Year of Release: 2002
Label: DVS Records
Catalog Number: DVS 007
Total Time: 48:12:00
The title of Heaven's Cry's Primal Power Addiction suggests that what will come out of the speakers is unmitigated and violent speed metal. But this is not Pantera or Sepultura or the like. Instead, what results is a mix of the melodic and the complex ? where we can mention in passing Rush, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Marillion, Jadis, Arena. Vocalist Pierre St. Jean has a rougher voice, however; scratchier would be more accurate. Something he puts to use in nearly matching Peter Garrett's vocals in the Midnight Oil hit "Beds Are Burning" ? but for a drum fill and a bit more heaviness, this stays very true to the original. And if you think that cover is an odd choice, one need only look at the theme that the band are developing with the album. That Primal Power Addiction title has nothing to do with a metal assault ? this is not a fist in the face -- and everything to do with man's destructive dominance over the earth, other humans, and others species.
"Our lungs are fighting the infected air we breathe / Linear and square forms fill our eyes? " begins "2k Awe Tick;" and later, "And we seek unvarying truths / Using artificial intelligence / To re-invent the rules / Virtual perfection in constant variation?" Musically, "2k Awe Tick" is exactly what the title says, though not "2" much so. That is, here and later in "A Higher Moral Ground," the band seem to pack as many notes into as small a space as they can. This leaves you with music that is frenetic, moving along swiftly but not smoothly. You are buffeted as you're carried along ? a tempest of sound. This is certainly true of the latter track, which lives up to the impression of the album's title. But there is, in my opinion, a little too much chaos thrown in. "Komma" is that unmitigated brutality expected by the title, as you are musically kicked about, finding not just a boot in the seat of pants, but one stomping awfully close to your head as well. Heaven's Cry want to make a point, kick you into action, not beat you senseless. "A Higher Moral Ground" is invigorating, more power metal than prog (this leads seamlessly into "Komma").
In "Masterdom's Profit" - where you find those hints of Rush ? hey, Heaven's Cry are Canadians after all - we hear "As a whale ascends to the surface / It grasps a single breath of air / A ship legally sacks and packages his realm?" And in "A New Paradigm," which immediately follows, it is war: "And we, from one to last, if we stop the fights / We could change our world for once / Then leave the toys and take a new path that would suit everyone / And our host may let us survive in a new paradigm?" Canadian's yes, but seemingly more inspired by, if not directly influenced by, Sweden's Pain Of Salvation. They are at quite the same level as Gildenlow and company, as they haven't got their chaos quite as orderly ? if that makes any sense. And Heaven's Cry have more prog rock in their sound than can be found with Pain Of Salvation, though the comparisons do run deeper than just socially aware lyrics. This being a review of Heaven's Cry CD, however, I won't dig deeper than that here.
What you will find inside the sophomore release from this quintet are complex, textured arrangements ? arrangements given texture by three guitarists ? St. Jean, Olaf Quinzanos, and Eric Jarrin ? plus bassist Sylvain Auclair and drummer René Lacharité.
"Divisions" is a low-key piece that bridges the gap between "neo-prog," prog and prog metal ? imagine a mix between classic Yes (right at the beginning), 90's Marillion and the already mentioned POS. Silvery but warm guitars slither over understated vocals. And just when you think that maybe they are edging too close to the first, guitars launch into a flurry of notes and power chords. In there, there is a bit of interplay with the guitars that had a Steve Howe pop into my head. This is their epic piece and yet it is only five minutes in length ? one of my favourites. "Remembrance" is the balladic track on the album, again hinting at Dream Theater. The silky vocal delivery is matched by liquid guitars. Liquid also describes the watery "One Of Twentyfour" ? that one in twenty four that is an outcast. This come in direct contrast to the stutter-step main rhythm of "Waves" (ironically) though things get fluid for the choruses. There's a chittering sound that I don't half wonder may have been the inspiration for the album's cover ? those aquatic looking critters are magnified micro-organizisms. Proggiest by far is the soft, atmospheric, and again watery, "The Inner Stream Remains."
Though melodic, this is not a hook-laden album but rather one that reveals itself over several listens ? that being the nature of progressive music releases. Metaphorically, pop is instant (like? pop tarts), prog takes more work (like marinated chicken) ? and which do you think it ultimately more satisfying? Well, you're at the wrong place if you said the former. And you'd miss out on this release.
2k Awe Tick (4:45) / Masterdom's Profit (4:00) / A New Paradigm (3:42) / Divisions (5:01) A Higher Moral Ground (3:30) / Komma (5:07) / Remembrance (4:49) / One Of Twentyfour (5:35) / Waves (4:39) / The Inner Stream Remains (4:41) / Beds Are Burning (4:23)
Pierre St.Jean -guitars, vocals
Eric Jarrin - guitars
Olaf Quinzanos - guitars
Sylvain Auclair - bass, vocals
René Lacharité - drums
Food For Thought Substitute (1997)
Primal Power Addiction (2002)
Genre: Progressive-Power Metal