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HeKz - 'Caerus' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/22/06/a8/HeKz-Caerus-29-1430597618.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 02, 2015    
 
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A new sound that switches the emphasis towards the Progressiveness without sacrificing their Metal roots.

With almost a decade under their belts already, Bedford's HeKz have thus far released two EP's and a 2012 debut album of Progressively-tinged Metal which hinted at other twin guitar bands like Iron Maiden, Threshold and Queensryche. The quartet have now added keyboard player James Messenger to re-emerge at the tail end of 2014 with a new sound that switches the emphasis towards the Progressiveness without sacrificing their Metal roots.

On pieces like the epic opener 'Progress And Failure' and 'Disconnect The World' it's immediately apparent that staccato guitar riffs and tricky time signatures are the order of the day, along with Messenger's wide range of sounds and bassist Matt Young's refreshingly deep and rich voice; the darkness of the melodies is offset by some upbeat choruses and drummer Kirk Brandham's quirky rhythms. Similarly 'Kingdom' and 'From Obscurity To Eternity' have soaring melodic passages amongst the angst-ridden and melancholy sections, but it's all done in a clever and natural way that doesn't sound contrived. Obviously Dream Theater and even Rush have come to the forefront of their influences, but I would also add Fates Warning, the much-missed Dead Soul Tribe and the work of Magellan's Trent Gardner to what I'm hearing, whether it's intentional, subliminal or purely coincidental.

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There are three lengthy epics that best show-off their new direction, with the melodies taking centre stage over the instrumentation on 'The Black Hand' and the many straight-forward and accessible parts, along with superb guitar solos from Tom Smith and Alastair Beveridge, on 'Homo Ex Machina'. The highlight of this album is the sixteen minute closer 'Journey's End?', which reprises all the best melodies and themes from the previous tracks and seamlessly pieces them together with some new parts to create a stirring and emotional tour-de-force. The addition of cello, violin and flute just adds to the epic feel.

Self-produced and mixed and mastered by the multi-talented John Mitchell, the powerful 'Caerus' should bring HeKz a much wider fan base and with more extensive live shows a successful future should ensue.

Phil Ashcroft

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