If anybody could please tell me, what the Italians of HEIMDALL have done wrong that their third album “The Almighty” has been devastated so badly in some places, I would be quite thankful, because in my opinion (and Ralf’s as well) it has been a more than good Power Metal album, nicely differing from the majority of their genre colleagues.
The sextet from Salerno (near Naples) has just issued its fourth album and the big hopes that I had for “Hard As Iron” have been completely fulfilled, because they build on the already strong previous album and deliver a powerful album, which leaves so many clichés behind that it is just plainly entertaining!
The band already founded 10 years ago has lost founding member Nicolas Calluori (drums), splitting the Calluori brothers, but creating a new pair, because with Enrico Canu the brother of bassist Giovanni Canu has entered the stage, while thankfully there has been no change on the mic and as on “The Almighty” Giacomo Mercaldo delivers his expressive, deep voice.
The opening title track is a cracker unleashing the album onto us, with very powerful riffing, which at times reminds me of older JUDAS PRIEST, relatively deep, plus Giacomo’s quite deep and somewhat heroic vocals, with a light choir in the background (during the verse!), sounds good! And then the chorus, oh the chorus… powerful, catchy, with a very good melody and Giacomo with a deep choir in the background, great!
Right after „Midnight“ brings us a more epic list, where especially the vocals once more fully convince, with a big chorus, the only point of criticism I would have is the a bit dumb production, which unfortunately takes away some of the clarity. Still an epic mid-tempo track such as “Black Tower” sounds very good with its strong, pumping bass!
The ballad “Cold“ then is a very good one of its kind, starting out with a dark piano and Giacomo’s deep, expressive voice, then acoustic and electric guitars going side by side and the deep choir in the background, goose bumps! And on “The Emperor” we again get the strong vocals and this very characteristic choir with a very powerful mid-tempo, towards the end with layered vocals and operatic male and female vocals, almost canon-like, very interesting!
And the rest, too, stays at this quality level, as the unkitschy ballad “Black Heaven“ or the powerful/catchy “Holy Night“ at the end, everything borne by the great, very characteristic vocals of Giacomo Mercaldo, the distinct use of the deep choir and the very good melodies. This all results in a very strong Power Metal album, which is what people always call for, a CD that does not sound like the mainstream.
Therefore: HEIMDALL are a secret tip in Power Metal and more than deserve to lose the “secret” and break through! (Online August 21, 2004)