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Heir Apparent – Foundations I

Heir Apparent
Foundations I
by Djenty Djessica Schiefelbein at 22 June 2021, 4:30 AM

Originally formed in 1983 under the name NEMESIS, a lineup change saw the band rename to HEIR APPARENT. They released their first album, “Graceful Inheritance” in 1986. The band saw some major success, particularly in Europe, before suddenly dissolving in 1989 just before the release of their second album, “One Small Voice.” After that, the band remained silent until 2000, when asked to play live at a festival. The show went well and the band played a string of other shows and festivals which saw growing success for the band’s heavy, progressive sound. Their live success led them to release a third album, “The View From Below” in 2018 which was well received. Now, guitarist Terry Gorle has decided to remaster and release their early work on a new album titled, “Foundations.” This album contains NEMESIS demo tracks and “Inception Day” demo tracks all remastered by the guitar man himself.

I’m pretty sure anyone interested in this album already has a familiarity with HEIR APPARENT, from one place or other, and you’re simply interested in hearing the remastered music. So, let’s talk about the remastered music. Gorle did a fair job with the remaster. Everyone wants to say they would have done a better job and it’s really easy to sit there and rag on something. It’s not, however, easy to sit and stare at a computer screen for hours on end, listening to the same clip of music repeatedly and maybe adjusting a bar or two. THAT is tedious and the smallest thing like the software or speakers you use can have a devastating impact on the end result and nitpicking nerds will spend eternity ragging on what you spent eternity attempting to perfect. So I will start off here by complimenting Gorle’s efforts. I spent a reasonable amount of time switching back and forth between the originals and the remasters and the difference is potent. A lot of depth has been added. Deep and low tones that weren’t there in the 80s have been put in and it brings a whole new dimension to the music.

That being said, I am by no means a professional. I am at best a music enthusiast and at worst an amateur complainer. However, even with my high level of ignorance I can’t help but feel like Gorle could have done a better job here? Yes, it is old material being transferred into digital media and manipulated. We all understand that is going to leave a certain level of distortion and emptiness to it. Again, HOWEVER, there exists technology in 2021 to correct these things. I reiterate, I am not a professional, and I can one hundred percent guarantee that I could not have done a better job than Gorle on this remaster. But someone could have. There are probably many someones in the world that he could have hired to do it for him or consult with him that could have helped this sound a lot less hollow and empty.

That aside, the album is finished and it is the same HEIR APPARENT you know and love, only much better. It may not be perfect but I absolutely applaud Gorle for the work he has done bringing new life to old sound. He has added so much depth and dimension to something that previously sounded very flat and boring. I would recommend that any fan give it a whirl!

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tear Down the Walls
2. The Servant
3. Dragon’s Lair
4. The Cloak
5. Tame the Beast
6. Masters of Illusion
7. Improviso
8. Mysteria
9. And Dogro Lived On
10. Keeper of the Reign
11. Nightmare
12. Tear Down the Walls (1984)
13. The Servant (1984)
Lineup:
Terry Gorle - Guitar
Derek Peace - Drums
Paul Davidson - Vocals
Jim Kovach - Drums (Nemesis 1983/84)
Ray Schwartz - Drums (1984-89)
Record Label: Vic Records
     


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Edited 17 September 2021
 

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