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Heavenlust - Gate of endless dreams 3/5

Reviewed: 12-5-08


1. Ancient dream
2. Wings of destiny
3. Empty memories
4. Secrets' key
5. Behind the light
6. Gate of endless dreams
7. Black stone
8. Follow me
9. Till death unites us

The popular label Underground Symphony is almost exclusively known for their acquisition of numerous Italian power metal bands, but they've surprised me lately, as they've recently released the debut 'Across oneiric lands' from the female fronted symphonic/gothic/power metal band Seven Dark Eyes and (even more recently) this debut 'Gate of endless dreams' from the symphonic/gothic metal band Heavenlust. To my knowledge, these 2 releases are the first of their kind from Underground Symphony, so I guess the label has decided to try something new.

Heavenlust is mainly female fronted, by Allessandra Cipriani, who has a fairly soft (yet very nice) voice and her style is typical of other female vocalists in gothic metal. She has a counterpart however, that being male vocalist Alessio Manca, who is also the keyboardist and one of the guitarists (along with Luca Arioli). Alessio has a clear voice that's never rough, so don't expect the standard "beauty and the beast" vocal style (with female soprano vocals and male death vocals). Allessandra definitely sings the majority of the time, but Alessio is present throughout the CD and I think they sound quite good together.

'Gate of endless dreams' is not a heavy CD and is instead of the smooth type, but one aspect of it that has really stood out is that there are some lightly symphonic arrangements, mostly using a violin, and this is probably what listeners will remember most about this CD, as everything else can be lumped in the typical gothic metal mold. So this aspect is a positive one in my mind (as it brings in some diversity), and because of this aspect, the overall band comparisons that have come to mind are Orphonic Orchestra, Eyes of Eden and Regicide.

The CD is short at only 35 minutes and the last song "Till death unites us" is an instrumental, so there are only 8 real songs. I think this is a good start for the band though, and it's solid in all areas. Sure, nothing comes close to blowing me away, but it's not weak or boring either, and I think most fans of gothic metal in general will find it to be a worthwhile purchase.




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