Rating:
9.7
Heavenwood - Abyss Masterpiece
14 March 2011


01. The Arcadia Order
02. Morning Glory Clouds (In Manus Tuas Domine)
03. GoddessPresidingOverSolitude
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


Putting "masterpiece" in the title of your album is an incredibly hefty claim, and definitely needs backing up. You better be damned sure what you've created will not only standout in your own catalogue as the proud centrepiece of your career, but also knock down any potential competition. Well, as much as I'd hate to support such self-righteous boasting, Heavenwood really hit it home with this one.

The use of symphonics in metal generally means one of two things; 1) Keyboards in the forefront which drown out everything else, 2) Underlying keyboards that supplement the riffs. Both can be pretty enjoyable, but usually makes the music fairly one-dimensional. Abyss Masterpiece on the other hand is incredibly dynamic - each aspect compliments one another perfectly - in other words, you could strip it down to its synths and have a really nice ambient piece (as can be heard in the track "Her Lament"), or remove the keys and have a cool little melodeath/death-doom album. Combine the two and it's a grandiose work of art. So basically what we've got is 2 aspects that stand great on their own, but add up to something completely incredible when splashed together. Oh, did I not mention? Forget the awesome keyboards for a second, the bare framework of this band ranges from nice melodeath pieces to grim little melodies played in a death-doom type fashion. No ruts for this band.

The vibe given off is somewhere in between an ultra-depressed, yet epic as usual version of Turisas (if Turisas still played metal), and a melancholy Opeth (if Opeth went back to playing music, instead of continuing to transcribe long-division on their fret boards). Still, describing this as some kind of amalgamation of certain bands past-glories almost seems insulting to the music, and quite incorrect - it does have a flavour of it's own.

Abyss Masterpiece is without a doubt one of the strongest 2011 releases so far, and with enough exposure should be one for the history books.


Band profile: Heavenwood
Album: Abyss Masterpiece


 



Written on 04.04.2011 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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MechanisT - 04.04.2011 at 12:23  
Hell yeah dude! Spot on with the review! I discovered Heavenwood with this album, and I hate myself for missing out on such an amazing band. The symphonic parts, in particular, deserve special plaudits. Again, killer review!
BloodTears - 04.04.2011 at 17:28  
Good review.

I'll definitely end up listening to this album at some point or another. This review sparkled even more interest in these fellow Portuguese.
malaikat - 04.04.2011 at 19:26  
Whoa man, watcha said about Opeth there?
Jeeers - 04.04.2011 at 20:41  
This is one amazing album for sure!
Very diverse, grand, heavy, yet melodic, and this is one the rare cases when symphonic parts complement metal music perfectly.

Definitely a "must have!" album of 2011!

Can't say for sure it's "masterpiece", but it comes very close... totally awesome!
annodomini - 04.04.2011 at 21:58  
Who's that girl on Leonor?
Dark Blood - 04.04.2011 at 22:22  
Nice review, I gotta check this out.

Although I find absolutely inappropriate and unnecessary the claims and attacks on other bands... Other than that it's a good review.
Troy Killjoy - 04.04.2011 at 23:49  
So you're saying this is better than Abrahadabra.
Doc Godin - 05.04.2011 at 03:18  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 04.04.2011 at 23:49

So you're saying this is better than Abrahadabra.

Strictly better than Abrahadabra.

Written by annodomini on 04.04.2011 at 21:58

Who's that girl on Leonor?

I believe it's Miriam "Sfinx" Renvåg from Ram-Zet
Morphis - 05.04.2011 at 04:13  
I was making a review of this album to post on MS but it seems i wasnt fast enough LOL.

Well first of all, the "masterpiece" in the album title is not refering to the overhall quality of the album and should not be used to classified it because this is not a Heavenwood masterpiece, the real masterpieces are the 1st and 2nd albuns (Diva and Swallow).

Abyss Masterpiece its a metaphor, the album concept is about the dark side of love an abysmal trip to the deep desires of the soul that ends in shred of hope with Her Lament.
So that self-righteous boasting that you think are suporting, forget it they are not like that and not intented to be. Although your observation is totaly normal since it as been a issue as soon someone ears the title.

For me this is also one of the strongest releases of 2011 so far, however i think its a bit overrated i will give him a 8/8.5 at max.

Comparing to the last record this one is alot more darker less melodic and less catchy is one of those albuns that you probably wont like it at 1st, you need to listen to it more times and try to comprehend.

Written by annodomini on 04.04.2011 at 21:58

Who's that girl on Leonor?

