Year of Release: 2004
Label: Armageddon Music
Catalog Number: n/a
Total Time: 65:21:00
Sometimes there are releases that are announced a long time in advance and you desperately wait for it to come. Others you stumble upon by chance and for some reason did not get that huge exposure. Based on a very enthusiastic webmaster (of ProgPower Online!), I visited the site of Jutta Weinhold, singer of great bands such as Zed Yago and Velvet Viper. She had made some great albums with those bands, but at a certain point, got fed up with heavy metal and changed her course. Now, she is back with a new band and with a new album: From Heaven Through The World To Hell. When I received the album and played it, I was stunned ? this is an amazing album!!
One other review I read about this album said: "If Ronnie James Dio was a woman, her name would be Jutta Weinhold." Man, I agree with this guy! Jutta Weinhold has an incredibly powerful voice. Although her music contains some blues and hard rock elements, the overall sound is very close to Dio and even some Black Sabbath. It is heavy, but very melodic and at times even fragile. There is not a weak song on this album. Besides the vocals, guitarist Kai Reuter (ex-Jane) stands out as an amazing, versatile guitar player, with such fabulous solos and crunchy riffs.
Besides the excellent music on the album, the lyrics are also very important to Weinhold, as she moved away from the heavy metal clichés, but based the lyrics on great writers such as Kafka ("Metamorphosis") or Shakespeare ("MacBeth"). Also poems, she wrote herself, form the basis of many lyrics.
Weinhold absolutely convinces immediately from the first song on. Opener "Strike" and "Metamorphosis" are heavy metal classics in the best Dio / Sabbath vein, without being a copy or anything. I love the dark, German spoken intro of "MacBeth," followed by the song, which opens with virtuoso guitars, resembling Arjen Lucassen's (Ayreon, Star One) play a bit, especially in the harmonies. Another stunning song, is the ballad "Heaven," which would fit radio airplay perfectly, as I think this is a rock ballad, comparable to the Scorpions classic "Still Loving You." It has some blues elements in it, again fantastic guitars and passionate vocals. This song gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it (trust me, I have heard it A LOT!). It is "commercial" and yet Weinhold does not make any compromises to the sound.
As a reminder of how good Jutta Weinhold was with Zed Yago, a live version of "Black Bone Song" is added, showing how powerful (although rage would be a better description) Weinhold can be. Again, a great song and I am really glad they added this one. Man, this line up is truly amazing. Besides the vocals of Jutta Weinhold, I am in awe of Kai Reuter for his amazing play, over and over again. The rhythm section is steady, solid and carries these great songs.
I find it hard not to rave on about this album, and I only even mentioned half of the songs (?the rest is just as good), but this is one of the most impressive albums I have heard this year and it is very high in my personal top 3! Outstanding compositions, solid musicians, gifted singer, good production and great artwork. Need I say more? If you are going to spend your money on one album, I would definitely recommend Weinhold - From Heaven Through The World To Hell. It will rock your world forever.
[This review originally appeared August 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Strike / Metamorphosis / MacBeth Intro / MacBeth / Heaven / My Own Sister / Blues Metal / Rock of Metal / Nearly a Lovesong / Wounded Pioneer / Black Bone Song (live bonus track)
Jutta Weinhold - vocals
Kai Reuter - guitars
Phillippe Candas - drums
Karsten Kreppert - drums (11)
Markus Grosskopf - bass (11)
Rollie Feldmann - guitars (11)
Ronnie Meyer - guitars (11)
From Heaven Through The World To Hell (2004)
Below The Line (2006)
Genre: Melodic Metal