(Running time: 58:53 minutes; 12 songs)
("EAR Music"/"Edel Germany GmbH"; 2018; CD):
Hey guys, yes, right back again and so here now comes my latest/newest record-review for you and we will also stay for/with this very one here in the department of Heavy Metal with this very one here and now being on the second full-length-album of/by HEAVATAR titled "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION" released very recently via "EAR MUSIC"/"EDEL GERMANY GMBH" at the 16th of February of 2018. Yes, normally it takes me quite a bit longer before I feel prepared enough to do a respectful record-review on an album (no matter if I like it or not) but after I'm currently a bit struck down by this damn influenza I have a lot of time and so I can't really tell you how often I now have already over the last days listened to HEAVATAR's second born "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION" since it's out and so now my record-review on it will now be up very soon after the album was released only a few days ago, hm, maybe also not that bad after all. First of all HEAVATAR were totally unknown to me before (as quite a bit of bands lately how I realized over the last months... just too damn many music out there to know it all) and the predeccesor album so is (also) unknown to me. For all what I understand this is sort of a ''project-band'' that Stefan Schmidt who otherwise is a member of VAN CANTO (what-ever-band that may be) formed with three other guys of whom the probably best- or most-known is Jörg Michael at the drums who you might know from RUNNING WILD, GRAVE DIGGER, AXEL RUDI PELL, RAGE, STRATOVARIUS, and many more. And by looking at the title of the album that carries the word/term 'opus' in it and this also at a very prominent position you might already got the correct impression that Classical Music plays a pretty important role in and for the music of HEAVATAR, yes, and by all my other ramblings so far you should already know that we talk here about (Heavy/Power) Metal, yes, and so this is definitely sort of a Metal meets Classic affair. If you now think "Whooaaa, what the fuck...?!?" then that's your problem and just wait for the next record-review and skip the rest of this if you think you should 'need' to... but you would be missing out on something really damn good if you would do so, point and fact. This whole Metal meets Classic stuff (just to name it this way) is normally also not really my sort of proteinshake and it's been a while since I put my last Classic Music record on but I fell in love with the cover artwork and so I decided to risk an ear and after here and now you get my record-review on it you may already guess that what I listened to really surprised and convinced me and so I took the album with me home and so now here we are. The classic instrumentation and orchestration is clearly there as well as in general 'classy' composed arrangements are surely to be noticed but this is all worked into the whole flow of the songs in a damn great way so that it not only turns out to be a very strong and organic 'symbiose' that also 'not the biggest fans of Classic Music' (like me, myself, and I) can enthusiastically enjoy with much pleasure but also it flows all nearly perfectly together and it all sounds very natural and in now way forced and artficial and this is just all damn fine with me. So HEAVATAR deliver us powerful and forward pushing Heavy Metal or Power Metal that draws inspirations from BLIND GUARDIAN as well as MANOWAR and also some HELLOWEEN and so you see that the whole Classic Music 'stuff' aside the Heavy Metal or Power Metal definitely is the order of the day and HEAVATAR also offer here and there slight flirtings with Epic Metal and also here and there maybe some (very) few Speed Metal and it also shines with a huge and sort of bombastic approach and also with very strong and also cool fresh rhythm'n'groove-work and some sort of modern tones especially to the guitars and their rhythm work so that probably also fans of bands like SERIOUS BLACK or ORDEN OGAN should definitely become instantly fans of HEAVATAR, hm, and just to mention it the songs are also structured very rousing and arranged in a damn strong hymnal way with a bit of medieval marks and 'folkloristic' elements in it all and even sweetest female co-lead-vocals are worked in it in an amazing strong way at one part. And don't get any wrong impressions because even with clear to notice and proudly shown influences (like with the honestly very good MANOWAR cover "METAL DAZE", not that it comes any close to the original but who would have thought or even expected that) HEAVATAR offer a pretty big and very own character and not only because of the Classic Music influences in it all but also due to a very own guitar tone, the fantastic, multifaceted, and charismatic vocals, and the general compositorial approach to put tons of huge epicness even in a four minute song. And so you may have already guessed that the songwriting is very rich, multi-layered, and like the vocals multifaceted, too, and offers a huge load of greatness to be discovered by us the listeners while at the same time it's all incredible well flowing so that you won't find any breaks or holes or blank spaces in it all, hell yeahr, and all is delivered and done by high(est) skilled musicians. The biggest trademarks are for sure the amazing lead vocals, the very diverse, heavy and yet damn melodic guitars, and the fantastic drumming, all enriched by the classic orchestration and a beneath the surface power adding bass work. Pretty good and cool, mostly (at first look) Fantasy lyrics and a gorgeous and beautiful artwork we get on top of it all, yes, as well as a very sadly only semi-optimal too clinical production sound that especially takes too much power away from the drumming. If that wouldn't be my rating would probably be even a bit higher. Don't ask me for any listening advices because the whole album comes without any fillers even surely "PURPOSE OF A VIRGIN MIND" is (from my point of view) probably the biggest hit and is also meant to be exactly that. So, okay, I really think that now you should know all what you have to know about HEAVATAR's "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION" and I will now leave you here and now with my honest and clear recommendation(s) and so best stop thinking and just go out and get it, period.
(8,5 of 10 points)
http://heavatar.net/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)
HEAVATAR - "PURPOSE OF A VIRGIN MIND" (2018, "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION")