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Heaven’s Cry - Outcast

Heaven’s Cry
Outcast
by Jose Macall at 13 March 2017, 9:04 AM

Of all the places I expect to cry, Heaven is the last. It’s where all the good stuff is supposed to be at or whatever. Is it being invaded? That would make for a pretty cool concept album. Maybe some kind of evil Demonic force is busting down those pearly gates and beating up St Peter. That’d be cool. Anyway, that’s not at all what’s going on here. Instead we’re treated to “Outcast” an album from Canadian Progressive Metal band HEAVEN’S CRY.

I’ll start of by noting that I’m not a Prog guy. I don’t hate the genre; it’s just not one I’m completely familiar with it. That being said there is a lot here to enjoy just as a metal fan in general. Being a Progressive band sets a certain expectation of sound. In the case of HEAVEN’S CRY, they come through with atypical song structure, intricately layered instrumentation, and a generally epic sound. There is some really great bass playing all throughout the album, the song “Symmetry” featured this as well as the song ”Outcast” which also has a fantastic guitar solo in it. The drumming is played with an almost mechanical precision which is impressive considering that some of these songs are laden with changes to rhythm structure. The musicianship here is indisputably solid. The highlight of this album is definitely the fourteen minute long grandiose odyssey that is “The Day the System Failed.” It’s a melodic trip through a series of ethereal soundscapes. I loved it.

Now, every bit of feedback is going to involve criticism in some manner and this being art, it’s all subjective and no one’s right. That being said, get ready for clean vocals. Yes, the high-pitched singing for people who are trying to be understood kind. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I understand for certain Extreme Metal aficionados it’s a deal breaker. But I implore folks with an open mind to give this a try because I found myself really enjoying it after repeated listens. It’s not going after the ‘destroy mom’s basement’ demographic. I’d venture to describe this band as being upbeat. If I had to be honest though, I did feel like the vocals could have used a little more aggression. The song “If I Only Knew” started out with a darker tone and heavier feel that dissipated too soon. I really wished the band would have stuck to this territory for a little longer because it was a great contrast to the rest of the songs. It should also be noted that this band seems to have some really positive and/or hopeful lyrics. Just a head’s up, there is no brutality to be found here.

Folks who dig OPETH or VOIVOD should probably give this a shot. There’s a certain era of ANNIHILATOR that I was reminded of. The positive message and musical style also had me thinking of the band KEKAL. If you like your music heavy and evil I would advise you to look elsewhere. I know that sounds odd coming from a metal review, but that’s just the case here. No one’s punting cherubs into pitchforks or giving the angels the finger. HEAVEN’S CRY will treat you to some solid string and skin-work. The sound is spotlessly clean and is alluringly rich. The vocals were a little too squeaky for me and the lyrics were a little heavy-handed but nothing here detracts from the fact that this is an incredibly well put together album. If you’ve got even a minor interest in giving something more unique a listen, check out “Outcast.”

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Human Factor
2. Outcast
3. The Day The System Failed
4. If I Only Knew
5. A Shift In Scenery
6. Symmetry
7. Alive 
Lineup:
Pierre St-Jean - Vocals/Guitars
Sylvain Auclair - Vocals/Bass
Eric Jarrin - Guitars
René Lacharité - Drums
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
     


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Edited 02 December 2020
 

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