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Heir Apparent - Graceful Inheritance (Reissue)

Heir Apparent
Graceful Inheritance (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 28 January 2022, 10:27 AM

One thing that one must remember about the 80’s is that there weren’t only IRON MAIDEN or METALLICA in those days. Many bands tried their luck, but as long as the greater part of the Metal fans seems to follow some kind of ‘cult of personality’, more that 99% of bands were left aside. Of course, you still can be in love with the names written above (there’s nothing wrong with that), but pay attention to what’s around you. And during 1986, I loved to read the review sections of Metal mags back then, and still remember when I was introduced to the name of the North American quartet HEIR APPARENT. Maybe they never became a commercial success, but their music is excellent, and this reissue for their first album, “Graceful Inheritance”, is worthy of attention.

On this release, the readers will find that strong and melodic form of US Metal that is plenty of catchy melodies inherited from Hard Rock of the 70’s along with a refined technical aspect (where some Progressive Rock influences can be detected), excellent choruses and all that sharp set of influences of JUDAS PRIEST (that forms the spine of US Metal). But such words aren’t saying that the band doesn’t have personality, because they had one that pulses strongly on their musical work. Yes, this album is great, even after 36 years of its original release. The album was produced by Tom Hall (the same one that worked with QUEENSRŸCHE), and had Larz Nefzger on the engineering and Gérard Gustave on the mastering. For those days, such a sound quality was very good (this album was originally released by an independent label), clear and defined, but with the same roughness of those days. And the remastering of the album at Toneshed Studios made things sound better, but without destroying the original feeling.

Today, “Graceful Inheritance” can sound to those used to modern recordings, but the value of songs as “Another Candle” (a massive storm of US Metal energy that’s based on excellent guitars), “The Servant” (pay attention to the technical work of bass guitar and drums, from where the weight of the song comes), “Tear Down the Walls” (very good vocals and backing vocals parts), “The Cloak” (here one will find the clear influence of NWOBHM, especially IRON MAIDEN in the melodies), “Keeper of the Reign” (its intense energy is amazing, coming from the contrasts between introspective moments with aggressive parts), “Dragon’s Lair” (the mix between weight and melodies is a feature of US Metal bands of those days, and pay attention to the contrasts of the vocal tunes), and “A.N.D. … Dogro Lived On” can be written or said. It’s an inheritance for everyone.

As last words, Hammerheart Records must be praised for this new reissue of “Graceful Inheritance” (that’ll be on CD and LP formats). And this album shows that HEIR APPARENT still has value after all these years (and who could guess that I could write a review for an album that I read back in 1986).

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Entrance
2. Another Candle
3. The Servant
4. Tear Down the Walls
5. Running from the Thunder
6. The Cloak
7. R.I.P.
8. Hands of Destiny
9. Keeper of the Reign
10. Dragon’s Lair
11. Masters of Invasion
12. Nightmare
13. A.N.D. … Dogro Lived On
Paul Davidson - Vocals
Terry Gorle - Guitars, Vocals
Derek Peace - Bass
Raymond Black - Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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