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Heylel: Nebulae

The Portuguese band Heylel formed in 2012 and released their debut album Nebulae this year. In the band are Ana Batista (vocals), Filipe Braga (drums), Narciso Monteiro (guitars, bass, keyboards, whispers, growls) and Sergio de Meneses (backing vocals). Meneses started out as their touring bassist but has now become a full time member.

The album tackles the concept of life and death as compared to a star's life cycle. It's a pretty smart comparison and the songs fall under four categories: "An Interstellar Cloud", "A Newborn Star", "Red Giant" and "White Dwarf/Black Dwarf". There are a total of eleven tracks with a running time of about forty-seven minutes.

This is a very atmospheric and moody record as the band often take a minimalist approach. There are some nice metallic riffs and solos scattered about as well as some excellent acoustic elements as in the pretty cover version of ELP's "The Sage". It is here that Monteiro's classical influence positively shines. Another highlight is the album opening "Hope" where Monteiro seems to channel his inner Gilmour. At less than two minutes though is far too short. "Deeper" features more of that lovely acoustic guitar and Batista's angelic lead vocals. Monteiro's whispered vocals are also a nice touch. Metallic riffs enter during the song's latter half. "Wings Of Eternity" is another acoustic based track which flows gently on Monteiro's' classical style guitar. The band also take on Crimson's "I Talk to the Wind" punctuated with Monteiro's understated but soaring lead guitar. The heaviest track is the doomy "Embrace the Darkness" with its slow plodding guitar riffs and big organ intro.

Heylel have produced a solid progressive/gothic rock album with Nebulae. Hopefully their passion will continue to grow with their next release. Recommended.

Track Listing:
An Interstellar Cloud
1. Hope
2. The Prophet
3. Watcher of the Light
A Newborn Star
4. Alter Ego
5. The Sage
Red Giant
6. Deeper
7. Wings of Eternity
8. I Talk to the Wind
White Dwarf/Black Dwarf
9. The Great Abstinence
10. Sometimes
11. Embrace the Darkness

Added: September 14th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1751
Language: english

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