Heaven In Her Arms - Paraselene

8 songs
54:31 minutes
***** ****


Most Asian countries have not much to offer musically what hasn’t been done better by bands from Europe or North America. The only exception is Japan which is a fertile ground for all kinds of artists stretching music to new dimensions. Just think of Acid Mothers Temple, Boris and Envy. The latter have often been used to describe Heaven In Her Arms, who even have been called the little brother of Envy. I am not familiar with Heaven In Her Arms’s previous output (an EP, a longplayer and some split releases), but the eight tracks on their second album Paraselene will make you understand the comparison, although they are strong and unique enough to stand on their own.

Paraselene starts with the two minute long 46x, an intro of sorts, featuring sounds as if from a washed out cassette tape. This is maybe a strange way to start an album, but the seamless segue into Anamnesis Of Critical has been done masterfully, continuing the same chord sequence with professional sound, creating this screamo sound that Envy perfected on their two masterpieces All The Footprints You’ve Ever Left and A Dead Sinking Story. But it’s only with the third track, the eight minute monster Morbidity Of White Pomegranate that Heaven In Her Arms start to show their full potential. Carried by ferociously powerful guitar chords and hysterically screaming vocals, without needing all the macho bullshit that has been later added by metalcore bands, we are carried back to the origins of the genre when it was all about emotions. The next three tracks (Jade Vine, Echoic Cold Wrist and Halcyon) works as one big piece, making it next to impossible to discover where one part ends and the next one starts. Especially the echo drenched vocals in the quiet yet foreboding early minutes will give you goosebumps. The CD ends with two ten-minute-plus long tracks: Butterfly In Right Helicoid features some incredibly wild parts juxtaposing post rock melancholy with unbridled drumming and vocal hysteria, and the concluding Veritas surprises with a virtuoso violin part.

Heaven In Her Arms have shown once more why Japan is one of the most intriguing countries when it comes to creating outstanding rock music. The mostly long songs contain not a single filler moment, making Paraselene one of the best screamo / postcore albums of all times.

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