Leonor (Lady Leonor 1458-1525) was a Princess and Queen of Portugal, Leonor lyrics is an adaptation from one of his poems singed by Miriam from Ram-Zet.
Lady Leonor was know as the most perfect princess and her story was recorded in poems with speaks about unbearable sadness, love and lust.
annodomini - 05.04.2011 at 07:34  
Thanks guys, I knew I heard her voice before
Troy Killjoy - 05.04.2011 at 17:41  
Written by Morphis on 05.04.2011 at 04:13

Well first of all, the "masterpiece" in the album title is not refering to the overhall quality of the album and should not be used to classified it because this is not a Heavenwood masterpiece, the real masterpieces are the 1st and 2nd albuns (Diva and Swallow).

Abyss Masterpiece its a metaphor

Speaking on Doc's behalf, I'm pretty sure he knows they aren't claiming the album is a masterpiece - he just made not of how a band better have at least above average music if they're going to use such a suggestive word in their title.

I don't know too many bands who have "This Is A Masterpiece" as their album title.
Milena - 05.04.2011 at 17:52  
Written by annodomini on 05.04.2011 at 07:34

Thanks guys, I knew I heard her voice before

I believe she sang on For My Pain's only album before (correct me if I'm wrong).
Slania - 06.04.2011 at 14:47  
This sounds really interesting.. Good review! I'm definitely going to listen to this album
Dark†SymphonY - 06.04.2011 at 17:47  
This is seriously impressive, never heard of this band either. Already one of the best albums this year, along with Omnium Gatherum and Moonsorrow. From what i've heard Im giving it a perfect 10.
demonseed - 06.04.2011 at 20:36  
You really need to listen to their first record "Diva", a truly masterpiece!
Doc Godin - 07.04.2011 at 01:42  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.04.2011 at 17:41

Speaking on Doc's behalf, I'm pretty sure he knows they aren't claiming the album is a masterpiece - he just made not of how a band better have at least above average music if they're going to use such a suggestive word in their title.

I don't know too many bands who have "This Is A Masterpiece" as their album title.

Troy, you now have my power of attorney. You say what I'm thinking with a lot more articulation than I do.
Troy Killjoy - 07.04.2011 at 01:58  
I love you too Doc.
Morphis - 07.04.2011 at 13:26  
Written by demonseed on 06.04.2011 at 20:36

You really need to listen to their first record "Diva", a truly masterpiece!

Seconded!
Jeeers - 07.04.2011 at 15:18  
In my opinion Diva is much weaker than this album ... and Redemtion is also better than Diva, ... but that's me...
Emisa - 12.04.2011 at 16:52  
9.7?? No. too overrated.
this is the first album i'm listening from them. i liked the music, it's a quite good symphonic/melodic death(?) metal. but not such a big deal to give the 9.7 to it.
Doc Godin - 12.04.2011 at 23:23  
Written by demonseed on 06.04.2011 at 20:36

You really need to listen to their first record "Diva", a truly masterpiece!

I'm sure I would enjoy it. However, regardless of what other albums of theirs sounds good, it really doesn't affect how I felt about this album one way or another.
dude - 13.04.2011 at 13:09  
Yes, it's good, but not as good as to be 9.7 points. I would give it 8.5 - 9.0

Their vocals sound maybe similar to Tiamat.
BrunoSantos - 13.04.2011 at 17:52  
@Annodomini


The music/poem its about a countess of Portugal, which had a virtuous gift, writing.

http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonor_de_Almeida_Portugal

In that link you have an biography about her. But its only in Portuguese, German, Spanish and "Galego".

Maybe you can translate with GTranslate.
TrollandDie - 16.04.2011 at 15:12  
Good review. They really did manage to use symphonic traits not just to drown out the music or add it in as a little touch ; it coincides to create something beautiful, melodic, gloomy and filled to the brim with energy.

I'm more of an Exodus/Obituary/Death kind of metalhead so when something like this wows me it's definately solid.
WorpeX - 08.05.2011 at 01:31  
I never heard of this band before but I saw this albums extremely high ratings so I listened to the songs on their myspace "Winter Slave" and "Leonor". I got halfway into Leonor when I decided I needed to get this album. Glad I did too! This album is incredible! Best of 2011 so far for me. I am in awe. Great review, I think its spot on!
Aebsi - 10.06.2011 at 13:08  
Written by Morphis on 05.04.2011 at 04:13


you probably wont like it at 1st, you need to listen to it more times and try to comprehend.



I completely disagree for me this album was a LOVE at first listening each song makes for the other one like it's building up towards something, for me that's as perfect of an album as perfect can be.
Mechaniacal - 18.10.2011 at 01:21  
This flood of talent coming from Portugal lately really needs to go on forever. One of the best albums I've ever heard.
Enoch - 20.02.2012 at 04:50  
I really like this album. Good work!

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