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July 2013
Released: 2013, Sonic Temple
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

This review is another first, more specifically the first review of a Heimdall album. Considering this Italian sextet has been around for almost 20 years and has five albums, I’m surprised we haven’t covered them before. I’m a fan owning three of the four previous albums so I was very pleased to bring some attention to this band. They started so strong riding on the massive, global late-90’s Power Metal resurgence and Heimdall churned out four albums in 6 years (1998-2004) but then went on hiatus for almost a decade. They have returned with AENEID. The Aeneid is an epic poem written by Virgil about the hero Aeneas, a character in the Iliad. So, we have an Italian band, named after a Norse god retelling a Greek poem! Yes, it is a concept album and they do their best to condense the massive poem down into 13-song, 47 minute record.

As expected there have been a few line-up changes with a couple of new guys and Nicolas, the drummer returning back to the band. Most importantly the two founding guitarists Fabio and Carmelo are still in the band but perhaps more notably is the presence of a new vocalist, Gandalfo, who replaces Giacomo. It is always tough to replace a singer but Gandolfo has an excellent voice with a good high range, as demonstrated by his vocal display at the end of the song, ‘Waiting For The Dawn’.

Now that you have the history and up-to-date details, you may ask, is AENEID any good? Well, I certainly think so. In fact, I think this is their strongest album to date. The other albums were competent and entertaining but this one seems to have brought a little more fire. They sound rejuvenated. The album has an epic, soundtrack feel that benefits the lyrical concept. There are orchestral parts, some acoustic guitar, some piano, some narration, some sound-effects and they all blend superbly together into a solid Power Metal punch. I like some of the gang vocals, like those on ‘Gates Of War’ with it’s catchy chorus and mid-tempo drive. The album has lots of character and dynamics with strong song-writing. They eschew speed for the sake of speed but are not afraid to open the throttle with a good number of faster songs as well. Atmospheric and engaging as the story may be, Heimdall never forget that they are Metal and they use all the extras to compliment the delivery of the Metal.

Of the literally hundreds and hundreds of Italian Power Metal bands in existence, Heimdall is certainly poised to reclaim a privileged seat in the hallowed halls of the high command with the elite few dozen bands that comprise the very best of this genre. AENEID is a strong and welcome return and a great introduction for anyone who maybe has missed out on the band earlier in their career.
Track Listing

1. Prologue
2. Forced by Fate
3. Save You
4. Waiting for the Dawn
5. Ballad of the Queen
6. Funeral Song
7. Underworld
8. Gates of War
9. Hero
10. Night on the World
11. All of Us
12. Away
13. The Last Act


Gandolfo Ferro Vocals
Fabio Calluori Guitar
Carmelo Claps Guitar
Umberto Parisi Guitar
Daniele Pastore Bass
Nicolas Calluori Drums

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» Aeneid
by JP

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