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Heir Apparent - One Small Voice CD (album) cover

ONE SMALL VOICE

Heir Apparent

 

Progressive Metal

3.74 | 15 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "One Small Voice" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US Power/heavy metal act Heir Apparent. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in June 1989. Itīs the successor to "Graceful Inheritance" from 1986 and features a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as lead vocalist Paul Davidson has been replaced by Steve Benito and keyboard player Michael Jackson has been added to the lineup as a fifth member. "Graceful Inheritance" generally received positive reviews at the time of release, but as it took the band three years to release "One Small Voice", their window of opportunity had closed, and they had a hard time fully capitalizing on their otherwise promising career start. Heir Apparent split-up in 1990.

The music on "Graceful Inheritance (1986)" is melodic US power/heavy metal, with the occasional (although very rare) nod towards progressive metal. Some of the elements of that style is continued on "One Small Voice", but they have turned up the progressive part of their sound considerably, making this album a melodic US power/progressive metal release. Having included a permanent keyboard player, the presence of keyboards are obviously more dominant in the soundscape than on the predecessor, but they arenīt the focus of the music. That would still be the hard rocking riffs, melodic solos, the pounding rhythm section, and the helium high pitched vocals by Steve Benito. Benito has a strong voice and a convincing delivery. Some of his vocal sections are crazy high pitched and technically very difficult to perform, but he pulls it off with ease.

So the musicianship is on a high level on all posts, but unfortunately the songwriting doesnīt quite follow suit. There are both weak moments and strong moments on "One Small Voice", but the album is overall fragmented and inconsistent, and itīs a bit hard to know exactly what it is Heir Apparent are aiming at. The sound production is also a bit thin and doesnīt really help the compositions shine, but neither the songwriting nor the sound production are downright awful, just not as interesting or as well sounding, as they could have been. "One Small Voice" features 10 original tracks and a cover of "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel. A cover which Heir Apparent manage to put their own spin on, but still itīs nothing too special.

Heir Apparent are as mentioned obviously a well playing band, and new lead vocalist Steve Benito is a welcome addition to the group, but upon conclusion "One Small Voice" is simply a bit directionless and unremarkable. Itīs progressive but not full-on progressive, and itīs not the type of progressive metal, which would probably satisfy the Dream Theater loving progressive metal fan, but rather those who enjoy the more melodic oriented material by 80s Queensrĸche. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |

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