Sunday, August 31, 2014

Halcyon Way - Conquer (2014)

The video game Rock Band has helped me discover tons of bands, one of those bands being the Atlanta group Halcyon Way. Their song "Desecration Day" got me interested in the band and the album which said song was in, "Building The Towers", was just as good as I hoped it would be. The band is playing an interesting style of progressive metal that has some hints of both thrash and melodic death, but the music itself is still very catchy and easily digested. The band is one of a kind, and since the last full length album was released back in 2010, I have waited a long time for this release to see the light of day.

Unfortunately,  I do not think that the wait was worth it for this release. "Conquer" is album number 3 for the band and I hoped that they would take what they did in "Building The Towers" and further develop it. Sadly, they just kept a template and then ran it through the copy machine just enough time to make an album out of it.

The songs are catchy, I will give it that, but since all songs has a length between 3:50 and 4:50 and they all have the same or similar structure, I still cannot remember most of them. This also makes it very hard to sit through the album in one sitting, since it feels like you are listening to the same song over and over again. So you have to search through the details to find tracks that stands out, like the slamming drums in "Home" or the grand keyboards on "Web of Lies".

However, "Conquer" has one strong point, and it is that it is very even in its performance. Besides from the weak "The Poisoned Apple", the album does not contain any particularly bad songs. It is an album that is filled with okay songs, songs that may have gotten more recognition if they had been in a more diverse album. But just to give some reference, take an extra look at the songs "Conquer", "Every Second Counts", "Home" and "Eviscerate The Morning Sun", and you will have experienced some of the best sides of "Conquer".

"Conquer" is ultimately far from an impressive record. It clearly shows Halcyon Way's unique style, but it does it in a not so unique way. If the band would have taken some more time to create more diverse songs, then this album would not feel so suffocated. Halcyon Way will still be a band that is worthy of having an eye on, but I surely hope that they show a lot more variety in their next album. They came, they saw, but they did not conquer.

Songs worthy of recognition: Home, Web of Lies, Eviscerate The Morning Sun

Rating: 6/10 Militants

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