HEART OF SUN – Heart Of Sun

HEART OF SUN - Heart Of Sun
  • 7/10
    HEART OF SUN - Heart Of Sun - 7/10


Nightmare Records
Release date: August 28, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

There was a time when Metal fans of the world tried to avoid Italian bands because they already had to browse through so many new releases of the same Mediterranean style: hundreds of mediocre (or worse) Symphonic Power Metal bands tried to conquer the planet with sugar-coated, up-tempo Dragon Metal. Fortunately for all those times are past, and not only can the Italians laugh about this themselves now –- the only explanation for the existence of such a hilarious outfit like Nanowar -– but labels also returned to mainly signing bands that are worthy of being signed. The latest album from DGM was proof of that, and Heart Of Sun support the fact that Italy has more to offer than annoyance.

But, Heart Of Sun admittingly can also boast with the history of their band members. Gianluca Ferro is known for his work with Time Machine, one of the best Italian Progressive Metal bands of all time, and Doomsword, while guitarist Mark Vikar played for Power Symphony and Beholder and drummer Sigfrido Percich added the cult band Adramelch to his history.

The band’s own approach was to mix Metal and Prog Rock, experiment with sounds and add a slight psychedelic touch to the mixture. It is still difficult to imagine what they may have meant with that, and which direction this may be going. Fortunately, there are couple of bands that immediately come into mind for reference, and the most striking one is Dream Theater (DT). Already the opening track “Res Amissa“ clearly hints at DT in their middle phase, somewhere around the mid-nineties, and “The Last Experiment“ is DT of a later stage with a more modern sound, while singer Pino Tozzi copies the intonation and style of James LaBrie often, and quite noticeably, although he cannot yet compare to this extraordinary singer. Then again, only few can. And, Pino comes close on several tracks and is very enjoyable, like in the aforementioned “The Last Experiment“ and “Into The Black Hole.“

But, not only the vocals manage to impress. The guys all know how to handle their instruments, and whenever the band begins to improvise and drift away from the ordinary song structure like in “2016AD.net,“ the instrumental section is nothing less than fantastic.

Generally, this could be one of the top releases of the year, if it wasn’t for one problem: The band differentiates their sound considerably through the course of the album. While the three opening tracks “Res Amissa”: “The Last Experiment,“ “Not Through Your Eyes,“ “Evil Tree“ and the sixth track “Into The Black Hole“ are definitely Dream Theater material, the band changes course drastically afterwards. From this point on, the band reminds of Pink Floyd, Tiles, and Saga. “Proxima Centauri“ is soft with electronical influences, and in “The Invention Of God“ this direction is even enforced, only to culminate in “Solar Wind,“ which hardly is Hard Rock at all. Fittingly, the album ends with an instrumental, which features only keyboard sounds.

So, here you have a two-sided album, where the first half will likely impress the Prog Metal fan. For that 36 minute juncture, an 8.0 is absolutely justified. The other 24 minutes may appeal to a different target group, and Prog Rock is the appropriate label to put on the tracks. It would probably not be so apparent had the band shuffled the tracks differently, but with the order the songs are in now the stylistic friction becomes just too apparent. For the second part of the album –- which shows room for improvement — a somewhat lower score must be appointed: 6.0. Still, it is good stuff and overall enjoyable, so this debut may mark the start of the career of a good or even great Prog band whose course may be only decided with the next album. In the meantime, this is not a straight must buy, but worth listening to to decide if it is one’s cup of tea. Or one just decides to consider it a 36-minute Prog Metal EP, and the last four tracks a bonus to be enjoyed, or skipped without minding. Then it is a recommended purchase of one of Italy’s most hopeful new Prog outfits!


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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