BMH Audio 2014
Treading a thin line between prog and power, British team search for grace and glory.
Proclivity for Latin titles might be a worrying sign, but while this band’s 2012 debut “Tabula Rasa” was a blank slate indeed, with a new force out of nowhere to paint a memorable picture on it, “Caerus” goes heavy on the ear. The album’s second part hints at a traditional mythological concept as projected on today, and opener “Progress & Failure” is preaching too literally to set the world on fire, its riff raging in vain. Perseverance will find a way? Hopefully so, and “Liberation” emerges heroic enough to impress with its metal muscle only that’s easily overshadowed by the operatic scope of “Disconnect The World” where the whole group’s voices support Matt Young’s vocals.
At this point the theatrical formula starts to finally work, “The Black Hand” striking the poise between epic pounding and acoustic elegance and throwing a question into the finale of “Journey’s End?” before “Homo Ex Machina” puts the man’s supremacy in doubt in the web of Al Beveridge and Tom Smith’s twin axes and James Messenger’s piano uplift and downfall. It feels like a crossroads with an athemic choice to make, yet HeKz seem to know where the prize lies, and their next album should get it.