Heavenly – Sign of the Winner – Review


Sign of the Winner (Noise)
by Scott Hefflon

Story has it that these guys began as a classic rock cover band called Satan’s Lawyer. That’s kinda funny. But, of course, it woulda never gone anywhere. So they wrote original material more like Helloween and Stratovarious, entered and won Noise’s “Be Your Own Label Boss” competition and their debut, Coming from the Sky, is reputed to be Noise’s best-selling debut since the early ’90s. (No one happens to mention how many debuts there’ve been, and Noise faltered pretty badly in the mid-’90s as power metal dwindled to almost nothing, and they briefly flirted with new styles as F.A.D. but that tanked hard and fast.) But Heavenly, yeah, they thunder and spiral and cascade and zip and sizzle and all that good stuff. The layers of authentic falsetto are so rich and deep (about as manly as this stuff can get, and it’s offset with a decent bit of bass and mid-range, so while the vocals scrape the ceiling, there’s still plenty of guitar crunch to knock you about, coiling around your knees and darting about to trip you up if you try to run for it), it’s quite tough to dig beneath the icing to see if the cake is high-quality, ya know? And when ya get down to it, shit, who really cares? With so much splashed color and tasty, sweet/sour contrast, isn’t the overall “Damn, that’s good!” enough? You bet.

Oh, and unlike many recordings of this ilk, this one actually has some bottom end balls, not just lots of screeching and Elfish tiptoeing.