Published on December 10th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Heaven Below: Good Morning Apocalypse
Good Morning Apocalypse is the debut album from L.A.-based hard rock/heavy metal band Heaven Below, which features vocalist/guitarist Patrick Kennison (Lita Ford/Union Underground). The band had a couple of well-received singles under their belt, but they really went all-out for their debut album. Not only is Good Morning Apocalypse a full-on concept album, it’s a concept album with guest stars Lita Ford, Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, Watchtower), Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept) and Kobra Paige (Kobra and the Lotus).
That guest list alone makes Good Morning Apocalypse worth at least a listen. The fact that the album is so damned good is what guarantees further spins. This is such an interesting and unpredictable album, veering from catchy Black Veil Brides-style epic rock opera to almost power metal heaviness song-by-song. The songs here are huge, with massive backing vocals worthy of a Blind Guardian album, and well-placed orchestration. Even without knowing the story behind Good Morning Apocalypse, you can tell it’s a concept album. The songs all fit together and have a similar vibe throughout the album.
On the guest vocalist side, everyone does a good job, but Udo is definitely a standout. And “Running Under Satan’s Hand” is probably the most metallic song we’ve heard Lita Ford sing in ages. It says something though that with this caliber of guest singers on the album, no one tops Kennison’s vocal performance. There are times when he’s a dead ringer for Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch, which is pretty amazing. The guitar sound and rhythms on this album are also massive. If you’re looking to get a feel for Heaven Below’s overall sound here, “Renegade Protest Movement” and “Bonded By Blood” ought to get the job done.
Talk about setting the bar high. Good Morning Apocalypse would be a triumph coming from a veteran band. That it’s their debut album makes Heaven Below that much more impressive and a band that will definitely bear watching in the years to come. There’s no other band that sounds quite like this, so it’s hard to make a tailored recommendation here beyond this: if you like larger than life hard rock and heavy metal with powerful vocals and an epic feel, Good Morning Apocalypse is a must-hear album.
Summary: I don't know how to categorize this other than "amazing."