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Heavenly - Carpe Diem

Label: AFM
Format: CD download
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5 /10


Heavenly, does that describe the sexy cover art? A nubile pair (of ladies) in best Bewitched good girl (in white lace), bad girl (in black leather) scenario, both apparently quite chilly, or turned on by the prospect of their impending French (naturally) kiss. The fifth album from these French power metallers sees Heavenly opting for quality over quantity (nine tracks, about 45 minutes).

 

Despite the name, ‘Ode To Joy’ is an original, although it feels like classic Kiske-era Helloween. Beginning as an operatic rendition of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, it retains that hallmark, recurrent melody throughout. Elsewhere, there’s the stratospheric, Freddy Mercury (Queen) highs on ‘A Better Me’ and a cappella/piano accompanied introduction to ‘Farewell’. Pinching a few harmonies, the latter is constructed as if a demo resume to Brian May and Co. Eerie similarities, really! Musically, “Carpe Diem” is a mix of ultra high speed (ala Dragonforce, without the showy histrionics), married to classical/operatic bits (‘Ashen Paradise’), especially backing choral voices, female included: think Rhapsody on crystal meth. Synthesized strings and piano introduce ‘The Face Of Truth’. After the Pantera inspired guitars, the chorus of the opening, title track sounds like something from the pen of Tobias Sammet (Edguy). Thankfully, those guitar breaks offer enough distinction. The disc concluding ‘Save Our Souls’ begins with mechanized whirls and beeps, before returning to lively, multiple voiced tune reminiscent of old Sonata Arctica.

 
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