Georgia's (USA) Halcyon Way could be the future of American melodic progressive metal. Their significant and entertaining sophomore effort Building the Towers certainly suggests this promise. With new vocalist Steve Braun (ex-Ashent) on board, Halcyon Way brings a perfect blend of metal heaviness, melodic sensibility, and technical fireworks to Building the Towers.
In this sense, there is some real ear-pleasing genius for prog metal fans. The System, Inversion, Desecration Day, and the magnificent Mouth Without a Head are masterpieces of that elemental mixture. Outside of Braun's brilliant contribution, every member of Halcyon Way is in most excellent form. Guitarist Jon Bodan offers intelligent lyrics and sizzles on the axe. Ernie Topran's drumming is compelling and precise, as are the performances of Kris Maltenieks (b) and Zane (rg).
Perhaps the only flaw here is the inclusion of death vocals on several songs (provided by bassist Kris Maltenieks). Listening to the profound vocal arrangements on songs like The System, Mouth Without a Head or Inside Looking Out, the last including background vocals from Pamela Moore (Queensryche), one wonders why Halcyon Way even bothered. Fortunately, these dirty vocals are few, and if even if for accent or modern commercial viability, they are done well by Maltenieks.
Regardless of those latter misgivings, Halcyon Way's Building the Towers is significant and spectacular American melodic progressive metal, an entertaining work of pure heavy metal pleasure. Strongly recommended.
NOTE: As a matter of greater importance: in a press release, Halcyon Way has made known that founder and guitarist Jon Bodan has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, a cancer in the lymphatic of the immune system. Bodan will be undergoing aggressive treatment. Certainly, all of us should offer are thoughts and prayers for him, his family, and the Halcyon Way family. Read the press release.