Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 3/21/2006
Sound Over Matter
posted on 6/2006 By:
The members of Finnish sextet Hevein evidently have explorer’s hearts. Among the ranks are a fulltime cellist and violinist, the former coming from the renowned Apocalyptica. Sound Over Matter, however, is more in tune with offerings like Metallica’s S & M, Believer’s Dimensions, or the forthcoming Virgin Black albums because the orchestration is intertwined with distortion-saturated heaviness. It’s surely an interesting mixture, yet it’s also less enthralling than I hoped it would be.
As is often the case with Hevein’s songs, “Break Out the Hammers” has a melodeath twist, but the chorus leaves the DM by the wayside and opts for crunchy, commercialized faux-metal. Sound Over Matter is not devoid of light, airy introductions, though, with “iOta” being a prime example. “As Far As the Eye Can See” has the ingredients of a Tourniquet ballad, which is due in part to Immonen mirroring a gravel-free Luke Easter. Lamentably, “Only Human” suffers from juvenile rhyme schemes, and a generic chorus that fits into the cookie-cutter, airplay mold perfectly. And frankly, after surveying the 10 tracks, I got an unshakable sense that this was perhaps tailored for mainstream consumption, and streamlined for widespread audiences who fancy memorable, sing-along choruses.
Nevertheless, Sound Over Matter impresses on the death/thrash-infested “Hold Fast,” but their true essence – or worth, rather – manifests itself during the instrumental portions of compositions that could easily moonlight as movie soundtrack inclusions such as “New Hope” and closer “Last Drop of Innocence.” In fact, “Last Drop of Innocence” captures a Gladiator feel from outset, mostly as a result of the reverberating female vocals and tense string work. The song pans out wonderfully. While not exactly magnificent, the verses are incredibly dark and ominous, and effortlessly trump all previous material. Once again, the choruses disappoint, but the music excels despite the usual pitfall.
Sound Over Matter, unfortunately, leaves one feeling slightly empty-handed. Though Hevein are polished to a gleam, and are plagued by nary a major ailment, they obviously have ground to cover in order to fully entice and subsequently captivate a listener. Considering the good year that Candlelight is having – Ihsahn, Enslaved, Keep of Kalessin, Vreid, Starkweather, She Said Destroy, et cetera – I imagine this will be lost in the shuffle. Still, check out Hevein’s official website. It’s really cool.
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