Published on July 8th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Heavenward: A Future Worth Talking About? (Divebomb, 1992/2019)
Dig deep into any metal scene (in any country or era) and you’ll find bands who never got much attention despite having major talent and a unique sound. For the German heavy/power metal scene in the very early ’90s, Heavenward is definitely one of those bands. Their brand of power metal didn’t follow the Helloween playbook, instead working in progressive elements and a more traditional heavy metal approach. They released a pair of albums, but never really broke through, and disbanded soon after.
Originally released in 1992, A Future Worth Talking About? was Heavenward’s second full-length release. On it, vocalist Stefan Kessel brings in a whole new lineup, including guitarist Andreas Rippelmeyer and drummer Guido Gallus, who would later join Powerworld. The album is a fascinating mix of heavy, power and progressive metal that brings to mind bands as varied as Heir Apparent, Lethal, Mercury Rising, Crimson Glory and even Metal Church. The album has a ton of power, but also plenty of unexpected twists and turns that make it so unique. Kessel’s powerful vocals and piercing highs take center stage, but they’re matched with some very intricate riffs and rhythms.
“Watch Out, Cry Out” is probably the perfect Heavenward song. Half Fifth Angel and half Watchtower, it captures the whole spirit of this album in one song. The slow build and dramatic nature of “The Final Curtain” make it another standout, as does the sheer power of “Dissolute Aura” and “Of Things To Come.”
Heavenward may not have made a huge impact on the metal scene in 1992, but A Future Worth Talking About? remains an album worth talking about. This is exactly the kind of album that any fan of late ’80s and early ’90s progressive/power metal should hear. Fans of early Queensryche, Crimson Glory and Heir Apparent in particular should be all over this one, especially now that we have a second chance to discover this overlooked classic.
Reissue Notes: The Divebomb label’s new reissue of A Future Worth Talking About? puts this long out-of-print gem back in fans’ hands, and of course it’s not your average reissue. In addition to a brand new remastering by Jamie King, which makes a world of difference over the original, the disc features six bonus tracks, including early demos as well as material the band recorded more recently for what should have been a third Heavenward album. There’s also a nice expanded booklet with a band history and vintage photos. If you’re one of the lucky few who had a copy of A Future Worth Talking About?, this is a fantastic upgrade. And if you missed it the first time around, this is the perfect way to correct that.
Summary: An underrated classic for fans of the early prog/power sound