Power of Metal.dk Review

Active Heed
Visions from Realities
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 30 June, 2013
Playing time: 50:09

I really tried with this album. I really did. There's just something missing from the sound here. Not that this album is incredibly BAD in any way. However, sometimes I'd rather an album be sheer crap than for it to be simply so-so. There just nothing here for me to latch onto right now.

This is another example of the recent surge of "prog pop". Now, the other band I've heard recently, The Twenty Committee, is really good and has much heart, not to mention chops. However, with Active Heed, the pop comes through more in a lack of skill or lack of composition. The whole album is light and airy, but nothing more than uninspired acoustic guitar lines and very simple, nasally vocal melodies fills the space. Now, I can deal with pop vocals when they accompany strong melodies and interesting structure, but Active Heed just plays a bunch of pop songs with some instrumental portions here and there: Instrumental portions, that is, that are full of incredibly simple guitar work and a few good keyboard lines. Overall, though, there isn't much to speak of in way of melody.

I mean, you know there's something wrong with an album when my favorite track is "Forest and Joy"; a three-minute, repetitive song with a good hook. Seriously, I don't think prog is about a killer hook, but even good hooks are mysteriously absent from the rest of the album. The consequences of all this is that the album just goes on and on, even though it's not a horribly long album. But, when there's nothing but filler from start to finish, this feeling is unavoidable.

The last half of the album is definitely better. There are some interesting keys here and there, and maybe a little more experimentation, too. But by the time we get there, we don't care anymore. We just want it to be done. This is a decent attempt overall, but I think failure is the name of the game.

01. Flying Like a Fly
02. Awake?!
03. Now What?
04. Me, Five Seconds Before
05. With Joy
06. Melting of Realities
07. Forest and Joy
08. The Weakness of Our Spinning
09. Without Joy
10. Every Ten Seconds Before
11. F F F Flashing Fast Forward
12. If I Will Never Be
13. Me, One Second Before Johan Robeck
14. Usual Plays in Heaven / Be Kind and Talk to Me
15. Our Vast Emptiness
Label: Independent
Distribution: www.activeheed.com
Artwork rating: 70/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 5 October, 2013
Website: www.activeheed.com