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I don't know what it is but this band does everything right. When I initially heard this band there was something that always made me not like them but as I refined my music taste over more varied listening I found myself coming back to this band more and more until eventually I listened to the title track of this album which is when I fell in love forever. Maybe it is there unconventional approach to the genre but something initially feels off for a lot of people when they hear this band and the same happened to me. I can guarantee though, after you listen to this band enough you begin to see the beauty of their work.
One unconventional approach that is immediately noticeable is the vocals. Unlike every other power metal band I've heard the vocalist tends to stay away from a high pitch and go with a beautiful mid-range. There is a purpose to this other than being unique too. It serves this band's atmospheric needs very well. The atmosphere of this album is rather dark but not in the brooding angst teenager way. It's dark in the "there's always a beautiful blue sky to be found after a powerful storm" sort of way. It's hard to explain but when you hear it, you'll get what I'm talking about. The vocalist also uses layering in his vocals to give them a little melodic edge that I enjoy and should be observed.
Guitar-wise the rhythm in this album is unbelievably good. The riffs are always unique and like nothing I've ever heard. Notably on the song "The Flood" the opening riff is one of those instantly catchy and amazing riffs that get stuck in your head. This band is smart too. They know not to beat a good riff into the ground and do well to progress in a way that leaves you wanting more of the same but know that not getting it makes the album much better. Solo-wise there are a lot more memorable solos on this album than on their other works. Usually I found that the instrumental breaks in their songs were memorable for the riffs only while on this album I find both equally amazing. How this band comes up with such fantastic rhythm is beyond me... it's just good. What's more is this band also knows exactly when and where to put breaks in their music to maximize the progression without getting boring at all. The ballad "Beyond the Walls of Sleep" is pretty and placed right where a ballad should be placed and- unlike most other power metal bands- is not overly long and boring *gasp!* I know that's hard to believe, but it's true, a ballad can be interesting and short! That's one of my dreams... to bash into the heads of power metal bands that 8 minute ballads are not enjoyable and are generally just boring. This goes for the breaks in the songs as well, they are placed right where contrast is most effective and not drawn out or made so predictable that you can tell immediately when the band is going out of the B section in there ABA style generic song.
Now for the drums. The drummer is extremely good. At first I got the feeling that he just went straight double bass and just played as fast as possible in a predictable way. Well... that was on the album "Hyperion" where the songs were based on a sci-fi novel. He proved immediately on the other albums that his style on that album perfectly mimicked the mechanical universe that book was based on. Suffice to say he plays extremely intelligently and extremely well. Able to conform his style to whatever the band wants- the true virtue of a drummer. Not just playing the same rhythm with added double bass and a few cymbal hits once in a while. He is part of a whole and not just background rhythm to help out. Keyboards are also used in this album though extremely sparingly. The most notable keyboard part being the straight piano part for a little bit in the title track.
As for the songs in this album they are all great. From the odd intro track to one of my favorite songs of all time, the title track "Roots of Eternity". Yes, the riffs are all varied and different from track to track with no "I've heard this before" or "wait, this is a different song?" Never before have I heard such a hybrid of power, thrash, and speed metal. But sure enough it's here. And this collision of styles are all evident on the title track which is 11 minutes and 46 seconds of perfection. From the instrumental intro to the fast soloing to the acoustic break all the filled with beautiful and meaningful vocals and ending with one of the greatest guitar solos I've heard to finish off the album. It's all there and it all works without ever once making you want to stop listening.
I highly recommend this album. Extremely highly. My grammar is suffering because I love this album so much there just aren't enough l y adverbs that can express my love. Please. Do yourself a favor and find this album. And please don't be discouraged if it sounds off or weird at first. I can guarantee that after a few listens you'll be able to experience this masterpiece to its fullest.