Portugal might be one of the few European nations that does not out spawns others by cradling far too many recognizable musical acts. It does gives priority over quality other than quantity, its true, in the other hand, what is known by the general public is that the Lusitanian metal scene offsprings uniquely top-notch, high quality metal outcasts that in one way or another are a remarkable, influential reference to other musicians to follow or even tail. Such is the case with doom-ish, symphonic alike until a certain extend, gothic innovators from Vila Nova de Gaia, district of the beautiful city of Porto, Heavenwood.
Even thus Heavenwood have been formed in mid 1992, initially blending death metal with a melancholic, perhaps more doom felt aura that often resounded to British Paradise Lost circa ‘Draconian Times’ era – whilst country mates Inhuman also took into their melodic influences – this Portuense act formulated and rebuilt their own sonority throughout the years while adding orchestral hints into a gloomy dark aura to their writings. I might say that Heavenwood went distant from anything else we might have heard by imposing an important new measure in their composition side of affairs. They are more polished, elegant, darkly intriguing I dare say.
I was somehow caught by surprised when Ricardo Dias approached me via Facebook and asked me to publish their latest news, this considering that I haven’t heard of Heavenwood since I last interviewed him in late 2011, if I can recall correctly.
Heavenwood determination to issue their fifth album comes after what many bands are doing lately in order to remain autonomous from any seals, and by this I am referring to a Crowdfunding Campaign of course. Therefore, Heavenwood recently embarked on a campaign in which they are asking 5,000 € until December 31st, 2014, campaign, which began on October 23rd of the current year and so far has raised close to 350 €.
The target is to bring up enough funds to produce and self-release their newest studio record, ‘The Tarot Of The Bohemians – Part I’. The record will feature twelve new songs collectively captured by German producer, Kristian Kohlmannslehner (Powerwolf, Crematory, Benighted, etcetera).
The artwork will be of the responsibility of the British illustrator, Matthew Vickerstaff from Dark Wave Art, a company which previously acted with well-renowned acts such as Cradle Of Filth, My Dying Bride, Akercocke, At The Gates, Autopsy amongst others more.
Oddly, Heavenwood auspicious plans do not include the distribution of ‘The Tarot Of The Bohemians – Part I’ as a paid release, alternatively they will be offering the entire album for free via digital download. Humble as it gesture may seem, it does as a personal retribution to all those willing to leave them to do what they enjoy the most, which is music. In accession to this, Heavenwood loyalty surpasses the boundaries of commercialism, as they announced a few, but worthy rewards for everyone who obtains them by giving away physical copies of the record, an extremely limited edition, signed by the band members and delivered in Porto, at the time they acquire over the stage to present to the public their newest pearl. The event will be entirely free and they will mail special invites to all those who collaborated on the release of ‘The Tarot Of The Bohemians – Part I’.
The donations will be honored the following way:
- 5 € and above: They add you to their honors guest list and spread your name through their ways of communication as a sign of gratitude.
- 10 € and above: They will offer the physical, and autographed version of the record.
- 25 € and above: They will provide the physical version of the record, duly autographed with a t-shirt limited edition alluring to the new album.
- 50 € and above: They bid their fans the chance to experience and accompany them during the day of the release concert.
- 1,000 € and above: They propose the possibility to be the executive producer of ‘The Tarot Of The Bohemians – Part I’, by co-working closely with Heavenwood in the fashioning of the graphic art.
If you haven’t heard of Heavenwood before, and so you should be aware that they are, aside from Moonspell, one of the foremost pioneers in music coming from Portugal.
Since their earlier days, Heavenwood has released four phenomenal albums through international labels, been Massacre Records the most predominant. Heavenwood has also worked with renowned producers, engaged on European circuits and were on numerous occasions the “key element” for national representations while performing live at the Wacken Open Air Festival and Dubai Rock Fest, gathering a huge host of followers through their twenty years of existence. Both their ‘Diva’ and ‘Swallow’ studio records remain until the date, historical landmarks in the musical marketplace. Their third album entitled ‘Redemption’ represented the return of the band back in 2008 to the European hosts, an album that was produced by Swedish mastermind Jens Peter Daniel Bogren (who has worked on albums by Opeth, Katatonia, Soilwork, etcetera) and presented to the public at Casa Da Música (the most important institution dedicated to the promotion of music in the city of Porto).
In 2012, Heavenwood returned with the ‘Abyss Masterpiece’ (an album that I keep overplaying for the past week), which was this time issued by French infamous metal label, Listenable Records. A curious fact about ‘Abyss Masterpiece’ is that the album saw Heavenwood partnership with orchestral symphonic Russian composer Dominic Joutsen, which granted them the grandeur of a very tight solid orchestral release, even thus dark and gloomy in a spherical dormant, ‘Abyss Masterpiece’ somehow entwined romanticism with emotional feelings of obscure desolation, and promise. A correspondence between music and lyricism that is utterly recognizable in Europeans bounds of the genre. The album was then dedicated to the Portuguese poet, Marquesa de Alorna.
In 2013, Heavenwood celebrated their twentieth anniversary, an event which took space in the main room at Hard Club (the most prestigious event shows club from Porto) on December 28th.
During this year, 2014, Heavenwood presented their fans with a new advanced single, ‘The Juggler’, a song theme which was cheered on the French occult doctor Papus, a tease of what is yet to occur in their ‘The Tarot Of The Bohemians – Part I’ release.
Heavenwood, as we are used to say in Portugal, “vai de vento em popa”, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have them once again in our pages.
Best of luck to my Portuguese brothers in arms, and never forget that “A União faz a Força”!