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It is so refreshing to hear a melodic power metal band who honors both sides of the coin, the melody, AND the power in power metal. Sinergy's earlier material may have not been so good, or so I hear, but this album owns from start to finish. In fact, I will go as far as to say that this is one of the best melodic metal albums I've heard in my time, and since I've been a banger since roughly 1983-84, this ought to tell you something.
I really wish people would quit bashing Kim Goss and get a life already, because she kicks ass and takes names on this album. Her strong, confident midrange belting is indeed reminiscent of a female Bruce Dickinson (as another reviewer said here very accurately), and the version of Iron Maiden's very classic "Number of the Beast" (one of the first metal albums I bought when I was 14, years ago in the Dark Ages) that closes off this album does the original ample justice. Stick to your guns and don't let anybody take your bullets, I say to Mrs. Goss-Laiho, cos she is doing just fine.
The rest of the band is by no means overshadowed by her, as they hold their own like the veterans they are. Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala make an outstanding guitar duo, throwing out riffs and shred leads with murderous precision, and whoever the bass player was on this CD, he hangs with the guitars loud and clear with a fabulously crunchy, slightly distorted tone. And the drumming is like piledrivers, powerful and precise, although I suspect he may be triggered.
Standout songs? Oboy..."I Spit On Your Grave" and "The Sin Trade" kick the album off in fine metallic fashion, and "Violated" is nicely venomous and scathing. "Written In Stone", if this is a ballad, then this is the kinda ballad I want to hear more often--ballsy and aggressive, yet sensitive lyrically. Laiho makes a guest appearance vocally on "Shadow Island", one of the most aggressive and powerful tunes on here, and his ugly rasp goes well alongside Kim's melodic vocal. That tune also features a Therion-like vocal choir on the verses that will make your short hairs stand up. The title track starts with a mercifully short sound bite of a couple (Goss and Laiho?) arguing and screaming that is a little irritating, but conveys the anguish of the title track well, and "Remembrance" is a pretty piano piece in memory of the 9/11 victims that is eloquently simple.
Altogether...this is essential for those out there who are craving good quality metal with equal parts melody and balls. And I do mean balls, never mind gender issues. Get this and enjoy it, because mark my words, you will!