Abyss Masterpiece
Style: Gothic Metal
Release date: 14 March, 2011
Playing time: 59:55

From a long time HEAVENWOOD have had some problems with the line-up. It seems that their problems still stay on because they recorded “Abyss Masterpiece” as a trio. Their session drummer Daniel Cardoso who participates in lots of projects, focused himself here and became a regular member of the band. The guitar player Ricardo Dias has also took the height of the vocals. The bass is in the proper hands, these of the veteran Pedro Mendes.


The album starts with symphony background and sounds epically as a movie music. The harsh contrast with the aggressive and deep vocals is really successful and pleasant. As a matter of fact, among all the band’s problems they are the successful component which preserves the style of the band in the metal territories.


However the gothic melodies often are rather predictable and having in mind the slow rhythm they sound as a cliché. The second, the fourth and the eleventh song are also with tender vocal lines. The traditional guest musicians in this album are only presented by SfinX (RAM-ZET). HEAVENWOOD set on the contrast between tender female singing and aggressive, even black metal vocals.


Although the album is recorded by the trio its sound is fortified by keyboards. The influences from PARADISE LOST are traditional (the second and the eleventh track). Some reflections from the golden years of HEAVENWOOD (“Swallow”, 1998) we can hear in “Poem for Matilde”. In this song the hoarse-melodic vocals chase the standards of DARKSEED but without achieving them.


The last track is bringing us out of the album with orchestral epic, choir and piano as it is in the beginning of the release. As if a feeling of relief remains. The cliché in the music harmonies and their repeating with hour duration are boring. The vocals of Ricardo Dias, which I like very much, however will keep away the admirers of the more softened music to appreciate the new face of HEAVENWOOD.


01. The Arcadia Order
02. Morning Glory Clouds (In Manus Tuas Domine)
03. Goddess Presiding Over Solitude
04. Once A Burden
05. Winter Slave
06. Leonor
07. Poem For Matilde
08. Fading Sun
09. September Blood
10. Sudden Scars
11. Like Yesterday
12. Her Lament

Label: Listenable Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Maria D. S.
Date: 23 February, 2011