I am an odd bird when it comes to some sub-genres of metal. I am not a fan of many symphonic metal bands that use classical parts, but I am a huge fan of classical music. I enjoy old school rap, but I hate rap metal. With that off my chest, we have Heavatar’s debut release, Opus I – All My Kingdoms, hitting the streets February 22, 2013, and I have to say that I am a fan of a lot of what it being done. If you have not heard of Stefan Schmidt before, he is the mastermind behind Van Canto. He has now decided to go all out with a full band now, Heavatar.
From the opening track, Replica, you can see that Heavatar will borrow a lot from classical icons ranging from Bach to Paganini to Beethoven. The guitar opening of Replica hits on all cylinders and hearkens back to days of old with Yngwie Malmsteen. The guitars are spot on and not over-powering but easy recognizable as someone who can shred.
Thankfully, Replica is not the only standout on the album. The songs so range in variety, but focus on shredding power metal, which is not only listenable, but pretty good. You can headbang to it, or play air guitar to it. The vocals are pretty good for the most part outside of the closing track To the Metal, which I cannot even stomach listening to any more.
Overall, I like what Heavatar has done here and I know that they will end up with some die-hard fans out of this one. For me to like an album like this, it has to really stand out.
Opus I – All My Kingdoms Track Listing:
03. All My Kingdoms
04. Elysium at Dawn
05. Long Way Home
06. Born to Fly
07. Luna! Luna!
08. The Look Above
09. To the Metal