Monday, December 24, 2018

Heir Apparent

Heir Apparent
The View from Below
No Remorse Records
release date: October 15, 2018
For fans of U.S. bands that have a cult following this Washington state band has a very interesting story. They originally formed in the early 1980s in the Seattle region and after a couple of demos they had their debut full-length Graceful Inheritance published in 1986. By most accounts, the album was received well and in some cases it was treated as a spectacular album. Notice, for instance, the reception afforded to said album on Metal Archives, but it’s not just there. The album has very positive reviews in German, too, and probably in Greek, as it appears that cult fans in Greece do like it quite a bit. In 1989 they followed up with the second work One Small Voice. The album, like the first one, is filled with quality performances and good songs.
If some European metal press liked the band, and some fans were ready for the band’s traditional style of music with good singing, melodies and memorable songs, they faced some very serious problems. Not only were they not based in Europe, they were located in the most distant part of the mainland of the United States up in the Northwest, as far as possible from a big city like New York and still very far from Los Angeles, where the 1980s rock and roll action was taking place. Maybe the band were also not so lucky, and did not meet more of the powerbrokers to hook up with. Perhaps the music was too progressive for the time. Maybe the fact that they changed singers from the first to the second album did not help them, either.
To make matters worse, way worse, it was now the late 1980s and that most despicable of abominations happens in the 1990s, and the unbearable hipsters of their day were catapulted to national prominence: grunge. In the context of the famous Seattle anti-metal arrogance of the tree-hugging, flannel-wearing, whale-saving, recycling, skateboarding, bandwagon-sports-fans, animal-rights-worshipping, we-don’t-have-an-accent-here-in-Seattle, anti-basketball, marijuana-cake-loving, pot-smoking, reefer-eating, vegan-cake-eating, sun-deprived, vitamin D pill-taking, almond-milk-drinking, atheism-is-the-new-religion, anti-talent, no-talent, good-for-nothing grungers of the 1990s, it was difficult for metal bands to thrive.
Heir Apparent broke up. Studio silence for two decades.
In 2018 they make a return with their third album. Nowadays the music is contemporary mellow melodic progressive. As expected, good singing, and good instrumentation. Chill, relaxed songs. Fans of bands like Dream Theater and Fates Warning would perhaps be a main demographic for this music. For this type of style, expect lyrics about politics and a pessimistic view on the state of the world and humanity. It is a pensive, not a rocking-out, style of music, with an intellectual aspect to it, as if the musicians are nowadays teachers, philosophers and parents. Maybe they are.

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