Song of the Day: Haven - The Calling

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Haven was a heavy metal/power metal band from New Jersey active in the late 80s and early 90s. The band released two stellar full-length albums for R.E.X. and a third independent release that moved away from heavy metal into hard rock and alternative territory.

Fans were often divided on Haven, particularly over the vocals. They were kind of a love ’em or hate ’em thing. Personally, I really enjoyed the unique style. There were enough similarities to Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Mike Lee (Barren Cross), or Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) to draw comparisons, and yet there was a roughness to the high-pitched vocals that made them stand out. That’s without even considering the frequent use of vibrato.

Whereas the sophomore album relished in prog metal rhythms and overtones, Your Dying Day was more straight-forward in its metal invasion. At times it approached thrash–if not in pace, then at least in the intensity and precision of the riffs. Lyrics on the album primarily dealt with warnings of the coming judgment and the need to be prepared for death, subjects that artists tend to shy away from nowadays.

Originally released in 1990, the album has seen numerous re-issues from Millenium (sic.) Eight Records and Retroactive Records, including both CD and vinyl pressings. “The Calling” starts with a beautiful but haunting acoustic intro, and then into one of those intense riffs described above. Enjoy!

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