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Don't judge an album by it's cover art - 30%

caspian, July 23rd, 2009

Granted, this is the sort of stuff I would normally avoid like the plague. I don't make it a point to download albums that I know I'll loathe; but man is that cover art cool- a somewhat inviting wave with a barrel section and maybe a ramp for an air, all with some nice fantasy-ish tropical settings and backdrop. I'm one who's easily sucked in by superficial aspects of an album or band, whether it's the band name, album name or an interesting band photo- so despite the triple redundancy in the album title, I honestly thought this could be pretty epic. Curse my inherent shallowness!

Well, to be honest the music's not quite as awful as I expected- the instruments aren't out there reinventing the flower metal wheel but it's certainly more interesting and varied then, say, Nightwish. There's actually a bunch of tempo changes throughout most songs, the keyboards and guitars tend towards polyphony more often that not, things are relatively dynamic- certainly when the guitars and bass cut out for some keyboard/drum interplay in "Seduced Like Magic" I was pretty surprised. Hell, despite the sheer suckiness of the electronic blippery at the start of "Eclipse" there's some sort of integrity there.

So the instruments are ok; certainly not amazing in any sense but relatively tolerable- simple and effective power metal that's really predictable and cheesy but could certainly be a lot worse. As with most bands of this ilk, it's the vocals that really shit on any chance of this being good. The female ones are bad, powerless operatic vocals that sound more like someone gasping for air than anything else- but hey, they're no worse than Tarja's.

It's the male vocals- equally powerless, very nasal, far too earnest, the interplay of the two singers, and the sum of that that makes this as godawful as it is. "Lovebearing Storm" is the first proper song and will be a good enough example to those looking for what's wrong with this band. First, it's ripping off a classical song of some kind (or it might even be the Tetris theme? seriously, check the end of the verses), and second, well, it sucks. A quick listen will confirm that, and what else needs to be said? Do I need to say anything after "the sky is blue"? No, because it's obvious to all but the colour blind. The mind-blowing badness of the vocals will be similarly obvious to all who have a degree of hearing.

It seems these guys have went through a few vocalists over the years; perhaps their later stuff is better- it may be, because the music underlying the vocals, while hardly amazing, does show a glimmer of potential. These guys could be a generic power metal band instead of a bad generic power metal band if they tried enough, I'm sure. Anyway, this album: in short, don't waste your time with this. I'm not entirely sure why I did, either; I should've just downloaded the cover art and left it at that.