Metal Heaven
Release Date: November 28, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Hero is the second album from Divinefire this year, since signing to German label Metal Heaven meant re-releasing their December 2004 debut album Glory Thy Name in May 2005. Apparently, the creative force impersonated through Divinefire, has driven forming members Christian Rivel (Narnia), Jani Stefanovic, and Andreas Olsson (Narnia, Rob Rock, Stormwind) to such high songwriting production. With a successful tour in Japan just over, all indications should point towards a bright future for this Swedish band, right?

The Music

There is no doubt as to whom is Divinefire’s hero: Jesus. And Hero reeks of deep and profound admiration of the man. Phrases like “I am the Resurrection, I am the Light” (in the orchestral overture-sounding opening track “Resurrection”), and “I do the best I can to serve your name” (in the later “Divinefire”) speak for themselves.

Their musical expression is dominantly Heavy Metal in the classic European vein, with elements of Symphonic or Neoclassical and a pinch of Progressive (in the instrumental “Cryptic Passages” at least). The songs are mostly fast, with more down-tempo movements in the intros and breaks used to emphasize and balance their fiery energy. Further to this, the songs follow a familiar verse/chorus pattern, tainted by fierce solos and drum breaks.

Although the songs are quite melodic, they more often sound “off the shelf,” rather than unique and memorable. Exceptions to this are perhaps “Secret Weapon,” “Divinefire,” and “Leaving The Shadows” … all carry a more distinctive identity. Nevertheless, the first (and only) spinal column shivers and goosebumps come along with the concluding track: the Queen classic “The Show Must Go On.” Actually, their version is pretty close to the original, except for the heavier arrangements, but the effort of Maria Rådsten in both the second and third verse is simply stunning. She sings with such soulful passion, she wipes all the previous 9 tracks from your memory.

The Band

Apart from the forming trio on vocals, drums and bass, Divinefire now consists of Patrik Gardberg on guitar, and Anders Berlin (Eclipse, Timescape) on keyboards. Stepping in is also Andreas Johansson (Rob Rock) on live/tour drums. They all perform with brilliant precision and energy, making up an expression in accordance with the Heavy Metal legacy.

The Verdict

The album suffers sadly from over-production, leaving a sound that often is too heavy for its own good. Of course, this makes the double bass drums rattle your brain and the cascades of backing guitars rumble your belly, but this also removes a lot of the presence and personal impact one should expect from an album about such a charismatic character as Jesus.

Fans of Christian Heavy Metal are likely to find this album worthwhile. Chances are good that others may not.


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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