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HEIR APPARENT

Progressive Metal • United States


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Heir Apparent biography
HEIR APPARENT is an American progressive metal act formed in 1984 in Seattle, Washington by guitarist Terry Gorle, Lead vocalist Paul Davidson, bassist Derek Peace and drummer Jim Kovach. After recording their 1984 5-song demo Jim Kovach was replaced by Raymond Black. This lineup recorded HEIR APPARENT´s debut full-length studio album "Graceful Inheritance". "Graceful Inheritance" was released in Europe in January 1986 by the French, Paris based Black Dragon Records label and never saw a US release. HEIR APPARENT toured France, The Netherlands and Germany with SAVAGE GRACE to support the album.

In 1987 lead vocalist Paul Davidson was replaced by Steve Benito and keyboard player Mike Jackson was added to the lineup to make HEIR APPARENT a five-piece. This new lineup recorded HEIR APPARENT´s second full-length studio album "One Small Voice" which was released in June 1989. The band had signed a 7 album record deal in 1988 with Capitol Records/ Metal Blade but sadly dissolved even before the release of "One Small Voice".

Hellion Records released the "Triad" compilation album in 1999 and Terry Gorle reunited with bassist Derek Peace and drummer Raymond Black in 2000 to play on the Wacken Open Air festival. In the following years Terry Gorle kept the HEIR APPARENT name alive touring with various lineups. According to the band´s myspace they are currently working on a new album.

HEIR APPARENT´s inclusion in the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team. HEIR APPARENT are recommended to fans of acts such as QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING and CRIMSON GLORY.

( Biography written by UMUR)

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One Small Voice (No OBI)One Small Voice (No OBI)
Metal Blade
Audio CD$15.40 (used)
Triad by Heir ApparentTriad by Heir Apparent
Hellion
Audio CD$504.57
One Small Voice (No OBI) by HEIR APPARENTOne Small Voice (No OBI) by HEIR APPARENT
Metal Blade
Audio CD$43.00
Triad by Heir ApparentTriad by Heir Apparent
Import
Audio CD$195.30
Graceful Inheritance by Heir Apparent (2000-03-07)Graceful Inheritance by Heir Apparent (2000-03-07)
Hellion Records - Germany
Audio CD$125.60
TriadTriad
2000
Audio CD$98.97
$59.99 (used)
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HEIR APPARENT discography


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HEIR APPARENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 8 ratings
Graceful Inheritance
1986
4.02 | 10 ratings
One Small Voice
1989

HEIR APPARENT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HEIR APPARENT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HEIR APPARENT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Triad
1999

HEIR APPARENT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

HEIR APPARENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 One Small Voice by HEIR APPARENT album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.02 | 10 ratings

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One Small Voice
Heir Apparent Progressive Metal

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was quite surprised when I heard this album recently. I though One Small Voice was released in the mid 90´s or later and the band was one of those so called melodic power metal groups of that era. The high pitched vocals, the epic keyboards, the fine melodies (with some obvious AOR influences) were typical of the style. But they did it all many years before, in a time you either had thrash metal bands (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth) or hard rock/glam outfits (Guns ´N Roses, Motley Crüe, Bon Jovi). Along with few others, they were quite ahead of their time and it may explain why this CD didn´t make it. A real pity.

This CD is a collection of fine power metal tunes much in the vein of Queensryche and Fates Warning´s best stuff. Steve Benito even had a vocal style very similar of that of Queensryche´s legendary Geoff Tate, which is a good thing, since the music is quite demanding in that field. Even if the songs themselves are not that much progressive, they were nevertheless quite inventive and innovative for the period. Even the apparently disastrous choice to cover such classic tune like Paul Simon´s The Sound Of Silence is successful here, giving the all too familiar radio sample a powerful arrangement that is respectful to the original melody and message. All 11 tracks are of the same quality and there are absolutely no fillers. Production is ok for 1989.

If you´re into melodic power metal with lots of personality you should not miss this CD. Rating: four strong stars.

 One Small Voice by HEIR APPARENT album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.02 | 10 ratings

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One Small Voice
Heir Apparent Progressive Metal

Review by 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...

 Graceful Inheritance by HEIR APPARENT album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.04 | 8 ratings

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Graceful Inheritance
Heir Apparent Progressive Metal

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...

 One Small Voice by HEIR APPARENT album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.02 | 10 ratings

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One Small Voice
Heir Apparent Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Well,I cannot imagine how this hystorical album doesn't have any review here?!?!Something really unexplainable and unbelieveble!In my humble opinion,this album has the importnce of a TRANSCENDENCE-CRIMSON GLORY,or NO EXIT of FATES WARNING!Yes,this album was released in the same period of time and it was considered a real imporant album in prog metal!It's a solid release and we have a sensational vocalist called STEVE BENITO,a true good voice in a low register and a keyboard player named MICHAEL JACKSON?!?!?! Funny,isn't it?JUST IMAGINE,the opening track is a very inspired song and has a serious impact on any listener which is expecting some old school prog metal 100 % American! Crunchy guitars,good keyboards playing ,in your face vocals and one impressive voice ! I repeat,HEIR APPARENT was seriously influenced by FATES WARNING and CRIMSON GLORY but this album has many excellent songs and especially the slow ones are putting in evidence the good vocalist!ONE SMALL VOICE ,the title track starts with a slow and calm intro and grows in intensity in the second part,being really dramatic in the end!The very inspired version of the SIMON AND GARFUNKEL-SOUND OF SILENCE hit proves that sometimes classical pop songs are getting new clothes in a modern interpretation and definitelly here Benito's vocals shine literally!This lbum was,unfortunatelly the last one for a band that at the time when realised this album was a very promissing and talented one,but didn't resist on the market! HEIR APPARENT was a band made of some competent musicians and Terry Gorle especially ,the guitar player, was really excellent!It's a shame ,but the 2 albums released are timeless and gave the feeling of nostalgia of some romantic and naive moments when music were made for passion for music,not to prove something from the technical point of view ,who is the fastest player ,who is the most technical or having other goal!sThey were lucky enough to have a serious label behind,but maybee the expectations were too big and the sales dissapointing...who knows?Strongly recommended for prog metal nostalgics of the '80's! 4 STARS for a memorable and,shameful underrated good album !
Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition.

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