'About Eternal Wondering and About the Earth'

(CD Maximum)

MARK: 90/100


Lend 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 personal paths.
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 Metallica.
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.


Line-up on this record:
Pavel Okunev - vocals
Dmitriy Prozko - guitars
Igor Peskarev - guitars
Yaroslav Pastuhov - bass
Vlad Alekseenko - drums

Official sites: http://arda.heavymusic.ru/


-Fly away (demo - 2002)
-About wondering and about the earth (CD - 28th Sep. 2004)
-Exorcist (EP - 2005)