Review Summary: Mainstream Power Metal? Heed definitely shows that it's a possibility in this great debut.
The year is 2004 and power metal gods Lost Horizon have just finished touring in support for their opus, A Flame From The Ground Beneath
. Suddenly the band that was singing about hope, unity, and togetherness were not together anymore. Frontman and vocal deity Daniel Heiman and guitarist Fredrik Olsson left the band to form another. These two men felt that Lost Horizon wasn’t united anymore and did not like the direction the band was heeding. Together, they founded another power metal band called Heed and released The Call
Heed is a lot different from what Lost Horizon brought forth to the table. We still get the same amazing singer who shows why he is the best power metal singer on the face of the planet, but Heed brings an edgier and heavier side that wouldn’t be seen on a Lost Horizon album. This doesn’t mean Heed’s debut is a bad album at all; in fact it is far from that. The first thing you can notice is that the album starts off with an instrumental much to the kin of a Lost Horizon album. After that though, all the comparisons have been vaporized from this universe and we experience a new and more intense band, both musically and lyrically; however we do come across a couple of songs in the vein of Lost Horizon.
I Am Alive
is the first real song on the album, and it opens with an in your face riff. The self empowering lyrics are the highlight of the song.
“Hear me now for no reason!
I stand on grounds that won't give in.
My strength and will are forever.
I heed the world with what I believe,
I can feel that I'm alive..”
Tommy Larsson, the bassist, is clearly audible throughout the song, and it gives that heavier emotion to the song. Daniel, like all of his vocal performances, is superb. The one strange part about this song though is he screams. This is a side of Daniel I hadn’t heard before, and this isn’t the only time we see this on the disk.
These screams are only a short list of problems that I actually have with The Call
. The riffs, while being powerful, seem uninspired and unoriginal. I have heard these caliber riffs before in hard rocks bands like Breaking Benjamin and Godsmack. I do give credit though that Fredrik adds a bit of that power metal touch to avoid being a hard rock guitarist. My biggest complaint though is the added vocal effects. I can not believe someone had the audacity to put vocal effects on Daniel. Songs like Moments
and Last Drop of Blood
suffer the most from this.
Enough of my complaining though, the rest of this album is pretty tremendous. Tommy starts Salvation
with a nice bass solo that is haunting and melodic at the same time. Daniel is the highlight again with his vocal work and Fredrik and Martin play a very catchy riff during the chorus. The last chorus is the most magnificent though because Daniel hits this ridiculously high note for the final 11 seconds. It honestly made my mouth drop the first time I heard it.
is a very fast and catchy number in its own right. The best guitar work is present on here to go with Daniel’s crazy vocals. The layering and adding vocal effects work marvelously and shows that mixing with Daniel’s voice can work out well. The highlight of this song is another high note by Daniel, imagine that. The reason it is spectacular is that you don’t expect it. The solo of the song comes in, but then we get a huge war cry from Daniel. The transition back to his original range is so flawless. This song is tied for the best on here.
is the most intriguing song on here, and the most vulnerable song that I have heard Daniel sing. It’s an acoustic piece that extremely beautiful in nature. Lyrically, this is something I didn’t think I would ever hear from men who were singing about freeing your soul to all that is bad. One has to look at the lyrics when listening to this song because it is emotional. While being power metal giants, Fredrik and Daniel give their best performance ever on this track.
Heed shows versatility on their debut. This hard rock/melodic power metal fusion definitely has its ups and downs. Overall, this is a very solid title. I would honestly not be surprised if this was ever played on the radio because this is as mainstream as power metal can sound. I only wish huge music corporations could see this and make listeners realize how crappy mainstream radio has become.