.

"Face" features some excellent riffing to start but a calm arrives quickly with reserved vocals and big bass lines. The riffs are back and I really dig those riffs. "Cruel Disguise" opens with intricate guitar as reserved vocals join in. It starts to pick up a minute in. This is very FATES WARNING-like and my favourite track on here. "The Horde" has heavy bass with drums and guitar to start as vocal melodies come and go. Reserved vocals 1 1/2 minutes in but they become more passionate a minute later but contrasts will continue. The tempo continues to shift. "Passage" is interesting, almost electronic-like with those waves of synths with keys. "Wings" has some nice crunchy bass along with double tracked vocals and drums standing out. A feel good track. Some samples voices as well 2 1/2 minutes in.

This felt very nostalgic for me even though I haven't heard this before, it's just been a while since I've heard some old school Prog- Metal and this is incredibly well done. This is highly recommended to all you Metal fans out there.

Report this review (#1552884)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2016 | Review Permalink

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