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Heimdall - Hard As Iron (2004) Retail CD
Much more than a simple, one-dimensional power metal band, Italy's Heimdall bring a relatively accessible (by heavy metal standards, anyway), but still extremely wide-ranging modern metal aesthetic to their excellent fourth album, 2004's Hard as Iron. Seriously, don't let this seemingly disingenuous title fool you, as the accomplished sextet bucks almost all power metal trends (heck, virtually all Italian heavy metal bands' trends for notorious and outlandish cheesiness) with this expertly crafted album. Diverse but focused, inventive yet faithful to metal's basic tenets, Hard as Iron definitelymore… touches upon the aforementioned power metal template (see particularly "Moon — Red Light" for proof), but refuses to get lost in the pedantic speed metal rhythms, operatic vocals and basic melodies bogging down the genre. Instead, standout offerings like "Black Tower," "The Emperor" and the title track mix and match both faster and mid-paced tempos, jagged guitar riffs and carefully chosen supporting synths, and forceful, but still restrained lead and background gang-choruses. Driving force Fabio Calluori adds much welcome color with his ever-handy acoustic guitar, and, despite his unfortunate nom de guerre, lead guitarist Carmelo Claps is one of those rare, innately inspired stylists capable of unleashing solo after distinctive solo with seemingly effortless ease. Even when they mess with that trickiest of metallic forms: the power ballad (not once but twice, on "Black Heaven" and the simply named "Cold"), Heimdall come away surprisingly unscathed; and the also misleadingly named "Holy Night" makes for anything but a peaceful conclusion to these here proceedings. Which brings up a final point worth noting: this being that Hard as Iron doesn't overstay its welcome — just like a great album shouldn't.
- Heimdall - Hard As Iron (2004) Retail CD
- 1189 x 929 px
- 282 KB
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- 25/02/07 by allcdcovers
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