Written by: PP on 21/02/2007 14:16:52

France-based power metal act Heavenly could easily be mistaken to be one the genre heavy weights such as Nightwish or Stratovarius to name a few, at least in the mind of this reviewer. Indeed, the opening moments of "The Dark Memories" trigger thoughts like "When did Nightwish record a new album with a male-soprano singer instead of Tarja Turunen?", but fortunately for Heavenly, this is only the first impression and once you dig deeper into their fourth album "Virus", you'll find a band unwilling to deny their influences and insisting to utilize the strong points from their heroes.

"Virus", although a power metal album, is not as cliché as one might assume from the opening track "The Dark Memories", despite the overly use of sky-high keyboards and the genre-loyal 'heavenly' vocal work. The tracks presented on the album are proficiently written songs that shine of musical experience. The keyboards occasionally reach the sound and technicality of those by Children of Bodom, and the blazing guitars on "Virus" are just that--blazing. It's a tired expression, but the way their twin-guitars duel and battle against each other during the speedy solos, and how they complement each other during the power-chord assisted verses creates a vast atmosphere which can only be described by using that expression. One needs only to have a quick listen to the solo in "Bravery In The Field" to be convinced of the talent guitarists Corbiaux and Lapauze possess.

So far we've established blazing solos, soprano level sky high vocals and ultra-technical keyboards. What more is there to mention, if we don't forget the Queen-influenced ending in the previously mentioned track? Frankly, not much. If you're a fan of power metal, you will surely find "Virus" as one of the better releases in the genre, because the technical proficiency doesn't remove the focus from the fact that these songs are well written and catchy, and all have their own identity. This may not be genre-defying or groundbreaking by any means, and therefore won't serve as an introductory power metal piece to new entrants in the genre, but Heavenly's purpose (at least according to their own statements) was never to impress by originality rather than to solidify the foundations of the genre. On the basis of "Virus", the band can consider themselves successful in their goal.


Download: Bravery In the Field, Blood On Fire
For the fans of: Nightwish, Stratovarius, Helloween
Listen: Music player on website

Release date 27.01.2007
AFM Records
Provided by Target ApS

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