Heretic’s Dream are a new band from the EU with big goals. Their debut album, Floating State of Mind, achieves some of those and falls short of others, but it’s a promising start. [columns] [column size=”1/3″]
The ethereal vocals of frontwoman Francesca Di Ventura compliment the band’s mix of anger and melody nicely, bringing to mind fellow acts like Lacuna Coil or early Evanescence. Her register is a little lower than most similar vocalists, but this actually helps her voice stand out a little and avoids the breathiness that plagues many of her contemporaries. Additionally, she can hit the high notes, she just usually reserves them for layered vocals buried a little lower in the mix at strategic points. The only downside is her accent is thick enough to make her lyrics very difficult to decipher at times. Not a deal-breaker, but certainly distracting.
The album starts incredibly strong. “Face The Agony” starts off with a fade-in that switches into full-on aggression, with hyperactive guitar strumming and furious drumming. “Pilgrim” and “Face Your Demons” are both excellent, featuring beautiful vocals and very proggy, bass-driven intros, and the latter even includes a jazzy break that comes out of left field and makes the song truly unique. “Soul Driven” is good as well, with a similar vibe to “Face The Agony” propelled by a martial march of a drumbeat.
Things starts to slip a little with “Hide Yourself.” It’s energetic, and the verse riff is beastly, but it almost seems like another version of the songs that come before it. “Momentum” further loses momentum, and comes across as a pretty flat ballad. “Secret Place” is similarly forgettable.
“Walk Alone” brings things back around a little with a swamp stomp riff and almost spoken-word, haunting vocals on the verses. “Golden Cage” is one of the heaviest songs on the album and almost has a 90s Metallica vibe, as well as a stellar vocal delivery. Closer “A New Season” slips a little again and fails to deliver a satisfactory conclusion, sticking with a mid-tempo style instead of going out with either a bang or a soothing whisper.
Heretic’s Dream are certainly a promising addition to the operatic metal fold. They need to improve on their consistency if they want to make a lasting impact, but the potential is there and the bright moments on Floating State of Mind are dazzling indeed.