HEAVENWARD - WITHIN THESE DREAMS (Pure Underground Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Right before the end of 2012, I received a promo from a German band called Heavenward, officially formed in 1984. I’m not really aware of the band’s background history/discography so I started Googling around and found that Heavenward created two demo’s “Into The Light” (1988) and “At First Nature” (1989). In April 1991, the band took the world by surprise with their debut album “Within These Dreams”, via Rough Trade. No doubt about, it was a great success based on the number of records sold. The album became a sold out product, even the fact the band wasn’t satisfied about the sound quality which led to disunion within the ranks. Heavenward broke up but not disbanded. New blood entered and a second effort “A Future World Talking About” saw daylight one year later on. Armed with a couple of demo’s and two albums which sold well on the Asian market. Heavenward played at the 1993 edition of the majestic WOA festival in Germany and I’m sure people who where present that moment really had a blast on the band’s way of Metal.
Unfortunately to mention but after this big Wacken experience, each one in the band went his own way. Some of them teamed up to start a new band called Centaur while the others followed other musical pathways. Sometimes, the life of a Metal musician ain’t easy and it’s not a secret that you have to work hard to reach your proposed goals – in the case of Heavenward, they fought as hard as possible but struggled with a few setbacks again… In 2010, they had a full new album ready to unleash but the band separated once again during the production process. What the hell was wrong inside the camp of Heavenward? But it seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel – the four original members of Heavenward are playing together doing some cover songs for some kind of a private party and as posted on their official homepage, they’re busy writing and producing some new songs. Started back in 1984, struggling through pleasant as hard times as well but never gave up the fight… that’s the spirit to me!
Now Pure Underground Records (a sub division of German based Pure Steel Records) just re-released Heavenward’s debut album “Within These Dreams” plus as bonus, their second demo “At First Nature”. To all brothers and sisters longing for excellent, breathtaking Classic Power Metal – Heavenward bring back the good old tradition of late 80s/early 90s US Metal, even the fact they’re from Germany! I always had a lot of respect for 80s Metal out of Germany but US Metal will be my favourite number one music style forever and ever. It’s a little funny (but very good to me) that especially a German band plays most of their songs in a typical US way. This re-release of Heavenward’s “Within These Dreams” is a gift from heaven for all those into US Power & Speed Metal, take that from me.
Brilliant singer Stefan Kessel and its strongful, very clear and high pitched passages takes my breath away. Bernd Gröters guitars roar like thunder and better watch out for a lethal dose of tremendous, razorsharp and technical based leads as well. The chemistry between Oliver Müller’s bass lines and Thomas Kelleners speaks for itself… this is something really big! Hard passages alternate with tempered moments always with great vocals and sublime guitar works. I really can only compare and recommend this effort to fans of US Power/Speed Metal merchants such as old Metal Church, Forte, Realm, Oliver Magnum, Oracle, Amulance, Sacred Oath and the likes.
Further to this, I have nothing more to add really. Heavenward took me by surprise on a regular basis during a running time of at least 68 minutes. Definitely a Must-have for maniacs who like to swallow their stuff in a Classic US Power / Speed Metal way. Due to the album has been officially released in 1991, this re-release got a second, highly appreciating birth in 2012 and deserves a fair place in my personal album Top 20 list, online pretty soon! Order your own copy at: http://www.pureunderground-records.com/ More Heavenward info at: www.facebook.com/heavenward.de
My Points: 94 / 100