Wuthering Heights - Within

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Sensory
Catalog Number: SR3006
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:17:00

The first time I heard Wuthering Heights was when I received the first recording of Within. This version was only a demo, the sound production was a catastrophe, but I could definitively hear that Erik Ravn (guitarist and songwriter) had something good brewing. A couple of years went by, WH landed a deal with the respectable prog-label Sensory. Within was re-recorded, a new singer (Kristian "Krille" Andr?n - ex-Tad Morose, Memento Mori ) was recruited and the result is a very interesting mix of traditional speed metal (old Helloween, Blind Guardian style), Irish folk music and a slight progressive touch. The biography that accompanied the CD states that WH are, quote: "over the top progressive." I don't agree - Spiral Architect fit that description, not WH.

Jacob Hansen has engineered and produced Within. The overall production is OK, but the guitar sound is a bit dead, maybe the bass could have been more up front. The vocal sound is first class! OK. Now let's concentrate on the music. The CD is a concept-album, the first part of a trilogy written by Erik Ravn. It tells the story of the inner thoughts and dreams of a lonely man, searching for something beyond his simple life. The lyrics portray this throughout the composition. Each song contains a wide range of styles. Up tempo heavy riffing, ethnic flute and violin lines, acoustic passages and brilliant vocal performances. The actual song structures are quite complex, it takes a while to dig in. My overall impression is very positive. Since I'm an old Helloween-fan, some of the melodies really bring back memories from the Walls Of Jericho days. The only thing that I'm not too pleased about is Erik Ravn's performance on the guitar. His playing confirms my impression from their live performance at the ?restads Festival 1999 in Copenhagen. He is an excellent songwriter, but some of the stuff he tries to pull-off on his guitar doesn't always work. His timing is sloppy, and there is a lack of credibility when playing solos - the parts where the guitar lead the way tend to fall through due to not being able to keep up a steady beat. I recommend that he should review his own playing, and rewrite the passages that are too difficult for him to play, or look for an addition guitar player for the band. Deal with it please!

I'll most probably piss off some people passing this harsh judgment, but I'm only being honest. Mr. Ravn can play guitar, but he must learn where his limitations lay. Enough said. The rest of the band (Rune S. Brink ? keyboard, Kasper Gram ? bass and Morten N?dgaard ? Drums), form a rock steady formation that deliver musicianship that they should be proud of. Fabulous work guys! These guys save the CD! The best song is "Dreamwalker," a 14 minute masterpiece offering all you could wish to hear - the composition is great. Filled with unforgettable melodies.

If you are a die-hard fan of bands like Blind Guardian, Angra, Helloween and Rhapsody you MUST buy this CD, don't even hesitate! By the way - 8 points is a good score.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Enter The Cave (3:08) / Hunter In The Dark (5:57) / Too Great Thy Gift (7:12) / Sorrow In Memoriam (8:31) / Dreamwalker (13:38) / The Bird (3:51) / The Wanderer's Farewell (5:20)

Kristian Andr?n - lead vocals
Kasper Gram - bass
Rune S. Brink - keyboards
Erik Ravn - guitars, vocals
Morten N?dgaard - drums

Within (1999)
To Travel For Evermore (2002)
Far From The Madding Crowd (2004)
The Shadow Cabinet (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DK

Added: March 29th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website: www.wuthering-heights.dk
Hits: 1135
Language: english


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