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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Halcion Halo

Wild Heart

Review by Gary Hill

Is it heavy metal? Maybe, but then again maybe it’s not. Still, it’s close enough for rock and roll. The blend of sounds here seems somewhere between jam bands and stoner metal bands. This is classic and almost always grooves no matter how heavy it gets. I love this album, whether it’s metal or not. The blend of sounds never seems to get old or tired. This just plain rocks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Never Stop
This powers in really heavy after an effects driven introduction. The verses are a bit stripped back, but the chorus gets more of a full arrangement. This is a mean sounding tune with some classic rock mixed with modern metal. This explodes out into a more powered up jam for the closing section.
Box of Chocolates
I love the riff driven mode that opens this. It feels a bit like Black Sabbath, but with more of a mainstream rock vibe to it. There are even some hints of jazz in the mix on this thing. It’s a dirty sounding jam that’s so classic rock oriented that it’s scary.
The Door
The same blend of sounds is present here. I can almost make out some comparisons to something like The Doors in some ways here, too. This is another extremely meaty cut on a disc that’s full of them.
Wild Heart
Weird, echoed vocals open the title track. The cut builds out with a psychedelia meets metal motif from there. That holds the first couple minutes of the piece with weird bits of sound emerging over the top. Then it powers out around the two and a half minute mark into a more powered up and metallic jam based on the same structures. There is a real stoner metal vibe as this extensive track continues. It drops to a percussion based movement later, too.
Intoxicating
The riff driving this one is smoking hot. It’s got a Godsmack meets stoner metal vibe to it. As cool as that riff is, it has to compete with a great vocal line for the “best part of the song” title.
All My Demons
As good as everything so far has been, this is even cooler. It powers in with a real old-school psychedelic rock turned stoner metal vibe. The cut is a fairly slow moving grind that’s got a real classic sound, but with modern textures. This is arguably the strongest track here. Clutch is a worthwhile comparison, but this has more psychedelia in the mix than that suggests.
Fire Engine Red
There’s no big change, but somehow there is a little more of a modern vibe here. The riff driving it is quite strong. This is heavy and groove laden. It’s a killer number on a disc full of killer music.
Put You Down
Weird sound effects start this and then they launch out into a jam that is so stoner metal based that it’s scary. This feels like it could be Electric Wizard or Sleep. They still manage to maintain the classic groove they add to everything as they continue. This is another highlight of the set, and as good as this stuff is, that says a lot.
Death & Lies
Killer classic rock combines with the usual contenders here. This thing rocks like crazy, but the whole album does, really.
 
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