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Heavatar - Opus I: All My Kingdoms Award winner

Opus I: All My Kingdoms
by CJ "Music God" Plain / YngwieViking at 15 March 2013, 12:35 AM

MUSIC GOD (9/10)

HEAVATAR is the new project founded by Stefan Schmidt, one of the brains behind the amazing VAN CANTO. As a huge fan of VAN CANTO, I had very high expectations for this CD when I heard that it was coming out.

Right out of the gate, the CD opens with the rocking tune, "Replica", which is very similar to the VAN CANTO sound only with amazing guitars and bass cranked into it. Right away, you can tell that this is going to be a fun ride. "Abracadabra" keeps the music pumping with huge harmonies, slamming rhythms, and a nice twist on a classic Beethoven style riff.

Schmidt's voice sounds absolutely amazing here. the vocals are dead on in that Eric Adams / MANOWAR type of way. From the perfect "gang" style melodies to the higher range notes, he carries these tunes perfectly.

"Elysium at Dawn" really cranks the guitars and drums to a frantic pace. If you don't have your fist in the air for this tune, you might want to check your pulse. It's just one of those blood pumping tunes that kicks you in the balls. "Long Way Home" continues in that style, really letting the bass playing of David Vogt shines here.

The song that really lustres here though is the almost 12 minute long "The Look Above". This is one of those epic, sweeping style tunes that BLIND GUARDIAN and MANOWAR have perfected over the years. The tune starts slow but once the chorus kicks in, it's balls out!

What Schmidt has done here is take what VAN CANTO started and expanded it into a full blown Metal attack. The guitars are razor sharp, the bass thunderous, the drums like machine guns, with vocals that just top it all off. This is a great first CD for the band and leaves them plenty of room to still grow in new directions.

If there's any complaint with this, it would only be that it's only nine songs long. I could have easily listened to another 20 minutes of this here.


"Opus I - All My Kingdoms” is the name of the awesome debut album by the new German full blown Power Metal project / Sensation, a band strangely called HEAVATAR that play  an highly ambitious mix of straight ahead Heavy Metal melted with Neo-Classical steel, and it’s the brainchild of VAN CANTO mastermind / singer / Guitar player Stefan Schmidt (VAN CANTO / ex-JESTER'S FUNERAL) .

ACCEPT / STRATOVARIUS / ANGRA / BLIND GUARDIAN or RISING FORCE could have been named as equivalents to qualify the music but, the originality or the genuine pitch gimmick idea here is that each song incorporate a few recognizable bits of theme and classical melodies out of the score of the most glorious Baroque composer and the whole composition is centered around that particular classical pieces with a important amount of smart arrangement. The whole melted with fierce down tuned axe juggernaut attack and several quite aggressive vocal lines in the ‘Hetfield -mid-range-raspy-voice’ fashion both wonderfully provided with great talent and optimum efficiency by Schmidt himself. Mr. Schmidt also handles all the compositions nicely, with a little help by no others than the great illustrious Maestros as Beethoven, Bach , Bizet and Paganini.

The Backing band is amazing, hyper pro firing on all cylinders in authentic German Metal mode: Direct, unremitting and hitting like a ton of bricks, those reliable players are: The unquestionable lord & master of double bass assault, the Ex-STRATOVARIUS drummer Jörg Michael (ex-RAGE / GRAVE DIGGER / AXEL RUDI PELL / SAXON / HOUSE OF SPIRIT / DEVIL’S TRAIN etc…), Charles Greywolf (POWERWOLF) on Bass and on the lead-guitar helm ,the brilliant shredder also once member of FADING STARLIGHT, Sebastian Scharf.

The common risk in that kind of endeavor is to losing the focus, or even worse is to start sounding like fucking Rondo Veneziano or something ugly like that , full of cheesy smelly keys. Luckily HEAVATAR is miles away from that, far from that and this album surprises by the homogeneity, even in the inclusion of Romantic motifs (“Long Way Home”) perfectly merged along with his wide traditional quality Metal music ingredients like: powerful and compelling Anthem chorus / 7 strings fat riffage / high speed shredding and Binary blast beat like on tracks such as “Elysium at Dawn”, “All My Kingdoms” or the remarkable opener “Replica”.

The groove and the Teutonic heaviness are still hiding somewhere, and it reveals its true nature in the great cut “Luna! Luna!” it could please even the most niggling old school Metal elitist. Without never sounding pretentious or snob. The final is bombastic and grandiloquent but still rocking, in fact “The Look Above” is maybe the best track out of this magical CD, an eleven minute true Epic son , a strong and intense ode from start to finish.

The bottom line is simple: Buy it or die eating rotten Öysters for the rest of your miserable existence while listening some Austrian Reggae!

4 Star Rating

1. Replica
2. Abracadabra
3. All my Kingdoms
4. Elysium at Dawn
5. Long Way Home
6. Born to fly
7. Luna! Luna!
8. The Look Above
9. To the Metal
Stefan Schmidt - Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar
Jörg Michael - Drums
Sebastian Scharf - Lead Guitars
David Vogt - Bass
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 07 June 2023

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