Hailing from Calgary, Alberta in Canada, a progressive metal trio Heyoka’s Mirror has earlier this month launched their debut EP “Loss of Contact with Reality,” available as a name-your-price download and CD from Bandcamp.
“Loss of Contact with Reality” places Heyoka’s Mirror to the art-metal vanguard, but the three-song EP does find the band on surer footing from which to make their next leap forward. The last track in particular, “Chronovisor,” gets surprisingly good mileage from an unlikely source: melodic metal, maybe the least reputable of metal subgenres. It’s the metal niche that has least renounced the campy excesses of new-wave Brit metal a la Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but it’s also the most melodic, its tell signs being clean-sung harmonies and dramatic synths that tend to blast out from behind the guitars. It turns out the style makes a good segue between the sections of “Chronovisor” that are rooted in math rock and those that are rooted in thrash metal, and the effectiveness with which Heyoka’s Mirror employs those soaring melodies suggests they may yet develop their own mutant pop sensibility.The first two songs are dynamic; they’re also wildly uneven, with very cool ideas alternating, often in rapid succession.
More than anything else, Heyoka’s Mirror is dependent on their ability to generate momentum here, by virtue of which they can keep listeners engaged in these unwieldy but ultimately rewarding compositions. By that standard, “Loss of Contact with Reality” is a success, though its true significance will be determined by how the band capitalizes on that momentum when they come up with their forthcoming full-length.