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WHEELS OF IMPERMANENCE

Heaven's Cry

Progressive Metal


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Heaven's Cry Wheels of Impermanence album cover
3.90 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Empire's Doll
2. Realigning
3. The Hollow
4. Wheels of Impermanence
5. The Healing
6. Compass
7. The Mad Machine
8. Consequence
9. Catalyse
10. A Glimpse of Hope

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Rene Lacharite / Drums
Éric Jarrin / Guitars
Sylvain Auclair / Vocals, Bass
Pierre St. Jean / Vocals, Guitar

Thanks to Conor Fynes for the addition
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Wheels of ImpermanenceWheels of Impermanence
Prosthetic Records 2012
Audio CD$5.10
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HEAVEN'S CRY Wheels of Impermanence ratings distribution


3.90
(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(70%)
70%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)
10%

HEAVEN'S CRY Wheels of Impermanence reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Wheels of Impermanence' - Heaven's Cry (7/10)

When I first read of Heaven's Cry's stylistic similarities to the excellent Pain of Salvation, it was enough to get me excited in these French Canadian prog metallers. And if that wasn't enough, Heaven's Cry frontman Pierre St-Jean was a session bassist on Voivod's reserved masterpiece "The Outer Limits". Although they churned out a demo in 1993, Heaven's Cry has been a fairly intermittent band in terms of releasing material. For the longest time, they were a band I had always heard mentioned, yet never heard outright. Following up on their sophomore "Primal Power Addiction" that dropped a decade ago, "Wheels of Impermanence" is a bold reunion for a band that's flown under the radar for the better part of the '00s. The band's sound picks up not far from where they left off, and they don't feel any loss from their inactivity. In a word, Heaven's Cry are back, and if "Wheels of Impermanence" is any indicator of their future quality, we can only hope we don't have to wait a decade for the next album!

Although the Pain of Salvation comparisons are not unwarranted, I feel that Heaven's Cry fit better into the melodic canon of progressive metal- the school that values anthemic, memorable songwriting over complex arrangement. Fortunately, Heaven's Cry tends to find a balance between the melodic and technical aspects in their music. Especially in a modern progressive metal scene where most bands tend to either fall firmly within the cerebral or melodic trends, it's great to hear a band that fuses the two together successfully. This similarity to Pain of Salvation is arguably most profound in the way Heaven's Cry layer their songs. Although some of these songs could have made for lighter-toting arena rockers, there's always something going on just beneath the surface. This layering usually takes the form of the keyboard. Any synths or pianos here are used only to accentuate atmosphere, and it works like a charm. It's no surprise that guitar is the dominant element in Heaven's Cry, but it's the smaller parts of the whole that see Heaven's Cry set apart.

As one might expect from a band of their experience, the production on "Wheels of Impermanence" is well done; Heaven's Cry sound like a band that have been around the block a few times, and rightly so. The flow of the album is not quite as successful however. Perhaps it is a result of the diversity between songs, but "Wheels of Impermanence" occasionally comes across as a compilation of well-written songs rather than a front-to-back album. The album ultimately ends abruptly, and considering the quality of the musical ideas themselves, it's a little disappointing. To fortunately offset this however, there are a few recurring musical ideas that pop up here and there. They are not pronounced enough so as to be considered 'themes' of the album; instead, they become more apparent with multiple listens. "Wheels of Impermanence" is definitely a grower of a record, and perhaps moreso than one would expect from such a melodic record.

Although the band's melodic style pervades the entire record, it's interesting to hear Heaven's Cry take it through such a variety of emotions. The title track "Wheels of Impermanence" takes Heaven's Cry down an uncharacteristically dark path, with brooding bass ideas that echo the work of Tool. On the other hand, "Catalyse" is remarkably happy, holding on to the prog metal leanings, yet exuding a mood that rivals a triumphant celebration complete with good food and Belgian imports. If one needs any overt demonstration of Heaven's Cry's tightness and skill as a group, they can look no further than the intro to the closer, "A Glimpse of Hope". Although it's subtle, the way the band twists and traces the sound together is remarkable. It may be simply due to the fact that the progressive metal genre is so notorious for its technical showboating, but Heaven's Cry feel almost a little too modest in their approach. Their skill becomes very evident within a few listens, but it may have been nice to hear a balls-out prog assault from them, even if only once on the album. As it is, "Wheels of Impermanence" follows the progressive metal canon with a more reserved demeanour than many listeners will be used to. Heaven's Cry have not done anything remarkably different than what has come before, but considering the quality and skill with which they do it, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Wheels of Impermanence" is definitely an album for the aspiring prog metaller, and it's one that keeps its magic, even following many listens.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#811450) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 27, 2012

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Wheels of Impermanence" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Canadian progressive metal act Heaven's Cry. The album was released through Prosthetic Records in September 2012. It's been 10 years since the release of the band's second full-length studio album "Primal Power Addiction (2002)", but Heaven's Cry were never an act to rush things. They haven't been inactive though, as they've been busy with other projects. Most prominantly guitarist 'ric Jarrin has also been a member of Canadian deathcore act Despised Icon since 2002.

Heaven's Cry have always had a very unique sound and while "Wheels of Impermanence" is somewhat different to their first two albums, it's still unmistakably the sound of Heaven's Cry. One of the things that always made Heaven's Cry stand out from the crowd, was the fact that the band featured three guitarists and that the use of keyboards in their music was sparse. The interplay between the three guitarists were highly original and provided the band's music with a unique sound. To my initial horror, the band have opted for a more conventional lineup on "Wheels of Impermanence", with two guitarists (Pierre St. Jean sings lead vocals too), a drummer and a bassist. But not only that! The keyboards now have a more prominant role in the music (although still tastefully placed in the mix). This change in lineup and the more frequent use of keyboards in the music have quite a bit of impact on the final result.

While the music on "Wheels of Impermanence" is still highly intriguing and cleverly composed progressive metal, it's slightly less sophisticated compared to the predecessors. That counts for both sound production and the actual compositions. Heaven's Cry still produce very original sounding progressive metal, that requires more than a few listens to understand and appreciate though. It's not that the tracks are overtly complex structured, and most are "regular" length tracks, but the detail level, and vocal melody lines that aren't instantly memorable, are factors that'll challenge most. It's stylistic elements that are positive for the longivity of the album. Overall I sense that Heaven's Cry have taken their music in a slightly heavier direction with more power chord riffing and heavy rythms too, but it's only occasionally and "Wheels of Impermanence" is quite the varied album. Tracks like "Consequence" and the closing instrumental "A Glimpse of Hope" are examples of tracks that stand out.

The musicianship is, not surprisingly if you are familiar with the band's earlier output, on a high level. Everything is delivered with tight precision but never in a clinical fashion. These guys are able to put a human touch to their music that is greatly enjoyable. Lead vocalist/guitarist Pierre St. Jean is a skilled vocalist, who can sings in a darker and more raw tone than most progressive metal vocalists. His vocals are often layered with harmony vocals that at times reek of Alice in Chains.

Upon conclusion I think I prefer the first two albums to "Wheels of Impermanence", but it's still a welcome comeback and a great album in it's own right. For fans of progressive metal who'd like their progressive metal to be a bit "different" (featuring a personal sound), I find the album highly recommendable. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#829249) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2012

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