Hevein - Sound Over Matter
Spinefarm Records
Melodic/Nu Metal (with a cello and violin)
10 songs (44.44)
Release year: 2005
Hevein, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Joe
Archive review

Yes folks, dust off that cello and violin (doesn’t everyone keep one in their cupboard?) cos these traditional string instruments are officially cool now. What kind of a review would this be without mentioning cello metallists Apocalyptica? So yes let me clarify things. Hevein are a metal band from Finland who infuse a cello and violin within the general metalness that goes on in the framework. Apocalyptica also use cellos (three in fact) and despite what other reviewers state, their debut album, Sound Over Matter, sounds nothing like Apocalyptica and the only similarity is simply the use of the cello. Yes, former Apocalyptica member Max Lilja plays in the band, but dare I say it’s lazy journalism to compare this to Apocalyptica simply because of the cello aspect. Apocalyptica’s music is more beautiful and serene whereas Hevein (no I don’t know how to prenounce it either) are more rough and ready and heavier, although there are a few melancholic moments thrown in. OK, that’s out of the way, now onto the album...

The band has certainly taken it's time getting to this point. More or less starting around 1992, it has taken until 2005 to get a stable lineup and record deal, but thankfully the album arrived. Something like a Finnish Slipknot could be the best description of Hevein, only with a cello and violin of course. By that I mean raw, intense and always very agressive but much more melodic and a bit less mental than Slipknot. Of the ten tracks on the album, there’s no absolutely amazing track which hits you in the face, but neither is there any weak track. The album consists of ten very well written and thought out, catchy metal tunes. Vocalist Juha Immonen is a great find, displaying versatility with rough, growling vocals and also clean mid-range vocals. Guitarist Leif Hedström also contributes backing vocals so I’m not sure if all the praise could go to Immonen, but either way they sound great and the mix and match of the vocal styles is a major thumbs up on Sound Over Matter for this listener. Worth Fighting For, Only Human and Hold Fast are certainly my pick of the bunch, displaying the most satisfaction when listening. Although Hold Fast might be a tad overlong, taking quite a while to get the fantastic chorus, but it certainly is worth it. I really like the fact the classical instruments really are infused into the music, rather than laying on top of the metal as sometimes you don’t even notice them at all. For me it's impossible to tell the difference between the cello and the violin of Aino Piipari (how cool is that name?), unless you have a background in classical music, you'll find it just as hard I think. Some songs are nothing more than OK, but I guess you can't expect an entire album full of hits. I'm not sure exactly what, but there just seems to be something missing from the album. Possibly some keyboard harmonies or maybe some female vocal harmonies, but it seems all the elements are there save for that special X factor. Anyway, that's just me being pedantic, it's a great album and I hope they can gain popularity with consequent releases under Spinefarm Records.

I'm certainly very eager to hear their follow up, as I think they've released a very mature and great debut album. Hopefully the next album will be just as great, if not better, but in the meantime check out this release from Hevein. Oh and you must look at their website, very, very cool.

Killing Songs :
Worth Fighting For, Only Human, Hold Fast
Joe quoted 80 / 100
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