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Review: Heavenwood - The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1
The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 1:10:17
Tracks: 13
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 15, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1

Rated 3.71/5 (74.29%) (7 Votes)

Heavenwood is a Portuguese band that has been around for 10 years or so and 2016's The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1 is album number five. Gothic Metal is the tag on Metal-Archives and that is certainly evident in the dueling clean and harsh singing (both male), but musically this sounds more like a sort of Epic/Power Metal mashup. The guitars are down tuned and the vocal lines have a dark tone that is unmistakable, but some of the chord changes are big and deliberate which gives more than a few tracks that "larger than life" vibe. The dueling vocals are obviously meant to increase the emotional tension but most of the lines are flat, leaving the listener to wonder what the big deal is. Once in a while Heavenwood hits pay dirt like the powerful chorus on "The Empress" but most of the songs just kind of lay there and don't stick around in your mind after they are done (an exception would be "The Hanged Man", a sort of ballad with female vocals that are actually quite enjoyable). I don't hate The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1 but I do feel like Heavenwood bit off more than they could chew and the album only comes together in a couple of spots. Kudos for trying but at over an hour this is another example of an album that probably could have been cut down by 25% and the remaining songs would have benefited from the extra focus.

Note: Reviewed is the Massacre Records re-release that includes the bonus track "Frithiof's Saga."

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