Heretic's Dream

HERETIC’S DREAM – Floating State Of Mind

Heretic's Dream - Floating State Of MindHard rock and metal bands from Italy are something I can count on one hand. I’m sure that there are lots of them, but I hardly know of any at all. Metal guitarist Tommy Vitaly, a shredder with a love for heavy and power metal hails from Italy and so does gothic metal band Lacuna Coil. And if I have got my information right, Rhapsody (today they’re called Rhapsody Of Fire) are also Italian. But that’s about it. Now, it’s a little strange as the Italian metal audience has gained a reputation for being wild, loud, crazy and very passionate and many are the bands that really loves touring there just because of that. I know that many Swedish melodic hard rock bands, for instance, tours in such countries as Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey just because they know that they always draw a big crowd there and that the crowds usually are really great. So why don’t we get more bands from those countries then? I have no clue, but maybe that will change in the near future. That’s why it was really cool to see a link to download a promotion copy pf a new Italian metal band in my inbox a while back. The band Heretic’s Dream (really cool name, btw) were born back in 2010, formed by guitarist Andrej Surace and female lead singer Francesca Di Ventura who both has moved to the U.K. to find some new musical input. Their influences were everything from death and black metal to heavy metal to hardcore to more mainstream melodic hard rock and pop / rock which they hoped would help them not to get pigeon holed in one specific genre. From the day the band started up until 2012 when they released their debut album The Unexpected Move – an album that apparently got some rave reviews around the world – they suffered from numerous line-up changes, something they hope is stable now. The band features Surace and Di Ventura, Alex Alberti – keyboards, Alfonso Mocerino – drums and Emiliano Baccini – bass. Their second album Walk The Time (2013) held a number of guest appearances such as Terence Holler (Eldritch), Steve Volta (Pino Scotto), Pier Gonella, Gabriele Caselli and Marco Pastorino – most names are totally unknown to me, but they are in the press release so I guess it’s the proper thing to do to mention it here. Which brings us to the new record – a record that apparently is a major change in both sound and arrangements. Having not heard a note of this band before, I’m not sure if that is a good thing, but a couple of spins of the album will at least tell me if this is something I will dig or not.

Opener “Face The Agony” bursts out like a raging bull on the prowl to totally run you over. The thunderous drums is faster than a shark, going in a direction of both death and thrash metal, but they calm down after a short while and the tune turns into a melodic metal track with some gothic undertones and a really good melody – a very good start indeed. “Pilgrim” catches my ear directly with a progressive rhythm, a Lacuna Coil – ish vocal arrangements and even some small nods towards black metal. A fine mix indeed and after two songs I’m wondering if I have a winner in my headphones. They keep up the good spirit with “Master Your Demons”, a ballad-like tune with Opeth influenced rhythms and arrangements, a very strong and beautiful vocal performance by Di Ventura and even some jazzy guitar arrangements. Man, this is some really awesome stuff. “Soul Driven” have a heavy groove, catchy mid-tempo riffs and the both male and female vocals brings some cool structure. it’s a fairly good song, but I miss the thing that could make the song stick. Now, it passes by rather unnoticed. “Hide Yourself” rocks in a faster pace, but the vocal melody line is very poppy and memorable and on the heavy metal ground it contrasts some. It is a decent tune but for some reason, it just don’t go anywhere. Bummer. “Momentum”, on the other hand, confuses me big time. The song is a short, progressive metal tune with some symphonic undertones. But it feels like the song stops before it even started. The song is too short, this is the tune that could have been an epic track, the song that gives the album greatness but it never even reach the goal –  a major disappointment. “Secret Place” is better and reminds me of a more progressive Lacuna Coil. The killer melody arrangement really makes the song a winner. “Walk Away” is also really good, a melodic heavy metal track with some killer riffs and a striking melody. Classic metal! “Golden Cage” is also really great. This is some very catchy metal and again, the riffs are great. The melody is so very memorable and sticks to the brain right away. The big song of the record is “A New Season”, a great progressive metal track with a great guitar riff and some superb bass playing. The acoustic break is awesome and so is the jazz influenced ending.

So far, so good then. The many really good songs should make for a pretty high rating, I guess. However, there is stuff that bothers me here. First of all, the record lack structure and direction sound wise. The album is straggly and there is nothing that holds the different sounds together – what this gang needs is an experienced producer that can make the musicians and the different styles come together as one, as a unit. Also, the whole sound on the record sound unfinished and many times I get the feeling that I’m listening to a demo instead of a finished product. There are tons of promises here, the members are really good musicians and singer Francesca Di Ventura is a real find – think of a mix between Candice Night (Blackmore’s Night) and Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) and you’re pretty close but it needs to be said that Di Ventura sure have an identity of her own. I will keep my eyes open when it comes to this lot in the future because I have a feeling that with the help from the right hands, there’s greatness ahead of them. But for now, this album just don’t cut it all the way.

5/10

Tracklist:

1. Face The Agony
2. Pilgrim
3. Master Your Demons
4. Soul Driven
5. Hide Yourself
6. Momentum
7. Secret Place
8. Walk Alone
9. Golden Cage
10. A New Season