HeavenFall is a five piece symphonic power metal outfit from Germany. Through hard work and a lot of self-promotion, their debut release, 7 Sins has reached the ears of a number of critics and new fans worldwide. As you may surmise, this album is a conceptual take on the seven deadly sins. No, it's certainly not an original concept, but few albums are nowadays, and while I personally find the album cover artwork to be fairly poor, the contents are not.
This album seems shorter to me than it really is. At just over forty-five minutes and with nine tracks, the length is respectable. The songs are original and symphonic without being overly bombastic and pompous, which is sometimes difficult to pull off. Unlike a great many debut artists, I think the band's songs flow quite well between tracks. The blending of musical elements withing individual tracks is also far from amateur. Melodies are mixed well into strong supporting instrumentation, and I think that the drums are actually my favorite feature on this album. The percussion always seems to be active in a way that serves to highly accentuate the rest of the music. While the drum parts are largely static, they are never dull.
I am not the greatest fan of singer Daniel Lähms. His style is a bit too hammy for me, though he's hardly a poor singer. His timbre reminds me of Roy Khan (who I think he tries to imitate to a degree) mixed with a bit of Martin Steene (Iron Fire), but without some of the latter's ridiculous diphthongs. Generally, he has reasonably good lyrics to work with throughout the album, although "Robin Hood" loses points for its vapid chorus. Any band that has to curse to get their point across without a specific context will always get a quick swat of disapproval from me, though this is no Children of Bodom.
7 Sins avoids sounding repetitive with some reasonably good power metal. A couple of the tracks here are coming close to some of the betters that I've heard all year, but the last third of the album drags a bit. The title track and "Envy" in particular are good examples of what Heavenfall has to offer, with crunchy rhythmic guitar lines and running percussion forming waves upon which ride smooth melodies and dancing synths. I was a bit taken aback by the quality of the first few tracks, both in songwriting and in production, since this band is better than a number (Kerion, Skylark, among others) that have a contract.
If you're generally in the market for a new power metal band to listen to, you could do much worse that this. HeavenFall break out and makes good their name with some potent and heavyish symphonic metal. Recommended for most fans of the genre, and I think we'll see this one on a label soon.
- - -
The Protagonist's Rating: 7.25 out of 10