Heavenwood - Abyss Masterpiece review



Reviewer:
9.7

286 users:
8.43
Band: Heavenwood
Album: Abyss Masterpiece
Release date: 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.


 



Written on 04.04.2011 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.


Comments

Comments: 29   Visited by: 623 users
04.04.2011 - 12:23
MechanisT
Account deleted
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!
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04.04.2011 - 17:28
BloodTears
ANA-thema
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.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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04.04.2011 - 19:26
malaikat
Whoa man, watcha said about Opeth there?
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04.04.2011 - 20:41
Jeeers
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!
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04.04.2011 - 21:58
annodomini
Who's that girl on Leonor?
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there is nothing left to die for...
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04.04.2011 - 22:22
Dark Blood
The Avenger
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.
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It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
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04.04.2011 - 23:49
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
So you're saying this is better than Abrahadabra.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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05.04.2011 - 03:18
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
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
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"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
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05.04.2011 - 04:13
Morphis
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.

Comparing to the last record this one is alot more darker, less melodic and less catchy.
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05.04.2011 - 07:34
annodomini
Thanks guys, I knew I heard her voice before
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there is nothing left to die for...
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05.04.2011 - 17:41
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
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.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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05.04.2011 - 17:52
Milena
Learning To "X"
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).
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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06.04.2011 - 14:47
Slania
This sounds really interesting.. Good review! I'm definitely going to listen to this album
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Stand Up And Fight!
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06.04.2011 - 17:47
CyberSymphony
Ollie
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.
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06.04.2011 - 20:36
demonseed
You really need to listen to their first record "Diva", a truly masterpiece!
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A Servant in Heaven A King in Hell
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07.04.2011 - 01:42
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
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.
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"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
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07.04.2011 - 01:58
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
I love you too Doc.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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07.04.2011 - 13:26
Morphis
Written by demonseed on 06.04.2011 at 20:36

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

Seconded!
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07.04.2011 - 15:18
Jeeers
In my opinion Diva is much weaker than this album ... and Redemtion is also better than Diva, ... but that's me...
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12.04.2011 - 16:52
Emisa
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.
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12.04.2011 - 23:23
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
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.
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"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
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13.04.2011 - 13:09
dude
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.
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13.04.2011 - 17:52
BrunoSantos
@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.
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16.04.2011 - 15:12
TrollandDie
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.
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Hello, my name is Mr......Snrub and I think it would be a capital idea to invest the money back in the nuclear plant.
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08.05.2011 - 01:31
WorpeX
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!
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10.06.2011 - 13:08
Aebsi
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.
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Just be Yourself
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18.10.2011 - 01:21
Mechaniacal
This flood of talent coming from Portugal lately really needs to go on forever. One of the best albums I've ever heard.
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20.02.2012 - 04:50
Enoch
Account deleted
I really like this album. Good work!
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28.01.2016 - 23:19
RPG
This album is fucking amazing the first I listen from them and still today rocks as heavy as in 2011.
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