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Review: Heavenly - Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 45:25
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: January 4, 2010
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.76/5 (75.17%) (58 Votes)

It is said that romance is the universal language. If that's true, then an album like Heavenly's Carpe Diem should be an album that everyone can enjoy, for its timeless themes of love, sex and only living once. However, it sucks, so nobody will really be enjoying it much.

The strange thing about this particular album is that it follows Heavenly's great Virus from 2006. So unlike Freedom Call, Nocturnal Rites and other bands, they didn't waste any time in giving us their worst album to date. It's like they said, "hey, Gamma Ray sucks nowadays, I guess we'd better follow along!" Isn't that just charming of them?

Seriously, though. What is this fruity, baseless concoction of gay pride? Carpe Diem is a failure in all aspects. They barely even remember how to write songs, apparently. Where the last album had riffs that built upon one another to create memorable, powerful musical landscapes, this album squanders everything in a boatload of overbearing vocal harmonies and a terrible lack of hooks. There are maybe one or two songs here that I can listen to and actually enjoy, and even those aren't good compared to what the band did in the past. I have listened to this several times, and it just keeps disappointing me, whether it is in relation to how the band used to sound or just because it is annoying ass shit that I don't want to hear again.

These songs are excellently produced and performed, but the amount of thought put into their composition is pretty low. They aren't catchy. The riffs don't seem to go anywhere - well, they go down pretty well. But that's neither here nor there. It is a tiresome exercise in AOR drollery that should have been left on the backburner to die. There are a couple of songs with good riffs, like the title track and "Fullmoon," but these songs lack a good vocal performance and just aren't as well constructed as they could be, sounding messy. "Lost in Your Eyes" is about the only one that sounds like the Heavenly I wanted to hear, and it would be a B-side on Virus. "Ode to Joy" isn't bad either, even though it's kind of an insult to Beethoven to include his theme in a song on an album of this caliber.

"Ashen Paradise" starts off with an intro reminiscent of a buzzing bee-hive, exploding into a sort of weak parody of how Heavenly should sound. "The Face of the Truth" is as faceless as a Heavenly song gets and "Save Our Souls" starts off with a stupid sci-fi sound effect and has a terrible chorus. And just listen to the ballads; do you honestly think these ballads could rip off the worst of Gamma Ray any more? Not only does "Farewell" share a name with a Gamma Ray ballad, it is also even lamer than that one was. Blow me. "A Better Me" is painfully ball-less. Please, stop, you're giving me heartburn with the amount of Gorgonzola you're piling on! Good god, what the fuck, did Daniel Powter have a songwriting credit on this? It's painful. Kind of like Queen if they sucked. Or maybe the last album was just a farce? Maybe the band just never had that much talent to begin with - is this really what you're left with when you strip Heavenly of all the Gamma Ray and 80s Helloween-isms? A frightening thought.

Heavenly's problem on here is that they don't give a crap anymore. This is an album with lyrical themes mostly revolving around sex and romance, and quite badly written at that, and a cover with two women about to French kiss - one of them with a nipple showing. This is a band that just doesn't care. Everything about this music reveals that fact in sad clarity. They couldn't figure out how to follow up a great album, so they just threw their hands up and put out whatever came to their heads first. Songs just plod along with falsely happy demeanor, with Ben Sotto giving an uncharacteristically bland, overly sappy performance that I honestly detest. This is not an album for those who want good music; it is an album to put a drink on top of while you wank off to the cover art. Just skip Carpe Diem, for there are far better albums you could be wasting your time with. Silly, inconsequential, mediocre as hell.

More about Heavenly...
Review: Carpe Diem (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Carpe Diem (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Carpe Diem (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Coming From The Sky (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Sign Of The Winner (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Virus (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Virus (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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