HEONIA - Portraits

Heonia - Portraits

11 songs
55:23 minutes
***** ***
M & O


Heonia is a French metal band from Lille in Northern France. Five years after their debut CD Winsome Scar, they are back with their second album Portraits. Itís the charismatic female vocalist that stands out the best, but her five male musicians should definitely not be ignored. Even though the cover artwork doesnít look so inviting, you should still give them a shot if you want proof about the constantly improving qualities of the French metal scene.

Dead End In The Hall Of Fame is a powerful opener that reminds of Nevermore with e female vocalist. Especially the interaction between the two guitars is impressive. I could have done without the occasional growls, as Marieke convinces with a strong and powerful voice, even though at times her performance feels a little strained. There are some symphonic metal vocal parts, but only in small doses that donít disturb. The songwriting is just as varied as the vocals. You will find some truly energetic rockers among the eleven tracks, like for instance Spiritual Blackmail. Groove, symphonic and power metal all have their place in Heoniaís sound which the band simply labels progressive metal.

Highlights include the dramatic The Shabby Ballroom which is kind of symphonic and Freakís Dance. The latter takes some getting used to but eventually shows the band from their more playful side. The quiet Shy even shows the musicians on acoustic instruments.

It would be futile to dissect each and every single song. The important thing is that Portraits has become a dynamic and sophisticated album that entertains effortlessly for nearly an entire hour.

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