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Heaven's Cry - Outcast CD (album) cover


Heaven's Cry


Progressive Metal

3.92 | 6 ratings

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4 stars "Outcast" is the 4th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive metal act Heaven's Cry. The album was released through Prosthetic Records in June 2016. It's the successor to "Wheels of Impermanence" from 2012, which was the band's first studio album in 10 years. "Outcast" features the same lineup who recorded "Wheels of Impermanence (2012)". Pierre St-Jean (vocals, guitars), Sylvain Auclair (vocals, bass, Chapman Stick), R'n' Lacharit' (drums), and Eric Jarrin (guitars). The latter have had a busy year, as he has also released the "Beast (2016)" album with his other project Despised Icon.

"Wheels of Impermanence (2012)" was a quality comeback release by Heaven's Cry, but it didn't quite reach the heights of "Food for Thought Substitute (1996)" and "Primal Power Addiction (2002)". "Outcast" pretty much continues where "Wheels of Impermanence (2012)" left off, although to my ears it's slightly more interesting.

Stylistically the material on the 7 track, 50:48 minutes long album is progressive metal, but with the distinct sounding Heaven's Cry twist. The vocals are not your typical high pitched progressive metal vocals, but rather a melodic hard rock singing style (often layered with harmony vocals), although the melody lines are generally relatively complex. The multi- layered guitars, intricate rhythm work, and adventurous song structures are Heaven's Cry trademarks by now, so they are not that surprising, but still a very interesting and sophisticated combination of musical elements. While the tracks feature clear structures, there's often a loose organic feel to them, which makes the music a bit unpredictable, which is very entertaining.

The material on the album is generally well written, but to my ears the album is frontloaded with the best tracks as the last couple of tracks on the album are sligthly sub par to the tracks which open the album. Tracks like "The Human Factor", the title track (which features vocal harmonies reminiscent of Alice in Chains), and the dark grinding 14:16 minutes long "The Day the System Failed" are high quality material. Heaven's Cry shine on those tracks. "If I Only Knew" is a good quality track too, but the remaining three tracks of the album aren't that remarkable.

When that is said "Outcast" is still overall a high quality release and even the more unremarkable tracks are still above standard compared to a lot of the output of other similar contemporary artists. Heaven's Cry still have a rather unique sound and it's obvious they will continue to pursue and develop that sound no matter what happens. I'm pretty sure they aren't the most commercially successful act on the scene, so not following conventions and trying to blend in, is probably not in their best interest if they want to make a living out of playing music, but that's obviously not their main goal. The adventurous and bold spirit of their music make them true artists in my view and while "Outcast" may not quite reach the heights of their first two releases a 4 star (80%) rating is still deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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