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Helioss - One with the Sun

One with the Sun
by Erika Kuenstler at 10 November 2015, 8:31 AM

French duo HELIOSS is back with their sophomore album “One with the Sun”, following up from their 2012 debut. Whilst officially labelled as a Symphonic Black/Death Metal band, HELIOSS perhaps lacks some of the brutality that other bands in this genre have, instead putting more emphasis on more melodic aspects.

The album starts off directly with the title track, and even though it’s instrumental, the pounding two and a half minute song has enough blast beats to launch a small rocket into orbit. The vocals that kick in on “Come to the Feast” give an evil oozing and guttural sound that is countered by higher yapping. Throw in a newscaster reporting on the atrocities of mankind and prominent technical guitar work, and you’ve pretty much got your standard Symphonic Death Metal song. There is an almost DETHKLOK feel in the delivery of the darker guitar and drumming parts of “The Face of a God”, although this is countered by the strong emphasis on the keyboards in the lighter sections. Female vocals are woven into songs like “Unnamed Soul” and “The Filth of Mankind”, giving them a more keening sound, whilst the vocals on “We, the Kings” are very reminiscent of the style used by Seregor of CARACH ANGREN. Featuring guest vocals from no less than four other musicians, this album certainly suffers no dearth in disparities in vocal styles, which makes the listening experience more interesting. Despite this, “Her Song of Ruin” and closing song “Unis” are perhaps the only truly outstanding song on this album, combining more tongue-in-cheek humorous sections with their heavy sound.

On the downside, the album follows a similar tempo throughout, with little variation in song structure. This makes the album as a whole a somewhat tedious affair; it would have been wonderful to have more variation. In addition to this, it seems that the band has not managed to quite reign in that powerful feeling that characterises other bands with a similar style. This added to the monotony makes the album a tad lacklustre, which may put off some fans. A further weakness is the programmable drums: they’ll always perfectly be able to execute anything, leading to the tendency to having drum sections that not even a well-trained octopus on speed could pull-off, never mind a mere mortal. This gives the music an over-the-top feel that totally kills it in my opinion. Nevertheless, given that this is just their sophomore effort, HELIOSS does show a lot of potential, and could become one of the leaders of this genre with time. Definitely a band to keep your eye on! If the idea of a softer and more melodic take on bands like HISS FROM THE MOAT and HATE appeals to you, then a dose of HELIOSS might be just what the doctor ordered.

3 Star Rating

1. One with the Sun
2. Come to the Feast
3. The Face of a God
4. Unnamed Soul
5. We, the Kings
6. The Filth of Mankind
7. Bondage of Oppression
8. Greed for Illusion
9. Espace-Temps
10. Her Song of Ruin
11. Unis
Nicolas Muller - Guitars, Bass, Drum programming
DM - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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