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Heel - Chaos and greed 3/5

Reviewed: 8-21-09


1. Chaos and greed
2. Crusader
3. Did you know
4. Taste of steel
5. Sons of thunder
6. Forbidden ways
7. Kingdom comes
8. Light of day
9. S.O.S.
10. This angel cry
11. Gold and glory
12. Walk to the light
13. Land of freedom

I wasn't too impressed with Heel's debut 'Evil days' a few years back, but their 2nd CD 'Chaos and greed' is fortunately a good step forward. Both were released through Rivel Records, and just like with the debut, the style of this CD is melodic metal with both a power metal side and a hard rock edge. The same band comparisons therefore remain, and they include At Vance, Masterplan, Leverage, Kotipelto, Last Tribe, The Codex, Planet Alliance, Voice, Altaria, and so on.

The problems with the debut were that it greatly lacked originality, the songwriting just wasn't up to par, and for me personally, the passages into hard rock did absolutely nothing positive, and in fact really brought the enjoyment down. Thankfully, the songwriting has improved quite a bit on 'Chaos and greed', as a bunch of the songs are truly terrific. In addition, there is more speed this time and it's more towards power metal than the debut. There's even some crunchy songs with more than satisfying heaviness, but I should mention that there are a lot of keys present (maybe even more than there was with the debut), though they're well done and won't be unfamiliar to fans of melodic/power metal.

Vocalist David Henriksson (ex-Insania, of Sweden) returns as the vocalist, and even though he sounded very good on the debut, I think his performance is a tad bit better on 'Chaos and greed'. He has a great voice with range, and there just seems to be more emotion with his vocals this time.

Despite improvements over the debut, flaws still remain with this CD, though perhaps they're more personal than anything. For starters, I'm still not digging the band's hard rock edge, and even though some of the songs are terrific, there are some clunkers too (track 10 "This angel cry" and track 12 "Walk to the light", for quick examples), and they seem to be the ones with the hard rock edge. In addition, the CD contains 13 tracks and is over 70 minutes in length. For a CD of this style, that's simply way too long, and in my opinion, they probably should have trimmed out a few of the weaker songs.

In the end, we have a 2nd CD that's better than the debut, but for me personally, I'd like to see some more changes made with the band's 3rd CD. Still, they're heading in the right direction (for the most part) and there's definitely some potential. There are some excellent melodic metal bands out there though, so it's hard for me to commit to a solid recommendation for this CD, but die-hard melodic metal fans should still check it out, even if (just like me) you were unimpressed with their debut.




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