Hevilan – Symphony of Good and Evil

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Artist: Hevilan

Album: Symphony of Good and Evil

Label: Brutal Records

Release Date: 19 March 2021

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Digital Price: 9.99 USD

Length: 53min 6s

Hevilan is a São Paulo band that has been around for some time now, having originally been formed in 2005 by guitarist Johnny Moraes with the goal to create something a little heavier and more melodic. Since then, they recorded a demo in 2006 and released their debut album The End of Time in 2013, which saw great success across Brazil, Japan, and Europe. Now, in 2021, their latest effort comes titled Symphony of Good and Evil.

Hevilan is known for a great mix of genres here, making them a bit of a crossover band. It is difficult to nail down their sound, really, and that is the mark of some talented artists. The band has some obvious power metal and heavy metal bases, but there are far more than just elements of thrash, glam, progressive, and symphonic metal here. There is thrashy speed and groovy, chunky bass lines in both Devil Within parts I and II. There is a bombastic, head banging selection of opening tracks. There is a grungy, almost glam rock ballad in Waiting For the Right Time, an expansive, progressive as hell, classical orchestrated 4-track piece segment titled Symphony of Good and Evil.

There is a great variety to this album, performed brilliantly by all members. At the core of the band is Johnny Moraes on guitars, Alex Pasqualle on vocals, and Biek Yohaitus on bass. There is also Rafael Dyszy on drums, who does a great job throughout the album. Dyszy is overshadowed a bit in the first half of the album by Moraes and Yohaitus whose work is absolutely outstanding, although his drumwork is critical to the Symphony of Good and Evil segment of the album. Here, there is a driving, onward march from the drumwork that feels as if it is pushing us forth on our journey. This is really what unites the strings, choirs, guitars and metal vocals together into a cohesive whole, as any good metal drummer should.

Vocalist Alex Pasquale with his aggressive, gritty vocals reminds me somewhat of Russell Allen or Dio, although there are shades of Bruce Dickinson in terms of his actual singing technique. As noted, the work by Moraes and Yohaitus is outstanding throughout the album. Moraes in particular shines in Symphony of Good and Evil Part III – Song of Rebellion, bringing us along for the ride with a classical music inspired symphony of guitarwork that would have Yngwie Malmsteem jealous. Moraes’ transitions effortlessly between brilliant metal soloing, to extended shredding which sounds like something that could have been composed by Mozart. There is absolute brilliance here.

Right in the middle of the album there is a much thrashier duo of tracks, and this review simply could not be published without highlighting them. The best highlight of these two tracks, in this writer’s opinion, is in the bass work. Devil Within Part II – Hammer of Gods has some catchy metallic bass that really shines through thanks to its prominence in the mix. As a result, it really has me listening for Yohaitus throughout the entire track – there is almost a surf rock level of catchiness here, and I just cannot get enough of it. That said, there are a lot of elements to enjoy here, not the least of which is a riff in the latter half of the track that has led to many hours of humming and confused looks from strangers.

The only real criticisms are occasional use of fadeout as in Always in my Dreams, and that the album feels like it could be tightened up a bit by cutting a track or two. Waiting For The Right Time for instance is a good track that belongs on an album, but perhaps is a little out of place here between the brilliant Devil Within section of the album, and the great, progressive four-movement Symphony of Good and Evil. Waiting For The Right Time stands out a little bit as a result, although it is obviously a deliberate choice to include a lighter track between heavy face-melters and choral, intricate, progressive noodling. In that sense the track works well for that purpose.

Worth noting however is that this is in my mind a quite minor criticism, as there is not a single weak track on the album, and the standard set here is high enough that these criticisms are easy to ignore. With the Symphony of Good and Evil album, Hevilan shows not just the brilliance of their own talent, but the true depths of the talent that’s out there in Brazil. Symphony of Good and Evil is a joy to listen to, whether I want heavy crossover metal, proggy goodness, or the bassy, surf rock goodness of thrashier tracks like the Devil Within parts one and two. This release comes highly recommended!

I hope you enjoy Symphony of Good and Evil.

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