Released: 2000, HammerHeart Records
Havayoth is Andreas Hedlund (vocals), Marcus E. Norman (guitar, keyboards, programming) and Morgan Hansson (bass). When I first popped this on and the vocals kicked in I was like “That’s Vintersorg on vocals!!!!” I looked to the back cover and saw “Vocals by Andreas Hedlund.” I had assumed that Vintersorg was his name…hmm...guess not eh! Hedlund’s deep and rich vocals are instantly recognizable and they are what make this album for me. The other two names on here are also known names. Marcus E. Norman is from the bands Ancient Wisdom and Bewitched and Mad Morgan Hansson is from the band Naglfar. So as you can probably guess this is a project, one that is very different from either of the musicians other bands.
The first real song on here is track two entitled “Mirrors.” This is a mid-tempo dark (almost gothic) sounding track that I immediately loved. If you are into the more atmospheric and moody moments found on Vintersorg’s excellent COSMIC GENESIS CD, then appreciation of this is guaranteed. If you live for the more aggressive and near black metal sounds of Vintersorg, you might not be as taken with Havayath. The next track, “The Watcher”, has a chorus that is “bouncy” in an ALMOST dance music style. The song itself has as expected great vocals…hmm…for some reason I’m thinking of the deep-throated vocals in the early 80’s pop song “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats hehe…Blasphemy? Perhaps….anyway, on with the rest of the CD. The tack “Burn” is up next, which begins with much musical texture layered with piano, keyboards, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, etc. Very nice! In parts of this song I am reminded of the more moody moments from Paradise Lost. “Starfall” begins with a dark/sad sounding piano intro that reminded me of the classical piece “Moonlight Sonata”. The rest of this track is a dreamy sounding instrumental. Then it’s “Teloah” – another instrumental, this time with some very nice lead guitar work! The song does tend to drag on a bit later on though. By the time this track ends you might be ready to change pace…I know I was. However, the next track, “Wound”, does not pick up the tempo very much. This is the only problem I have with this album. It is very much a “one feel” affair. It’s VERY well played but the dynamics of Vintersorg’s albums are unfortunately missing.
If you like very atmospheric/melodic stuff all the time, then this has its place. For me it has its place as well but not for something that I will spin that often. The strongest selling point of this album for me is Hedlund’s vocals. If the album was a little more varied with some heavier guitar parts it would of really kept my attention all the way though.
Official Havayoth website: http://www.havayoth.cjb.net