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Heel: Chaos and Greed

Heel: Chaos and Greed

Heavy/Power Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

'Chaos And Greed' is the second effort from the partnership of vocalist David Henriksson (ex-Insania) and guitarist Marcus Elisson. 2007's debut, 'Evil Days' was a solid, yet somewhat ordinary, platter of classic heavy metal with power metal elements. On their sophomore effort, Heel brings much the same style with a few recognizable and promising differences.

First, I would venture that 'Chaos And Greed' is a few notches heavier than their former work. Most every song, with the exception of the ballad-like 'Did You Know,' thunders with strong heavy metal riffs. They only thing that takes some of the edge off is the vocal arrangements and keyboard additions as on 'Taste Of Steel' or 'Land Of Freedom.' Second, the keyboard presence is greater on this work than before. It is never overwhelming or given priority on any song. Rather, it fills and accents adding density to the arrangements. Sometimes, however, it rises up to stand with the fret work to a pleasing result as on 'Chaos And Greed' and 'Sons Of Thunder.' Both of these attributes make this disc much more intriguing than previous material.

Generally, however, I found 'Chaos And Greed' to be a bit choppy overall. Often Heel outdoes themselves in song craftsmanship. The best stuff is when Heel brings greater variation beyond the heaviness of their heavy metal. Both 'Chaos And Greed' and 'This Angel Cry' have intriguing arrangements which vary mood and tempo to near a progressive character. The aforementioned ballad-like 'Did You Know' succeeds by toning down the heaviness for a more accessible melody. 'Sons Of Thunder' has a pure 80's melodic heavy metal, even NWOBHM, feel and reminds of the early Christian metal band Barren Cross. Finally, the true gem on this disc is the epic 'Kingdom Comes' thanks to its superb and often complex arrangement.

Conversely, nearly half of the songs are average heavy melodic metal mixed with a little power metal and are only notable for individual elements or performance. For instance, 'Forbidden Ways' is spared for its tight vocal arrangements, and 'Walk To The Light' for the solid bass work. 'Crusader,' 'Taste Of Steel,' 'Light Of Day' or 'Save Our Souls' are good but ultimately unsatisfying like eating your favorite jelly-filled donut with expectation of some health rewards. Any three of the four could have been dropped without incident making for a more compact and pleasing listen.

Heel's 'Chaos And Greed' is a better effort than their debut: more polished with a heavier sound and a better use of keyboards. There are some really terrific songs on this work especially when Heel veers towards progressive metal. Yet, much of 'Chaos And Greed' is still fundamental, but well done, heavy melodic metal.

In Short

Heel's 'Chaos And Greed' is a better effort than their debut: more polished with a heavier sound and a better use of keyboards. There are some really terrific songs on this work especially when Heel veers towards progressive metal. Yet, much of 'Chaos And Greed' is still fundamental, but well done, heavy melodic metal.

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