HEART OF CYGNUS

Progressive Metal • United States
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Heart of Cygnus are an American progressively inclined heavy metal / hard rock act.

Hailing from the City of Angels, the Hollywood backdrop has been both a blessing and a curse. In a city known for manufacturing stars and radio driven singles in a sea of sameness it took the bands do it yourself grassroots efforts to breakout to the masses, but by following their own madness they have built a loyal international following.

Their sound goes beyond just the good time glam bands of the strip, with a slightly sophisticated sci-fi/fantasy progressive edge that brings the best of 70s and 80s heavy rock to the forefront of their very current music style.
Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and colt, IMPF2112 for the updates

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HEART OF CYGNUS Discography

HEART OF CYGNUS albums / top albums

HEART OF CYGNUS Utopia album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Utopia
Progressive Metal 2007
HEART OF CYGNUS Over Mountain, Under Hill album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Over Mountain, Under Hill
Progressive Metal 2009
HEART OF CYGNUS Tales From Outer Space! album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Tales From Outer Space!
Progressive Metal 2009
HEART OF CYGNUS The Voyage Of Jonas album cover 3.08 | 2 ratings
The Voyage Of Jonas
Progressive Metal 2012

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HEART OF CYGNUS Reviews

HEART OF CYGNUS The Voyage Of Jonas

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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I first gave Heart of Cygnus a listen on iTunes several months ago. With a name like that (Rush influences worn on their sleeves), they had to be good. At least that's what I thought. But what I heard failed to inspire me to order an album, let alone download a song. Skip ahead to March, 2013 and I noticed that they had a new album, "Voyage of Jonas". I randomly selected samples from iTunes to listen to and found myself interested enough, mostly for the song "Jonas" which sounded like "Hemispheres" era Rush with a touch of modern metal.

Well, I have to admit that I haven't been in nirvana listening to this album. The Hemispheres Rush sound is there in guitars and synthesizer on two or three tracks and it's fun and enjoyable if not as close to a ripoff (I prefer to be kind and say "tribute") as one can get. There are also some good heavy riffs, pretty piano parts, and rousing vocal choruses. Heavy bombast is often contrasted by melodic acoustic and slower parts. That's all good. Keen ears might also pick up on the Iron Maiden influences the band is said to have, though I find them less obvious than the blatant attempts to celebrate "Hemispheres" in two or three tracks.

The album is also a concept album, so each song tells part of the story of the voyage of Jonas from his mundane port town life to sailing amidst polar ice floes to battling wargs, White Witches (doesn't it sound like he went to Narnia?) and mages. In this way, it's fun to listen to the whole album through but it does sound a bit adolescent meaning it sounds more like Narnia than Middle Earth.

The key to this notion might just lie in the vocal department. This is the second time I have picked up a so-called progressive metal CD this year and been struck by the thought that the vocals sound suspiciously like the emo-rock band, Sugar Cult. Both prog metal bands happen to be American, by the way, the home country of emo-punk. And even though I used to listen to one of Sugar Cult's albums a fair bit back in the day, I don't like finding myself thinking of emo while listening to what should be progressive metal. In particular, the "whoa, whoa, whoas" of "Sailing North" sound way too much like emo-rock to me. I like the variety in the music, but the vocals need more guts and testosterone for my preference. Say what you want about Geddy Lee in the seventies but he had power in his voice. And as far as Iron Maiden goes, I think Bruce Dickenson is one of the best metal vocalists in the history of the genre. So Heart of Cygnus, despite their efforts at times to infuse their music with the music of their influences, are lacking in the vocal department. So I feel.

Overall, this album has its moments and good tracks, and the music is diverse with sincerity and played with skill. But I was listening to it again recently and trying to pick out a good stand out song for a playlist to burn to CD and I have to confess that I found myself struggling to pick a song that I would want to hear while driving and listening to a collection of great songs from other albums. Any song that sounded good enough at first left me thinking that I might feel tempted to skip in while playing the mixed CD. That's not an encouraging sign. The conclusion might be that as a concept album it's simply better to listen to it from start to finish than to pick out individual tracks.

Tell you what. If later on I have some epiphany about this album and suddenly realize that it is a brilliant piece of work, I'll change my review. But so far I have to say it's pretty average as a good album (I emphasize "good") but in a way, so far, easy to forget that I purchased it along with so many other very good to incredible albums which get much more playtime in my ear buds.

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