Rating:
8.6
Heavens Gate - Livin' In Hysteria
1 March 1991


01. Livin'i N Hysteria
02. We Got The Time
03. The Neverending Fire
04. Empty Way To Nowhere
05. Fredless
06. Can't Stop Rockin'
07. Flashes
08. Best Days Of My Life
09. We Want It All
10. Gate Of Heaven


The cover for this album was designed by Richard Corben, the same guy who illustrated Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell. On it is a royally blue coloured dragon smoking a pipe, obviously in a state of contentment with his lot in life. Naturally then I was curious about what musical treasures this classy fellow might be guarding.

This is the second LP from Heavens Gate, a German heavy metal band born in the late 1980's. With that decade behind them they released Livin' In Hysteria in '91. Clearly they had a retrospective glance at the speedy delivery and high flying choruses that their contemporaries Helloween had been demonstrating as well as the hard driving beats of Judas Priest. One might associate it with the early kind of power metal; reliant on the band's tongue-in-cheek themes and charisma in the absence of keyboards or layered effects. In other words there is little distraction from the guitars, here in the hands of, amongst others, Sascha Paeth, who is better known as a producer and for his work with Avantasia. Here his style holds pride of place alongside the identifiable voice of Thomas Rettke who belts forth soaring lines which occasionally channel a Halford-like electrically charged energy and commanding presence.

The album is traditional and has a thoroughly 80's style and structure, complete with an expected ballad in "Best Days Of My Life", in which producer Michael Rodenberg provides a piano performance, and a rocking anthem in (yeah you guessed it) "Can't Stop Rockin."
Fantasy themed, a deliciously cheesy spoken intro is worked into the triumphantly rhythmic and sing-along track "The Neverending Fire". The drums are noticeably well placed adding much to the album's consistent strengths as they strike a solid beat. There's plenty of soloing and such to sate the appetite and the blistering pace of tracks like "Flashes" will please those whose jaws drop at the velocity of Painkiller.

Heaven's Gate are veritable riff mongers and this gem of an album will likely hold a gleam to the eye of many heavy metal fans, particularly those interested in the speed metal origins of the European style of power metal.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Heavens Gate
Album: Livin' In Hysteria


 



Written on 27.09.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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K†ulu - 27.09.2013 at 19:11  
Well, if this is anything like the early Blind Guardian, I might be interested. Thanks for the heads up!
R'Vannith - 28.09.2013 at 14:38  
Written by K†ulu on 27.09.2013 at 19:11

Well, if this is anything like the early Blind Guardian, I might be interested. Thanks for the heads up!


It's something like early Blind Guardian, or Gamma Ray's debut perhaps. Your welcome, I was listening to this the other day and felt like reviewing something classic and heavy metal.

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