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Review: Heavatar - All My Kingdoms
All My Kingdoms

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 47:30
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: March 8, 2013
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (5 Votes)

Back in the 80s I tried to convince my parents that Heavy Metal was similar to Classical music in terms of complexity and sound. The look they gave made me think they were wondering why they didn't just quietly sneak out of the hospital the day I was born and start a new life on some deserted island somewhere. Many years have passed and in 2013 we have Heavatar ("heavy" + "avatar"?) a German band led by Van Canto lead vocalist Stefan Schmidt. Unlike Van Canto, Heavatar features plenty of guitar and bass to go along with the vocals and drums. The twist is that all the songs on the band's debut, All My Kingdoms, are based on a different Classical/Baroque/Romantic piece of music. Even casual listeners will recognize the opening riff on "Replica" which is from Bach's "Toccata & Fuge in D-minor" (covered by Cirith Ungol and sampled a million times including the classic Donkey Kong video game.) Other recognizable pieces incorporated into Heavatar's songs include Beethoven's "Fur Elise" ("Elysium at Dawn" and most famously included in the Charlie Brown Christmas special) and Paganini's "Caprices No. 24" ("Abracadabra," covered by Yngwie Malmsteen.) Bach and Bizet also get the "metal" treatment on All My Kingdoms.

Musically, Heavatar sound a lot like Van Canto with instruments; good, not great, Heavy Metal. Schmidt sounds similar to James Hetfield with his gruff mid-range voice. The riffs are decent but generic despite the Classical underpinnings and, in reality, most of the great composers' work is probably going to go unnoticed. All My Kingdoms is based on a clever idea but one that doesn't help the album stand out from the crowd in any significant way.

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