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Heaven's Cry biography
HEAVEN'S CRY were formed in the early 90's and recorded their first demo in 1993. The band's founding members are Pierre St-Jean (vocals, guitars) and Sylvain Auclair (vocals, bass) who are from Montreal (Canada). They were joined by Olaf Quinzanos (acoustic guitar), Luc D'Aoust (drums) and Sebastian Boisvert (guitars), the latter of which were replaced in 2000 by René Lacharité (drums) and Eric Jarrin (guitars). They play a quite unique kind of Progressive Metal, which is best compared to PAIN OF SALVATION, SHADOW GALLERY and ICE AGE.

Why this band must be in listed in :
Many people see them on the same level as PAIN OF SALVATION regarding musicianship, ambition and artistic integrity. They are highly recommended to any Progressive Metal fan who especially values artistic quality, songwriting and inspiring lyrics combined with stellar musicianship and top notch production quality.

HEAVEN'S CRY Videos (YouTube and more)

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Prosthetic 2016
$19.65 (used)
Food For Thought SubstituteFood For Thought Substitute
Prosthetic 2013
$4.95 (used)
Wheels of ImpermanenceWheels of Impermanence
Prosthetic 2012
$5.75 (used)
Primal Power AddictionPrimal Power Addiction
Prosthetic 2013
$7.00 (used)
Primal Power Addiction by Heaven's CryPrimal Power Addiction by Heaven's Cry
D.V.S. Records
$19.12 (used)
Till Tears Do Us PartTill Tears Do Us Part
$15.99 (used)
Heaven's Cry / I Don't Need This (Disc 1)Heaven's Cry / I Don't Need This (Disc 1)
Tidy Two
$5.27 (used)
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HEAVEN'S CRY discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

HEAVEN'S CRY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 18 ratings
Food For Thought Substitute
3.36 | 16 ratings
Primal Power Addiction
3.94 | 12 ratings
Wheels of Impermanence
3.96 | 7 ratings

HEAVEN'S CRY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HEAVEN'S CRY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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HEAVEN'S CRY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Demo Sampler


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Outcast by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 7 ratings

Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Outcast" is the 4th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive metal act Heaven's Cry. The album was released through Prosthetic Records in June 2016. It's the successor to "Wheels of Impermanence" from 2012, which was the band's first studio album in 10 years. "Outcast" features the same lineup who recorded "Wheels of Impermanence (2012)". Pierre St-Jean (vocals, guitars), Sylvain Auclair (vocals, bass, Chapman Stick), R'n' Lacharit' (drums), and Eric Jarrin (guitars). The latter have had a busy year, as he has also released the "Beast (2016)" album with his other project Despised Icon.

"Wheels of Impermanence (2012)" was a quality comeback release by Heaven's Cry, but it didn't quite reach the heights of "Food for Thought Substitute (1996)" and "Primal Power Addiction (2002)". "Outcast" pretty much continues where "Wheels of Impermanence (2012)" left off, although to my ears it's slightly more interesting.

Stylistically the material on the 7 track, 50:48 minutes long album is progressive metal, but with the distinct sounding Heaven's Cry twist. The vocals are not your typical high pitched progressive metal vocals, but rather a melodic hard rock singing style (often layered with harmony vocals), although the melody lines are generally relatively complex. The multi- layered guitars, intricate rhythm work, and adventurous song structures are Heaven's Cry trademarks by now, so they are not that surprising, but still a very interesting and sophisticated combination of musical elements. While the tracks feature clear structures, there's often a loose organic feel to them, which makes the music a bit unpredictable, which is very entertaining.

The material on the album is generally well written, but to my ears the album is frontloaded with the best tracks as the last couple of tracks on the album are sligthly sub par to the tracks which open the album. Tracks like "The Human Factor", the title track (which features vocal harmonies reminiscent of Alice in Chains), and the dark grinding 14:16 minutes long "The Day the System Failed" are high quality material. Heaven's Cry shine on those tracks. "If I Only Knew" is a good quality track too, but the remaining three tracks of the album aren't that remarkable.

When that is said "Outcast" is still overall a high quality release and even the more unremarkable tracks are still above standard compared to a lot of the output of other similar contemporary artists. Heaven's Cry still have a rather unique sound and it's obvious they will continue to pursue and develop that sound no matter what happens. I'm pretty sure they aren't the most commercially successful act on the scene, so not following conventions and trying to blend in, is probably not in their best interest if they want to make a living out of playing music, but that's obviously not their main goal. The adventurous and bold spirit of their music make them true artists in my view and while "Outcast" may not quite reach the heights of their first two releases a 4 star (80%) rating is still deserved.

 Food For Thought Substitute by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.20 | 18 ratings

Food For Thought Substitute
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Wheels of Impermanence by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 12 ratings

Wheels of Impermanence
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

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.

 Wheels of Impermanence by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 12 ratings

Wheels of Impermanence
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

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.

 Food For Thought Substitute by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.20 | 18 ratings

Food For Thought Substitute
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

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!
 Primal Power Addiction by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.36 | 16 ratings

Primal Power Addiction
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I must admit I was surprised at how this band sounds. Parts of their music would fit into the Tech / Extreme Metal genre it's so challenging and technical. I thought of GARDEN WALL from Italy a few times, not that these two bands sound alike but they compare well when it comes to being complex and hard to digest at times. As far as the vocals go he mixes it up, sometimes he's melodic sometimes he's rough and unmelodic.

