Labyrinth - Return To Heaven Denied review


146 users:
Band: Labyrinth
Album: Return To Heaven Denied
Release date: 1998

01. Moonlight
02. New Horizons
03. The Night Of Dreams
04. Lady Lost In Time
05. State Of Grace
06. Heaven Denied
07. Thunder
08. Feel [Legend B. remix version]
09. Time After Time
10. Falling Rain
11. Die For Freedom

I remember when I first got my hands on this CD - a friend of mine bought it in a used record store together with a couple of other CD's, and I got to borrow it directly because he didn't think it would be any good anyway. Guess if I was surprised - this album remains one of my favourite power metal albums, which might have to do with the extra spice of a surprise though. But there isn't much bad to say about "Return to Heaven Denied".

This is the only album that I've heard from these Italians, I've heard a couple of new songs which didn't catch my interest at all. Might have to do with the departure of Olaf Thörsen and his impact on the songwriting on this album? Anyway - the music they play on this album is exactly as original as I want my power metal to be; not a copy but not too experimental either (although power metal isn't a very original genre, thus the rating). There sure is a "southern Europe touch" over the music, but it's not cheesy like Rhapsody even if their music does have a couple of similarities. Some people might find the music and especially the lyrics cheesy in another way because of the 80'ties feeling it/they provide (especially the keyboards), but that doesn't bother me at all. All solos are stunning and the vocals are great, and the passages between blasting power metal and soft and beautiful parts, mixed with neoclassical elements are original and impressive. There is a feeling over the music that makes me think of somebody being fragile and sad, but coming over that and getting stronger and stronger. This feeling is NOT present in "Thunder" though, which is a pure power metal anthem in major, extremely catchy and perfectly executed.

I really like almost everything on this album. Great musicians, the production is original and adds a lot to the music, and there is a lot of different kinds of tracks. Even if I probably prefer the beautiful and strong tracks like "The Night of Dreams" I totally love the faster side of the album. Songs like the Helloween-inspired "Lady Lost in Time" and the cover of the dance song "Feel" contains a lot of harder stuff while "Time after Time" almost is progressive metal sometimes. The guitar solos are mostly arpeggio based and shreddy even in the slower songs. That might be annoying sometimes, and another flaw is simply that there are one or two tracks that are not as perfect as the other ones. Otherwise - a power metal classic, which anyone should hear!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10

Written by Spyroid | 06.02.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Hits total: 4836 | This month: 42