Heavenwood - _Diva_
(Massacre Records, 1996)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Heavenwood are currently my favourite Portuguese band. No matter how great Moonspell's _Wolfheart_ was, _Irreligious_ disappointed me, and _Diva_, Heavenwood's debut, seems clearly better. You can read more about this band from my home city of Porto in my concert review (see CoC #16). About the album itself, it mixes some doom with death vox and lots of Crematory-like keys. They produce a very melodic sound, keeping a powerful edge to their music. They do show some clear influences. Track 1 reminds me of Paradise Lost, track 4 is influenced by My Dying Bride, and there are even some (crap) Sisters of Mercy influences in one of the later tracks. As far as I'm concerned, and although tracks 1, 3, and 4 are also great, the three demo tape tracks that were included are still the best: "Judith Heavenwood", "Frithioff's Saga", and "Emotional Wound". Brilliant melodies all the time. It's a bit of a shame about some softer, goth-like parts in a couple of the newer songs that put down this score to an 8. If they had entirely kept up with their demo tape songs' level, they would surely get a 9. A great album and one everyone should at least try.
(article published 4/2/1997)
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