Heliosaga - Equinox
Power Metal
5 songs (23:31)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Kyle

Hailing from the power metal hotbed that is, erm, Texas, Heliosaga is yet another band throwing its hat into the melodic metal ring. Texas has been known to produce a handful of quality metal bands in the past - Rigor Mortis, Skeletonwitch, etc. – but does Heliosaga succeed in carrying this torch of excellence? It may be too early to tell. The band’s debut demo Equinox, however, displays enough unique moments and European PM flair to show promise.

Heliosaga features a solid female vocalist that, though perhaps not as powerful as, say, Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation, performs nicely and adds an emotional edge to the music. The music itself is a collection of mostly mid-paced power metal tunes, but speed does shine through on the opening track Hunter’s Moon. This is undoubtedly one of the best songs of the demo; its intro keyboard opening and chorus are relaxing in a way and remind me of the vastly underrated Norwegian band Keldian. Plenty of variety is shown, however; in fact, all songs here are completely distinguishable from one another. Farewell Whilst We’re Apart gives off a vaguely Coheed & Cambrian vibe with its gorgeous acoustic guitar and vocal melodies; conversely, The Infinity Brigade provides a surprising display of European folk influence, bagpipe and accordion effects included.

This is a self-produced demo though, so there are bound to be a few problems. The main, of course, is the production job; the instruments lack the proper level of punch and clarity required for this kind of music, and the guitar sound is so coarse and overbearing that it distracts one from the rest of the music. And as diverse as the music is, the guitarist sticks to the same predictable gallops for nearly the entire album, and whenever he does deviate from his signature patterns it rarely feels exciting. Also, though every song is good, it would be nice to hear the band speed up a bit more; this kind of power metal is a bit too slow for my taste. But the strong points of Equinox are enough to make an afternoon listen of this demo on Heliosaga’s Myspace (or even a free download from their website) a worthwhile affair. Combine catchy vocals, diverse songs and excellent keyboards (not to mention a nice solo on The Conquest by ex-Elegy guitarist Gilbert Pot) and you get a band that, with the proper label and a good production job, could become a great power metal band that values experimentation and diverse songwriting.

Killing Songs :
Hunter's Moon, Farewell Whilst We're Apart
Kyle quoted no quote
Other albums by Heliosaga that we have reviewed:
Heliosaga - Towers in the Distance reviewed by Kyle and quoted 81 / 100
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