The band Fairyland has existed for more than twenty years (considering the years under the names Fantasy and Fantasia), but this year the band have released only its fourth album called “Osyrhianta”, the first one in collaboration with Massacre Records. And the debut one for the new vocalist, guitarist and drummer. The band was formed by keyboardist Philippe Giordana, and after some drastic changes he decided to continue as a one-man band with guest-musicians during the tours or recordings of the new material (as a sole compositor of Fairyland music). But for five years the band is again complete, and for a good reason, because the new album is professional and quite enjoyable.
This French band from Nice is oriented rather on Italian symphonic power, (Fairyland is especially fond of Rhapsody), but Fairyland is not one more clone of the Italian pioneers, the band has developed their own sound, and the last album proved it. The musicians play exactly that type of power metal, when it was only conquering the positions on the metal scene in the 90s, but the music of Fairyland doesn’t sound old school or boring, it perfectly fits in modern times despite the limitations of such a conservative genre. Yes, there’s nothing new or innovative on this release or the previous ones as well, but thanks to such bands as Fairyland, the power metal doesn’t lose its gist.
Since Fairyland plays symphonic power metal, the keyboards hold the leadership positions, though without overwhelming the general sounding with simpering sweetness. The album is fast and rapid, sometimes the tempo is reduced to mid rhythm, and only the last song “The Age of Light” is structurally closer to a ballad. Everything is so canonically beautiful and accurate, it seems that all tracks were written from a power metal template, but despite that classic righteousness, the songs are alive with their own individuality. So, the band is in an advantageous position with its composing skills, because the music is pleasurable and catchy, no wonder that Fairyland was able to establish its name on the scene, which is now swarming with copycats.
The release is epic, solemn and symphonic, it creates a fighting spirit not only due to related lyrics, but more because of anthem-like compositional design. The rhythm-section is muffled by the guitar of Sylvain Cohen, and the sound of rhythm-guitar is harmonious and well-considered without dramatic contrasts or sudden change of chords. For power metal the guitar solos are not too complicated or technical (without neoclassical influence), but the keyboardist again takes over the reins of power, the synth solos are really sophisticated and catchy (like in the song “The hidden Kingdom of Eloran”). So, the main goal of Philippe isn’t only to create an epic atmosphere and to play on the background some fancy and romantic passages, the keyboardist leads the general mood of every song, making them more solemn, gentle or heavy (according to demands of each song).
The album starts with the recital, and soon enough it emerges into an epic journey of speedy classic power metal. There are various structural changes in the instrumental song “Mount Mirenor”, from the typical power/speed metal to lovely and tender passages with imitation of flute and violin (“The Age of Light” also is filled with the sound of flute). Some songs sound more thoughtful and slower (like the song “Alone We stand”, which reminds rather of Blind Guardian), and the same could be applied for the choruses (but despite the slowness, they are incredibly epic). “Heralds of the green Lands” is influenced more by heavy metal, but generally, “Osyrhianta” is too loyal to power metal genre to be heavily influenced by another musical styles.
The new singer Francesco Cavalieri sings pretty good, his voice isn’t too high, but it is forceful and full of emotions, and on some tracks, he uses harsher singing technique (like on “The Heralds of the green Lands”). But the guest singer Elisa C. Martin, known for her work with Dark Moor and Hamka (she used to work with Fairyland in 2003), adds to modern song “Eleandra” her remarkable voice, without power metal cliché, because her singing is closer to manner of Doro Pesch. As well as the last song “The Age of Light”, but in a softer and sweeter manner. And by the way, the choir of musicians on every chorus adds some extra symphonic points to this release, full of majestic anthems.
Fairyland prefers the lyrics, based on themes of fantasy, although some songs are generalized on eternal themes (darkness vs. light). The cover art (made by Chilean artist Gonzalo Ordóñez) matches the lyrical themes with symbolic attributes of personal struggles between good and evil. So, everything on “Osyrhianta” is classic in a perfect sense, helping the power metal scene to survive.
Release date: May 22nd, 2020
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