"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Seduce the Heaven - "Field of Dreams" (CD)

Seduce the Heaven - "Field of Dreams" CD cover image

"Field of Dreams" track listing:

1. Reflection (5:21)
2. Walls of Oblivion (6:12)
3. Leave Me Alone (5:38)
4. Field of Dreams (6:08)
5. Illusive Light (5:41)
6. Falling (5:47)
7. Ignorance (5:23)
8. Helpless Mind (5:39)
9. Baseless Addiction (5:37)
10. In Close Distance (5:15)

Reviewed by on April 17, 2013

"[Seduce the Heaven] recaptures a pinnacle of modern symphonic style snuffed out by the loss of After Forever and the music world is better for it."

Back in 2009, the world lost a gem when After Forever called it quits, with Sander Gommans disbanding the Dutch greats due to health reasons. In doing so, the band founded by Epica composer/guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen was dead. In 2007, After Forever did something that few bands had tried up to that point: added some pop flash to the brutal riffs to what would be the final self-titled release for an uplifting and refreshing reboot of “beauty and beast” symphonic metal. The change energized me as a fan, since it brought something new to an overused formula. Since then, the formula has been taken way over the top by the likes of bands like Amaranthe, sounding a bit too pop-centric rather than metal-centric. Enter Greek band Seduce the Heaven… a band that found the once lost formula that is the perfect balance of brutality and pizazz. The debut “Field of Dreams” may not be a concept album about a baseball field in Iowa; instead it’s an exciting and devastating symphonic metal feast.

Right off the top, most people will gravitate towards the beautiful and amazing Elina Laivera, who has one of the strongest vocals in the genre. However, the other star of this release is Marios Mizo, with his coherent and deadly growls that rivals Epica’s Jansen. Seduce the Heaven is stylistically in the precise position that After Forever was during the late 2000’s… an exciting and blistering form of symphonic goodness nestled perfectly between the operatic classical style of Epica and the much flashier core-fused flamboyance of Amaranthe. There is nothing wrong with adding a pop influence (in the form of over the top keyboard work) so long as it doesn’t take away from the guitar work. “Field of Dreams” is definitely guitar driven, with Alex Flouros providing a proportional amount of chugs to go with scalding fury. The pop pizazz is best reflected in tracks like “Ignorance” and “Illusive Light.”

The album’s strongest tracks include the bruising but groove laden “Walls of Oblivion,” the Dimebag riff choke that cascades to “Mindcrime”-esque Queensryche in “Field of Dreams,” and the sumptuous closing ballad “In Close Distance.” However, the band’s shining paragon is “Baseless Addiction,” a melodic symphonic cacophony with a pitiless ferocity not seen since After Forever’s “Equally Destructive” (a song I often refer to when dissecting the “perfect song”). The riff literally shreds your face with ten inch razors as Mizo butchers your throat with his perfect gnarr. It is one of the best songs I have heard in the brand.

Seduce the Heaven presents a highly energized and impressive debut release. The group recaptures a pinnacle of modern symphonic style snuffed out by the loss of After Forever and the music world is better for it. If the band keeps the balance, doesn’t stray too far towards Amaranthe, and opts to keep Flouros’ guitar work front and center of the music, the future looks very bright. For now, let’s tempt the earth and seduce the heaven.

Highs: Highly energized modern symphonic metal in the style of later day After Forever.

Lows: The tendency to lean towards power-pop keywork might be a turn off.

Bottom line: "Field of Dreams" rekindles the light of After Forever, teaching us to give into temptation and "seduce the heaven."

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)