Picture of Heavenly

Sign Of The Winner

Heavenly - Sign Of The Winner ©2001 Noise
1. Break The Silence
2. Destiny
3. Sign Of The Winner
4. The World Will Be Better
5. Condemned To Die
6. The Angel
7. Still Believe
8. The Sandman
9. Words Of Change
10. Until The End

Epic, symphonic power metal discs are plentiful. There are those that take your breath away with their complexity or majesty. And then there are those that cause you to fall asleep due to their lack of anything remotely compelling. Finally, there are those that fall somewhere in between these two extremes. That middle ground is becoming vastly overpopulated with discs full of music that doesn't break any new ground. They are basically cookie-cutter images of bands that have already been here.

Heavenly's second disc, Sign of the Winner, falls somewhere in this middle ground of obscurity. The music has all the classic elements of epic, symphonic power metal. It has the frantic double-bass runs and stratospheric vocals from Stratovarius. It has the lush walls of keyboards and choir like choral arrangements from Rhapsody. It has the tuneful artistry of Angra and the frenetic pace of Helloween. It has everything power metal fans expect in a disc.

But it lacks originality. There have been far too many albums that throw the above elements into a blender and crank out a disc that sounds pretty much like thirty or forty other discs like it.

Don't get me wrong. The disc is very good. The music is very good. If it were only one of a few discs like this, I'd highly recommend it for your listening. As it is, though, you can toss it into a large kettle filled with others of this style and draw one. Just about any disc you pull out will be equally good. Sadly, this disc falls into the "if you've heard one, you've heard them all" category of uninspiring discs. The bottom line is that I enjoyed the disc. It is a very good example of this style of music. But I am beginning to feel that choosing a disc of epic, symphonic power metal is like walking into an ice cream shop only to discover that all they offer are 32 varieties of vanilla. When all is said and done, it is still just vanilla.

If vanilla metal is your thing, you'll love this disc. If you're looking for something new, however, you'll want to try elsewhere.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 11/2001

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