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Review: Highlord - Heir of Power
Heir of Power

Label: Northwind Records
Year released: 1999
Duration: 49:18
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: November 18, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
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Rated 2.6/5 (52%) (5 Votes)

Another band to emerge and benefit from the rise of the Italian school, Power Metallers Highlord arguably reached their stride with their mighty Breath of Eternity opus a few years back, but unfortunately from the outset things didn't look so promising, I can assure you. Their 1999 debut Heir of Power, despite the eye catching artwork (which they delicatly pilfered from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time) was not quite the Herculean feat of musical majesty that we all expected, given the hype this band generated at the back end of the 90s. Their sophomore effort When the Aurora Falls... was in a different league to this drivel, which sits firmly atop the Rhapsody, Labyrinth and Skylark tree of how to sound completely unoriginal and still make a mockery of the material at hand. It's a shame really, because despite the boxy production — which sounds like it was recorded inside a wheelie bin — and pitiful performances — particularly of vocalist Vasce - there is some decent fantasy-based Power Metal to be found here, including the complex "Land of Eternal Ice", speedy opener "Through the Wind" and the album's infectious high point, "The Eclipse".

Not without its innocent charm, Heir of Power does please on placating level, not being specifically intense or arresting, and does offer some nice keyboard work and theatrical riffing in true Italian fashion. But the songs are long winded and self-indulgent, leaving a sour taste of failure behind their flashy intricacies. Probably one for the die-hards, and even then, you're best off starting with When the Aurora album that took the best elements of the debut and ran them into the sunset they seemed to be heading for.

More about Highlord...
Review: Breath Of Eternity (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Freakin' Out of Hell (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Hic Sunt Leones (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Medusa's Coil (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: When the Aurora Falls... (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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