Saturday, May 26, 2012

HEAVEN RAIN: "Second Sun"

Rating: 7/10
Label: Music Buy Mail 2012
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Heaven Rain is the very first Bosnian band that has crossed paths with me. Apparently they are influenced by prog metal and "The Finnish school of Power Metal". I wonder where that school is... Anyway, having listened to this album a few times before reading the bio, I was a bit surprised to find that they have a female singer. All this time I thought the singer was a guy, although with a soft voice similar to that of Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanova). But no, Miona Graorac is indeed a woman, there's no mistaking that if you look at the band photos! I have to say that she has a pretty distinct voice, she's definitely not one of those semi-operatic or "angelic" female vocalists.

"Second Sun" is the second full-length release from the band, although they have released several EP's and CD-singles since 2006. Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish and Ayreon are mentioned as influences, but I'm glad to say the band has managed to create a nice, somewhat original sound for themselves. Plenty of melodic keyboards, driving guitar riffs and Miona's vocals are the focal points. The choruses could be stronger but all in all the album is rather likeable. Standout tracks are "My Only One" and the title track, both containing really fine melodies. As a special treat to the band's local fans, there's a version of "Veijte Snegori", an 80'ies hit from the Yugoslavian band Zana.

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