an ear to this review, even if the CD was released more than a year
ago; as a matter of fact the Moscowian band already has a more recent
MCD out, but from
what I heard its sound is not good at all and the top of their career
remains this authentic gem, composed of 9 tracks and a bonus taken from
their homonymous demo.
The Power metal masters start with "The Return of the Lord",
an engaging opener bathing in Symphonic Speed metal, showing excellent
capacities of interlacing drums and keyboards, followedby another striking
hit, "The First Winter"; this song contains irresistible
refrains and riffs, and one more time we need to stress out how penetrating
the work of the uncited keyboardist is.
"In the Void" is a bridge to "Melcor",
the more wicked of their songs: it's based on witch vocals and other
pompous and vigorous ones like the ones you can find in the other songs;
there's also a rather epic chorus sustained by crushing guitars and
afterwards a psychedelic keyboardistical break; the vocals become quite
high, while the main guitarist launches himself into a slow and heartfelt
solo which accelerates in the end together with the rhythmic section.
More than a composition, this is a masterpiece!
There's something of Maidenian school in "For the Stars",
another thundering solo proving to the few ones still in doubt that
that guitarist is a real champ; besides that, the track moves on very
A light rain unveils "There's Nobody", later replaced
only by an arpeggio and some vocals; when the distortions and the rhytmic
section pop in, the piece keeps being deeply-felt and nostalgic, embellished
by further chiaroscuros leading to a significant axe solo and the end.
Here is where Pavel Okunev (ex-Epidemia (Rus)) displays his ability
and vocal range.
The long title track is the more complete testimony of the 5-piece's
and and the album's musical etherodoxy, so unforeseeable and rife with
time modifications to make them closer to Progressive/Speed metal. You'll
be astonished for instants when you hear the finalé with baritone
Bolshevist vocals in the back row and the magic piano touches.
The Interlude "Winged Darkness" doesn't run away from
such registers and is actually typical Sovietic metal coming before
"The New Dream", an outro reminding of the sweetest
The above-mentioned bonus "Fly Away", the only sung
in English, is suitable to conclude with shrewdness and elegance this
important CD, even though it's different thanks to modern solutions
going arm in arm with Accept-like references.
In the sea of thousands of new releases a year, this album represents
an intelligent choice for the experts and novices of Symphonic Power
metal, so you'd better do all your utmost to get it even if it's not
distributed out of CIS.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th March 2006