Home > *Music, Reviews > Labyrinth – Return To Heaven Denied Pt. II: A Midnight Autum’s Dream: Review

Labyrinth – Return To Heaven Denied Pt. II: A Midnight Autum’s Dream: Review

Labyrinth released their newest album on June 21. It is the second part of their highly praised Return to Heaven Denied. This one is entitled Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II: A Midnight Autumn’s Dream. And although the band has been on a “slump,” this is a definite return to form.

 

The Music (rating: A-)

  1. The Shooting Star
  2. A Chance
  3. Like Shadows in the Dark
  4. Princess of the Night
  5. Sailors of Time
  6. To Where We Belong
  7. A Midnight Autumn’s Dream
  8. The Morning’s Call
  9. In This Void
  10. A Painting on the Wall

This album is a safe choice for power metal fans. The progressive aspect, although not as strong, is no doubt existent. Still, power metal is the primary genre. Its sound is not as refined as more modern power metal bands (such as Lost Horizon and Wuthering Heights), but instead follows a more traditional style like that of Stratovarius. It is quite loyal to power metal, so one should not expect anything stylistically out of the ordinary.

That being said, the execution of power metal in Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II is exceptional. The most outstanding performance is the vocals, with the singer showing off great range, power, and control. His phrasing is also nothing short of commendable. And though the vocalist is the highlight, there are all-around great performances. The drums often are basic double bass mixed with snare and hi-hat, but are often stellar at emphasizing and accentuation. Regarding the guitarists, both the heavy riffs and the acoustic rhythms are well-done. Neither are over-the-top spectacular, but the variety gives the album much depth and value. The bassist seemed to be there simply for support, but does a fine job nonetheless. Also, the keyboards are nicely done for atmospheric purposes, but also come out for the warranted moments. Overall, the instrumentals, especially the vocals, are worth listening to the album for.

The musicianship is more standard than the instrumental performance, however. Much of the album is standard power metal, of course executed at its near-finest. But still, the inventiveness is not a strong presence. Nothing overly new and creative is done by anyone but the vocalist, who I feel gives unique phrasing which can only be rivaled by f ew. The record is not a generic album, but does not do enough to make it a one-of-a-kind power metal album.

But due to its purest execution, Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II it is a definite recommendation. It is extremely welcome given Labyrinth’s somewhat disappointing track record leading up to this album. For fans of Labyrinth, and of power metal, this is an album that should not be passed by. Be sure to give this one its well-deserved recognition.

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