They still exist, bands that develop and get stronger record after record.
Halcyon Way is one of them and therefore they surprise me. Their fourth or should I
say third album because 'Indoctrination (2011)' was actually "Building the
Towers (2010)' 2.0.
The album has a good modern sounding production done by Lasse Lammert (Alestrom),
especially the guitar riffs sound very heavy. You don't need to think of Dream
Theater when you read the style progressive, you should more think about a style
in the vain of Scar Symmetry, Symphony X and Nevermore with a few at times AOR
related refrains. The clean singing by Steve Braun is well done and is best in
the melodic refrains like for example in "Web of Lies". Those who are more fond
of death metal parts will like the low grunts of lead guitarist Jon Bodan. He
has a rather big part in the songs and that makes this a rather heavy album. In
the songs "Conceved in Torment" and "Hatred is My Cause" the grunts have a very
big role and then the band sounds like a death metal combo. If you are more into
melodic AOR sounding stuff, there is a song like "Home". The solo in that song
has a little Dragonforce touch; fast and furious.
"Miltitant" has all
elements in it, AOR, death metal, thrash riffs, even a kind of black metal part
and chaotic drum patterns. The band should realize that too much variety doesn't
make every song better, in this track I think they exaggerate a bit. Fortunately
some songs with well written structures and refrains follow without too much
showing off. My favorite track "Save Your Tears" opens with a very heavy riff
and is blessed with a good refrain and some very nice grunts. Halfway thru the
tempo changes and nice guitarparts follow. "King of Ruin" is again a heavy and
fast song leaning towards death metal, but with the recognizable melodic clean
refrains embedded again. Scar Symmetry combined with Symphony X.
Listening ones or twice will be not enough, because at first it all sounds a bit
hectic and I had to listen to the album quite a few times to figure it out and
not to reach my conclution too hasty that the songs aren't aranged well enough. If you want
songs with a simple structure you will never like this album, but for them there
is always AC/DC or Status Quo. The band has taken another step ahead!