Review Summary: Their best foot forward
Sometimes an album comes out at the right place and the right time, checks off all the boxes, does everything right. No matter who you are, I'm sure that's happened to you. For me, Heavener
is just that.
The production here is huge, and they actually beefed up the album versions compared to the single releases making it even bigger than anyone could've expected. Marcus Vik is a perfect fit for this band on the microphone. The most recent single "Without a Whisper" is one of the best things they've ever done.
What especially stands out is just how pure and emotional this album gets while also being crushing and heavy at the same time. The clean guitars create a serene atmosphere, such as on the interlude-ish track "Reverie" and... well, really, this entire album. The quiet bits allow the crushing djenty breakdowns to hit even harder. The dynamic range of bands like this cannot be overstated, it really helps set them apart from the mechanical monotony of the likes of Meshuggah.
The pacing of this album couldn't be better either. It's balanced out pretty much perfectly. It sort of ebbs and flows like a river, being neither too meandering nor too focused on heaviness for its own good. It's technical, but the arrangements don't get in their own way like say, Polyphia would. This is probably a weird example but the pacing reminds me a bit of Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight
, but more complex and meticulous. Either way, this will satisfy any fan of melodic, progressive metalcore.