The Portuguese gothic metal heavyweights Heavenwood entice us with their 2016 return titled The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1 released by Massacre Records. Five years since the groups last album, Abyss Masterpiece, they have graced us with a return that stands out as a melodic yet heavy masterpiece. Everything about this release is what you could ask for from a gothic metal album. The vocals come in crisp and refreshing with the growls and cleans intertwining displaying the great chemistry between Ernesto and Ricardo. Guitars are as heavy as expected by Heavenwood. The riffs throughout The Tarot of the Bohemians: Part 1 are phenomenal, truly showing the tremendous skill by Vitor and Ricardo. On top of that, the bass and drums are an unstoppable force. Daniel Cardoso did most of the drum work on this album with the exception for two tracks (The Wheel Of Fortune and The Lovers), which were done by Franky Costanza, and one song (The Juggler) done by Eduardo Sinatra. Even with three different drummers on this album, it still remains very consistent as if it was done by one.
The album’s production quality also stands out as it is nearly flawless. The bass and drums finally get the attentions they needed while the guitars still remain prominent. The vocals receive a perfect balance as in the doom and gothic metal genre, it is easy to drown the vocals down. The only minor flaw is the choir parts and orchestrals as some moments they sound really good mixed into the music and other moments, they sound a bit out of place or off.
With all this said, this is a spectacular album that really made a mark in the gothic metal world. If you are a fan of Moonspell, Novembre and Paradise Lost, you will definitely enjoy this album and this band. A very powerful masterpiece that will remain one of my top albums of all time.
Overall Score: 9.5/10