Review Summary: Livin' In Hysteria is an album that shows how power metal should be done. Simple, creative and original with a lot of energy. Bullseye!
Despite the fact of being a huge power metal fan, I’ve got to admit that the last years power metal has been taking continuously a wrong approach. The main problem with power metal is a disease with the name of “Lack of creativity”, a disease from which suffer even the best representatives of the genre. The reason behind this rests on the fact that most contemporary bands of this genre sound ridiculously childish, relying on refrains where all group members scream their lungs out together, and lead guitar riffs that are very light and unoriginal, in a way that sometimes end up sounding generic, uninspired and ridiculous.
But European power metal didn’t always have the form of “happy Euro power”. Back in the late 80s till the end of 90s power metal reached its creative peak. So, somewhere back in the early 90s there was a band named Heavens Gate, which released Livin’ In Hysteria an album that impressed many power metal fans. Livin’ In Hysteria is an album that represents all those musical elements that I love not only from power metal specifically, but from the metal genre generally: Soaring vocals, original and kick-ass riffs, intricate melodies and great solos.
At this time Heavens Gate was a musical complex of power metal, classic 80s metal with the approach of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and classical rock influences. Listening to the record carefully I noticed that Heavens Gate seem to incorporate an almost jazz-rock-influenced sort of metal. Thomas Rettke possesses a rather good voice, and he also sings pretty well. His vocals sound very much alike of those from Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson, except higher and heavier. The bass is audible and it takes leadership duties in songs such as Heavens Gate or Flashes. Sascha Paeth and Bonni Bilski aren’t the best guitarists in the world, but they are able to cooperate with each other in an intelligent and pleasant way. Songs from the album that combine with the best possible way all those aforementioned musical styles are Livin’ In Hysteria and We Want It All. Other songs are more close to an epic atmosphere “The Never Ending Fire”, others are typical examples of fast German power metal "Flashes", “Gate Of Heaven” – which is probably the best song from the album, while the album also includes an excellent, romantic ballad “Best Days Of My Life”.
Livin’ In Hysteria is a reminiscent of an era when European power metal could sound humorous without having to sound silly or childish. Maybe that era has died, but I hope that the contemporary power metal groups will eventually discover new approaches, so that a qualitative rebirth of power metal may take place. For me Livin’ In Hysteria features power metal glory with the approach of the Keeper’s era Helloween, a dose of heavy metal with the approach of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, a formula which Gamma Ray perfected in the mid 90s till No World Order! If you like classic heavy metal, original riffs, power and energy this is the ideal record for you.
-Livin' In Hysteria
-We Got The Times
-Best Days Of My Life
-Gate Of Heaven