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Review: Heir Apparent - Graceful Inheritance
Heir Apparent
Graceful Inheritance

Label: Hammerheart Records
Year released: 2022
Originally released in: 1986
Duration: 46:16
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: January 29, 2022
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.75/5 (95%) (8 Votes)

Heir Apparent were one of those bands that almost broke big but never quite made the jump. I remember back in the day they were more heard-of than heard. I searched for this one for many years, but in the days before online ordering, getting stuff from Black Dragon was pretty much impossible. I played the hell out of their second disc One Small Voice when I got that, but the debut remains an album I had never actually heard.

One spin and it is obvious why this disc generated so much buzz, as it is a pretty much perfect distillation of that golden-age US-Metal sound from the mid-80s. You will be reminded of classic shit like Warlord, Cloven Hoof, Liege Lord, even Savatage, though the vocals are not at all similar. Singer Paul Davidson has a strong, polished voice, but maybe not as much character as he might have, so he doesn’t really stand out, despite the quality of his work. The riffs and songwriting are all really good, and there are no real weak spots on the album.

Heir Apparent is one of those bands centered around one main guy, with the lineup constantly changing around him. In this case it’s guitarist Terry Gorle who serves as the mainstay, with only bass player Derek Peace appearing on all three albums along with him. The band was part of the Seattle scene in the ‘80s that also produced bands like Queensrÿche and Metal Church, but Heir Apparent remained under the radar, maybe because of lineup or label problems. As it is, their debut was not much heard, they moved to Metal Blade for the follow-up, which just was not as good and also hit a bit too late, as by ‘89 the Death Metal assault was flooding the metal underground. This remains a gem from the old days, and I am glad Hammerheart are doing a reissue so more people can hear this great slice of the golden years.

More about Heir Apparent...
Review: Foundations I (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The View from Below (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
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