Saturday, May 21, 2011

Haven - "Your Dying Day"

Haven - Your Dying Day
1990/2012, Retroactive

1. On Judgement Day
2. Deliver Me
3. Murder
4. Below the Grave
5. The Calling
6. America
7. Escape
8. Help Me Follow
9. I Found Love
10. Your Dying Day

For some reason or another I never really cared for Haven's debut. I can't put a finger on exactly why, I just know that it didn't really hold my interest. I think part of the reason is the original production which makes the music seem "far away" - if that makes any sense. My mind wanders and before long I'm writing stories in my head and not really listening to the music. Speaking of which it's power metal. It's not bad either though tracks like "Deliver Me" and "Murder" just reek of early Queensryche - especially in vocalist Kevin Ayers' lower register. His vibrato can get a little over-the-top silly, particularly in "America." I like it okay but I definitely prefer Age of Darkness to this one. As you can guess by the CD cover the theme of this album is: YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!!! Okay, there's a more to it than that but the old Christian metal scare tactics are in full-force here. Though it's because of this album that I still remember certain passages in Revelation. In fact, most of the Scripture I remember to this day were lyrics to Christian metal songs.

This album was re-issued by M8 way back in the day and included extra tracks and what not. I believe it was titled Straight From the Cutting Room Floor. Also, as I understand it the mastering was WORSE than it was on the original. Retroactive reissued this album in 2012, which is the version I have. It has been completely remastered by J. Powell at Steinhaus. I tell you the truth, the sound is leaps and bounds better. You're no longer listening to a tinny, muddy album from a mile away. Everything is crisp, clean, and up front. I definitely enjoyed this album a lot more with the improved mastering. I was a little disappointed with the packaging. It's a cheap digipak with no insert whatsoever. Phooey!

A little story/rant: I had a friend who saw this tape in the Christian bookstore and begged his mom to get it for him. She didn't because she didn't like the cover or didn't like the idea of metal or whatever. Later, when my friend had a little more independence he got into Nirvana and Pearl Jam and all that. He won't touch Christian music with a ten foot pole now. What's funny is that this same mother relents that her son doesn't want to listen to any Christian music. Way to go mom! I'm so thankful to my mom for always supporting my music tastes.

Useless Fact: Be careful when searching for Haven CDs online. There's a British pop band by the same name that's released several albums.

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