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Next Door to Heaven - V Ways To Accept

Next Door to Heaven
V Ways to Accept
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 July 2019, 1:14 AM

NEXT DOOR TO HEAVEN was formed in St. Petersburg, Russia on September,1 2014. The band was found by Eugene Mazunov (music, guitar, bass guitar, back vocals) and Daria Mazunova (vocals and lyrics). They play Progressive/Alternative Metal and Post Grunge (1st album). NEXT DOOR TO HEAVEN’s debut album was released on March 30, 2016. Today, the band presents their sophomore release, a concept album based on the five stages of grief…denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The album contains ten tracks.

“Denial I – Space and Time” leads off the album. With a deep and dark entrance and some aggressive rhythms, it features the eerie vocals of Daria Mazunova. It’s a mid-tempo piece that combines some elements of Core, Progressive and Alternative Metal. “Denial II – Commotion” is another dark song, featuring a heavy cadence and some Djent moments. Daria’s vocals are dreamy sounding…cutting against the aggression of the music. “Anger – Unrestrained” has more of those heavy accents on open notes and a similar cadence to previous tracks. However, in keeping with the theme of the song, harsh vocals appear, along with the rolling of thunderous kick drumming.

“Bargaining – Revoke” is a little faster in pace, still with those heavy accents. It’s a short three-minute track with this background ambiance that really stands out.  “Depression I – Razors” is another short track with a similar sound. I would have expected some of these stages of grief to sound different, sonically, but they really do not. It’s an odd album. The vocals are a little more connected here. “Depression II – Illusion” is a five-minute track, again, with a similar sound. If they would vary things up a bit, it would help. This song does take advantage of some more ambient moments. “Depression III – Mistaking” is another shorter song but opens with clean guitars. Some more dreamy elements come into play here, allowing the song to breathe a bit.

“Acceptance I – Believe in Me” opens with some echoing clean guitar and a slow and steady drum beat. This time some alluring moments come into play, but I am still having trouble following the vocalist and her connection to the music. “Acceptance II – I See Through” opens with those heavy accents again and some eerie lead guitars. This time her vocals connect better with the music. “Acceptance III – Reflections” closes the album. Some tender tones open this song. Where has this been for the entire album? A majestic quality comes out of the music as well, even when the heavy accents arrive. The pretty elements weave throughout the aggressive tones, creating a truly good song…the first one on the album unfortunately.

Overall, I found this album hard to listen to. It was mostly due to the trippy vocals. They didn’t connect with the music very well and felt out of place. The music was heavy and aggressive, but the vocals were dream and trippy. Sometimes this dual yin and yang approach works, but here it just didn’t. I also expected a little more out of the concept album, but it failed to deliver. Too many of the songs sounded the same. This was just a mediocre album for me.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Denial I – Space and Time
2. Denial II – Commotion
3. Anger – Unrestrained
4. Bargaining – Revoke
5. Depression I – Razors
6. Depression II – Illusion
7. Depression III – Mistaking
8. Acceptance I – Believe in Me
9. Acceptance II – I See Through
10. Acceptance III – Reflections
Daria Mazunova – Vocals, Lyrics
Eugene Mazunov – Compositions, Guitar, Arranging
Sergey Kovalenko – Bass Guitar
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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Edited 21 March 2023

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