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Hevein is one of the most promising bands metal has seen in years. Signed under one of the biggest labels in the industry, Spinefarm, they have released their debut album Sound Over Matter, and it does never disappoint.
The genre is said to be melodic thrash, but it has also lots of progressive and heavy metal influences. Only Human has some very soft parts, as well as the longest (and my favorite) song on the album, Last Drop of Innocence. While they have an excellent thrashy vocalist, the clean vocals are excellent. Several songs sound very deep and emotional, a major achievement for a debuting band.
The main thing that seperates this album from the mass is the use of violins. Of course, violins are pretty common, but thrash metal with violins? Exactly. The violins are not even just a background instrument, but the lead melodies are usually violins, best heard in the instrumental New Hope and Last Drop of Innocence.
That last track deserves some extra attention. The intro is long and atmospheric, where a woman sings one long melody, layered over each other, over the buzzing sound of a very, very low violin snare. Only after a minute, the first actual singing starts, and this as well is slow and atmospheric. You can feel the song build up to a climax as guitars and drums come in, and then the chrous kicks in and OH MY GOD THIS IS AWESOME! The melody is just beautiful, and the band keeps the balance between aggression and emotion perfectly.
The production is excellent, nearly perfect. I'm glad Spinefarm adopted this band, as the whole sounds crisp clean, yet they have not forgotten to keep a gritty edge on the more thrashy parts.
This album is very satisfying and one of the best debuts of 2005. A definite recommendation!