"2K Awe Tick" has a nice rich sound to it a minute in with vocals. The vocals get rough 3 1/2 minutes in. This is difficult to get into at times. "Masterdom's Profit" is uptempo to open then it settles with vocals but not for long as contrasts continue. "A New Paradigm" is mellow to start then those passionate / rough vocals come in. Nice bass before 2 minutes as the sound gets fuller. The focus is on the vocals still. "Divisions" is so intricate early with the bass, guitars and drums all participating. Reserved vocals before a minute as it settles. It kicks in around 3 minutes as contrasts continue. "A Higher Moral Ground" kicks in right away. There's quite the instrumental display after 2 minutes.

"Komma" is one of my favourites. This is heavier and more intense but they contrast this with the calmer passages. "Remembrance" is laid back but powerful. "One Of Twentyfour" kicks in before a minute with vocals. We actually get a ripping guitar solo later. Not much in the way of solos at all on this album. "Waves" sounds so good after a minute then the rough vocals come in.Some distortion here that makes the vocals sound like they're under water. A calm before 4 minutes is destroyed quickly. "The Inner Stream Remains" is relaxed with backing vocals even. It's all fairly restrained. I like the bass and percussion late to end it. Good tune. Well the bonus track is where they lose all credibility (haha), it's a cover of MIDNIGHT OIL's "Beds Are Burning".

Lots to like here but i'm still trying to get used to the complexity. 3.5 stars.

 Primal Power Addiction by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.36 | 16 ratings

Primal Power Addiction
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Primal Power Addiction is the second studio album from Canadian ( Montreal) progressive metal act Heavenīs Cry. Iīve just recently heard this bands music for the first time even though I īve known the name for a couple of years. I was really impressed with the Heavenīs Cry debut album called Food For Thought Substitute and awarded that one with a big 4 star rating. A truly unique and challenging progressive metal album. Heavenīs Cry really has an original style even though their music falls under the ( many times IMO generic) progressive metal catagory. This band is different and they really deserve much more attention than they have gotten so far on PA.

The music is different first and foremost because of the limited use of keyboards on the album. The band has three guitarists instead and it shows in the music. There are lots of intriguing interplay between the guitars and they generally compliment each other extremely well. Itīs not unlike the way Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti from Fates Warning compliment each other on Perfect Symmetry, Parallels and Inside Out. There is almost always an electric guitar without distortion at play at the same time as distorted riffing is going on. Besides the obvious influence from Fates Warning I will also mention bands like Psychotic Waltz ( Mosquito), Queensrĸche ( Promised Land), Extreme ( Three Sides to Every Story) and to a lesser degree Alice in Chains ( Facelift) as influences. The last two are mentioned because there is a distinct hard rock/ metal influence in the music. There is also a very obvious funk influence in the rythm which is kind of odd for a progressive metal band but it all adds up to a very unique sound. Thankfully Heavenīs Cry are as far from Dream Theater as they can come which is such a relief. Personally Iīm sick and tired of progressive metal bands trying to ape the masters and I always welcome any band in that genre who has a personal sound.

There are several high quality songs on the album and in fact I canīt chose one song I think is below average on Primal Power Addiction. The melodic A New Paradigm, The aggressive Komma, the progressive A Higher Moral Ground ( What are they doing with the guitars in that song?), the power ballad Remembrance and the beautiful The Inner Stream Remains. I could go on but the conclusion is that all songs on the album are strong and original progressive metal tunes. The album ends with a cover of Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil and even though itīs an odd choice for a cover song I think itīs done pretty well. Itīs actually enjoyable to some level.

The T said something in his review of Primal Power Addiction that I think is important. It has to do with the melody lines which are not easily accessible and even after a number of listens they might not seem very memorable. This is a point in Heavenīs Cryīs music that is very much an aquired taste. Personally I love the melody lines because they are inaccessible and different. To me this means that I can listen to this album and not get bored after a couple of spins and after many spins the melody lines have opened up for me and given the music another dimension which is just fantastic IMO. But beware that you might not feel that way. If you prefer music with easily accessible and memorable melody lines this might be somewhat of a turn-off. I think most people will enjoy the high quality instrumental arrangements even though they might agree with The T that the melody lines are not that memorable. A typical case of aquired taste.

The musicianship is outstanding. The interplay between the musicians is so colourful and intriguing. Iīm really impressed here. What an adventurous bunch.

The production is much more compact than on the debut which had a somewhat flawed yet enjoyable sound. A really impressive production IMO.

Primal Power Addiction is an excellent progressive metal album that is close to being a masterpiece IMO. I have to give it the test of time though before I decide wether or not this one deserves a 5 star rating but itīs certainly a BIG 4 star rating that Iīll give the album. Primal Power Addiction is highly recommendable to fans of challenging and different progressive metal.

 Food For Thought Substitute by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.20 | 18 ratings

Food For Thought Substitute
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator 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.

 Primal Power Addiction by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.36 | 16 ratings

Primal Power Addiction
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by 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.

 Food For Thought Substitute by HEAVEN'S CRY album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.20 | 18 ratings

Food For Thought Substitute
Heaven's Cry Progressive Metal

Review by MikeEnRegalia
Special Collaborator 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.

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the artist addition.

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