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Heartcry - Lightmaker

Rivel Records

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Man, it seems like everytime I review an album lately it's from Rivel Records.  With five releases at the same time they are keeping us reviewers hopping. 
 
Heartcry hails from Sweden and dishes out to fans their fourth album.  I have never heard any of their previous material, but this stuff is pretty decent.  They play a heavy metal/hard rock mixture that is influenced by bands like Judas Priest, Scorpions, and Rainbow.  They also display some Oratorio influence, like in the song "Runaway Train."  The band even incorporates some Hammond organ at times to give it an interesting feel.  Musically the band has a little bit of a dirty, raw, heavy sound with urgent sounding clean vocals that are both rough and aggressive.  It almost sounds like vocalist, Anders Johansson, over-extends himself at times, but for the most part his vocals are very solid and do nothing to harm the bands sound.  Musically, the band displays strong musicianship.  While not overly flashy, they hold their own.  While sometimes they go for speed, they seem comfortable regardless of the pace of the music.  As far as best songs, I'd have to go with "Battleground", "Runaway Train", "Lightmaker", and "End of Times."  About the only song that I can't get into much is the funky sounding "Get Ready."  Not a bad song, but my choice for least interesting on the disc.
 
Lyrically, the band sings in English, but their English is a bit rough, at least when reading the lyrics.  When you just listen it's not as obvious.  The lyrics themselves are very Christ-centered.  The only thing I want to point out for those who care is the band's use of the word "bullsh*t" in the song "Justice."  It goes along with the song though and is not in there for any kind of shock value. 
 
And finally, production sounds good and packaging is pretty decent.  While not a band set to take over the music world, they should please fans of the above bands and continue to uphold the Rivel standard of quality.  (Review by Matt)

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