This heavy and power metal album with symphonic influences has some good ideas, some slightly more disposable songs, but always some interesting vocal work.
The first track, Dark Paradise, starts in a way that makes you not sure what to expect. It’s a rather heavy track, almost like thrash metal, but its catchy and powerful chorus gives it a power metal quality. Then there’s the lead vocalist’s nasal and raspy but powerful singing, with some evil-sounding whispers added in. It’s a catchy track that goes for an “epic” atmosphere, and it’s a nice way to start the album.
The following tracks keep the same slightly nasal power metal singing and creepy whispers, but also frequently use a female operatic choir. They sing the chorus of Rebellion of the Saints and play a bigger role on the last three tracks, the Symphony of Good and Evil tetralogy. Rebellion, with its catchy and heavy riffs and complex solo, as well as its varied vocal styles, is a first hint of the album’s ambitions.
Because this album does have ambitions, though not every track is equally ambitious or memorable. As proof of that, we have Great Battle and its awesome heavy riffs, which does the epic power metal style better than Dark Paradise. Here I Am is shorter, but still powerful and epic. And Always in my Dreams is still enjoyable, but it’s a ballad with over-the-top singing and a much less ambitious musical accompaniment. But the real highlights are the songs that come in 2 or 4 parts: the Devil Within duology, and the Symphony of Good and Evil tetralogy.
Devil Within starts as a slow but threatening song, with eerie choirs and a constant repetition of the same strange riff. It slowly builds before turning into a powerful thrash-influenced number that sounds all kinds of epic and evil.
Symphony of Good and Evil is a much longer epic with choirs (who handle most of the vocals in the first part), a symphonic orchestra, power metal singing, heavy riffs, great solos and a majestic and bombastic symphonic metal sound. This is ambitious and creative enough to sound like a symphony of good and evil, and the album deserves to be named after it.
Overall, this is a pretty good album, not always perfect but very enjoyable. It has some creative ideas, some catchy chorus, and a mix of power, heavy, thrash, ballads and symphonies that’s varied enough to remain entertaining. It may not be the greatest of the year, but it definitely will grow on you.
Release date: March 19, 2021
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