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GRACEFUL INHERITANCE

Heir Apparent

Progressive Metal


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Heir Apparent Graceful Inheritance album cover
3.63 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Entrance (0:38)
2. Another Candle (3:56)
3. The Servant (3:25)
4. Tear Down the Walls (4:34)
5. Running From the Thunder (2:59)
6. The Cloak (2:34)
7. R.I.P. (live) (4:59)
8. Hands of Destiny (3:27)
9. Keeper of the Reign (4:46)
10. Dragon's Lair (3:28)
11. Masters of Invasion (5:07)
12. Nightmare (2:41)
13. A.N.D.... Drogro Lived On (3:42)

Total Time 46:16

Hellion Records tracklist:

1. En Trance
2. Another Candle
3. The Servant
4.Tear Down The Walls
5. Tomorrow Night
6. Running From The Thunder
7. The Cloak
8. R.I.P.
9. Hands Of Destiny
10. Keeper Of the Reign
11. We, The People
12. Dragon's Lair
13. Master Of Invasion
14. Nightmare
15. AND....dogro lived on

Line-up / Musicians


- Paul Davidson / Vocals
- Terry Gorle / Guitar
- Derek Peace / Bass
- Raymond Black / Drums

Releases information

Released by Black Dragon Records in January 1986.

"Graceful Inheritance" was a vinyl only release at first. Black Dragon released
"Graceful Inheritance" on CD in October 1986. It was the first CD ever released
by an Independent Label in Europe.

The 2000 Hellion Records reissue contains bonus tracks

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
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HEIR APPARENT Graceful Inheritance ratings distribution


3.63
(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
55%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HEIR APPARENT Graceful Inheritance reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Tearing down the walls

HEIR APPARENT belong to the category of bands that release a couple of memorable albums and disappear in the haze. Bearing a beautiful, yet bizarre cover, Graceful Inheritance was the band's debut back in 1986 and rightfully claims its place among the very first prog-metal releases along with the respective albums of the ''titans'' of those ages, Queensryche and Fates Warning.

The characteristic sound of HEIR APPARENT owes a lot to the distinct voice of Paul Davidson who, broadly speaking, belongs to the class of the 80's high-pitched singers, with the addition of an epic component that reflects on the band's overall sound. For the reader, a good comparison might be Riot's Thundersteel era. The sound of the band generally approaches the late 80's American heavy/power - and speed at times - metal (Liege Lord, Fifth Angel) with a number of classic metal influences in the vein of early Iron Maiden (Iron Maiden, Killers) and Warlord (Deliver Us). Especially, the band borrows this epic aspect from the latter, while bands like Omen or Manilla Road might come in mind, particularly to the fans of epic metal.

To make things clear, this debut contains much more than conventional heavy/power metal. Although it is evident that the riffs are ''children'' of the 80's, the guitar and bass lines are played in a sophisticated, very innovative way for 1986. In particular, Gorle and Peace play like they have been together for many years, the guitar supporting the bass lines and vice versa. This chemistry is even more obvious in the most progressive moments of the albums (e.g the instrumental R.I.P.). The mid-tempo tracks of the album bear the progressiveness of early Queensryche and Crimson Glory, especially in the vocals and the emblematic high-pitched riffs. Another Candle and Hands of Destiny clearly resemble to the great moments of early Queensryche while Keeper of the Reign could have easily been a part of The Warning album.

Despite the similarities with the aforementioned bands, Graceful Inheritance maintains a unique character, blending the heavy/power metal with sophisticated tunes of a new (at the time) genre. Although many would argue that HEIR APPARENT have litte to do with progressive metal, the originality exists in the cultured approach of metal music and not necessarily in odd timings and complex arrangements; an album that could stand on the same level - and indeed has a similar approach - to albums like The Warning or Rage for Order.

Apparently, the tracks that stand out are those closer to progressive forms; Another Candle, Hands of Destiny and Keeper of the Reign are genre masterpieces. The Servant and The Cloak are the ''speedy'' highlights, while the album's last 3-4 tracks, without being weak, are the least interesting. This debut is highly recommended to power/prog metal fans that have an affinity for the 80's. For those who prefer the more complex forms of 90's onwards or technical forms, this might disappoint you. Nevertheless, one of the most important and historical albums of its category, Graceful Inheritance should be heard at least once...

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Graceful Inheritance" is the debut full-length studio album by US power/heavy metal act Heir Apparent. The album was released through Black Dragon Records in January 1986. Heir Apparent were formed in 1983 and released a 1984 and a 1985 demo tape, before being signed by French independent label Black Dragon Records for the release of "Graceful Inheritance". "Graceful Inheritance" generally received positive reviews at the time of release, but as it took the band three years to release their sophomore studio album "One Small Voice (1989)", their window of opportunity had closed, and they never managed to fully capitalize on their good career start. Heir Apparent split-up in 1990.

It's too bad, because they hit at just the right time with just the right music style. A type of US power/heavy metal with clear references to artists like Crimson Glory, Fates Warning, and especially Queensr'che, who were all fairly popular contemporary artists (some more popular than others...). The material on "Graceful Inheritance" is in the melodic end of the US power/heavy metal scale and the tracks are generally quite accessible and hook laden. Hard rocking riffs, melodic lead guitar work, a solid rhythm section, and a high pitched and clear vocal performance by Paul Davidson in front. High level performances on all posts.

"Graceful Inheritance" features a clear and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, although by today's standards it lacks some bottom end heaviness. While the quality of the material is generally high, Heir Apparent aren't the most unique sounding act on the scene, and "Graceful Inheritance" therefore doesn't stand out as much as the best releases fromt the contemporary artists mentioned above. It's a solid release, featuring high level musicianship, and a professional and well sounding production, but a more distinct sound could have elevated the material to an even higher level. As it is "Graceful Inheritance" is still a quality debut album though and it's recommendable to fans of the above mentioned artists. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

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