It has been five years since HEAVENWOOD released a record, and a couple since the last time they played live, so their return with the new album “The Tarot Of The Bohemians” had to be celebrated in style. With some very special guests such as Gates of Hell, Blame Zeus and The Temple, the band put on a show for a night worth remembering.
GATES OF HELL were the opening act, and while they were, as always, energetic and competent on stage, they played for a slow and almost empty room. The set list didn’t brought anything new, with highlight to the new song “My Path” and some of their most well-known tracks like “Critical Obsession”. The night was up to a slow start.
BLAME ZEUS came up next and mellowed down the sound. The room was far more compost, and they were very well received. This show represented the end of a chapter for the group that is undergoing a lineup change, while finishing the promotion of their debut record, from 2014, “Identity”. To celebrate a new beginning for the group, Sandra, the singer, premiered a new track, “Queen” that leaves you to foresee a bright new chapter.
THE TEMPLE was the biggest surprise of the night. They laid down an electrifying performance that didn’t leave anyone indifferent. With an amazing presence on stage, the show was excellent from start to finish. To be noted were some highly memorable moments, like the drum solo in which the front man and one of the guitarists participated, or a brilliant cover of the track “Budapeste” (originally by Mão Morta). The set list also included some of their most well-known songs such as “Violent World” or “Millionaire”. Overall an amazing gig that showed this band is a very difficult act to outperform.
Finally, the most awaited moment arrived when HEAVENWOOD stepped upon the stage, for a two-hour long show. It was an intense show, that lived up to the overall expectations, and, as they said, it celebrated and honored the band’s past, present and future. They revisited their entire discography, playing some old tracks like “Frozen Images”, “Heartquake”, “Suicidal Letters” (last song of the night) or even “Frithiof Saga”(played live for the second time in their entire career), without forgetting the reason they were there, to present their newest record, “The Tarot Of The Bohemians”. Of said record they chose, in my opinion, some of its best tracks such as “The Juggler”, “The Emperor” or “High Priestess”. As on the record, the latter mentioned had the special contribution of Sandra Oliveira’s (Blame Zeus) lovely voice. Their presence on stage was better than ever, the invited live musicians brought them a fresh blood and showed great competence. The guitarist/singer Ricardo Dias performance showed he was truly feeling the music, and Ernesto Guerra’s voice (the main vocals) was on point. However, despite all this, Heavenwood couldn’t quite grasp a fully perfect performance. This statement comes from the fact that some of the oldest songs were played in a different way than the originals, some faster or heavier, others more slow and mellow, which for some of the old fans ended up being just a bit disappointing.
Words and Photos by: Rita Limede
Special thanks to: Raising Legends Records