Released: 2000, Rise Above
sHEAVY have returned with their new CD Celestial Hi-Fi - a CD that I have been looking forward to for a while. Although Sabbath doom-laden metal is not my primary forte, sHEAVY hold a special place with me - probably because they are about the only band from my city that are playing metal and because I've seen them live so many times. The only other band in this "stonermetal" category that I really like would be the originators themselves - Black Sabbath. The Sabbath influences are still thankfully intact on this CD. For those who say "why listen to sHEAVY when I can listen to Sabbath" - you are missing out on some very cool music here! This is not a clone band, just one who's primarily influence happens to be Ozzy-era Black Sabbath.
As on the other sHEAVY songs, the riff is king. Guitarist Danny Moore has one hell of a rhythm sound on this CD as does the CD as a whole. This is definitely the best sounding sHEAVY CD to date with a cleaner, brighter and thicker sound. The CD kicks in with three killer tracks - "Hyper Faster", "What's Up Mr. Zero" and "Stingray - Part II." "Stingray..." kind of meanders along near the end and the band goes into a too long jam session with the leads noodling along over the same repetitive riff. A lot of music in this genre (70's metal / stonermetal) tends to go off into jam sections like this which is something I'm not a big fan of. The next highlight on the CD is the track "Strange Gods, Strange Altars." Vocalist Steve Hennessey pushes to the limits of his vocal range on this one. The CD's closing track "Tales From The Afterburner" is a huge slab of Vol.4 Sabbath. The main riff is godly, groovy and doomy! The only throw away track on the entire CD is the sleepy sounding "Persona." This song sounds like a mixture of Tool and Kyss - two bands that are quite boring to these ears. The only other critical comment I could possibly make about this CD is to question why sHEAVY included the track "Mountains of Madness." After all, this song was on the last CD and this re-vamped version is not different enough from the original to bother putting it on another CD.
This band have come quite a long way from originally being a side-project for Danny's band "AfterForever" (sadly that band is no longer together). I have had the pleasure to see sHEAVY live MANY times, especially in the beginning. Unfortunately half of the band live in other parts thus making sHEAVY (for now) a recording band only. For this reason it's amazing how excellent and tight this CD sounds. Drop by http://www.sheavy.com
if you want to find out more information on this band.