This is an interestingly darker take on power metal. You get all the nice power metal ingredients, like the fast riffs, belting vocals and epic lyrical themes, but with some differences from the typical power metal formula.
There’s some fun adventures, but there’s also a dark undertone. You have powerful tracks about how they like to fight, but there’s also some stuff about death and the end of the world. You have a pump-up intro called Warriors in Line, followed by the powerful, epic track Never Back Down. But then, there is the more desperate The Astonishing End. The ballad, Angel, also sounds more desperate than soothing. And then, there are the darker and stranger tracks, that prove this album is not quite as optimistic as it seems: Crawling Among Shadows and Beyond Darkness. The first one is basically a melodic death metal track with barely any clean vocals, some really heavy music and a dark tone. The second one is even weirder, but even more fun to describe, a 6 minute spoken word, occasionally accompanied by unsettling electronic sounds, about a warrior who was used and manipulated, and we don’t know if he’ll manage to escape one day. That track creates a rather dark ending for this album.
Basically, there is an apocalyptic atmosphere. This is not power metal with growls, unlike some bands I’ve already reviewed, this is more melancholic metal with some catchy choruses. You can hear that with the riffs, that can sometimes be melodic and sometimes heavier, with a dark undertone, and by the vocalist, who can successfully express all sorts of emotions, but also sounds slightly lower and gruffer than most power metal singers, as emphasized by his growls, and his lower, more desperate vocalization on The Astonishing End.
So this album has many good things, it has good riffs, good choruses, some interesting vocals, a really well done dark atmosphere, and it tells an interesting story too. Then, why don’t I like this more than I do? Well, I don’t exactly hate this, it doesn’t do anything outwardly wrong, but I guess that the songs are not quite as remarkable as some other similar bands I’ve reviewed, and the band doesn’t yet have the same ambitions or skills as other bands they could be compared to. I also have to say that the songs are long, and can sometimes be hard to get through. And since this is such a different take on power/heavy metal, I think it might confuse some of you…
But it’s not that bad, it’s actually pretty good. There are many good ideas, and the band has a lot of good things going for them. Also, this album is telling a story, so we’ll hear what’s coming next on the next album, probably. I hope they do make a next album, because although it’s far from a perfect debut, it still has a lot of potential. So give this one a try, just don’t expect perfection.
Release date: October 2nd, 2020
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