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Anyone say Epic? - 80%

Torwilligous, October 13th, 2006

... because that's what you're going to get here. This is Ye Olde Epic Heavy Metal through and through, absorbing the largest part of its influence from the convoluted aural journeys of the almighty Manilla Road. I also hear a clear similarity to Italy's Doomsword, though to my mind Battleroar are better.

So, for the uninitiated, what does this actually sound like? Well, there's lumbering, majestic riffs, glorious soaring lead guitars, incredible ethereal vocal lines, and crashing, powerful drums from the old school - a fat, rich sound, and plenty of fills all over the shop. The musicianship of this band is not actually anything remarkable in terms of pure technique (aside from the astonishing vocalist, Mr. Marco Concoreggi), but what these guys do have is plenty of atmosphere and character. You won't find faceless billion-mile-an-hour shredding here, but music which actually sounds warm and deeply human. The atmosphere these guys conjure up is glorious, somehow managing to be both reflective and destructive at the same time; horn blasts, battle sounds and melancholy violins play minor roles in supporting the main metal musicians.

So what about the song writing? The album actually starts and ends with ballads - but what ballads! The first features the legendary Mark Shelton laying down vocals (always a plus), and is wonderfully atmospheric. For my money though, the closer 'Dreams on Steel' is probably the best ballad ever written, which Concoreggi's astoundingly clear and beautiful vocals soar over the top to magical effect. The remaining eight tracks are stirring, full-blooded slabs of metal, with particular kudos going to the awesome epics 'Dyvim Tvar' and 'Calm Before the Storm' - the latter featuring another exceptional appearence by Shelton, this time laying down one of his trademark solos.

In conclusion, any fan of epic or true metal really needs to pick this out sometime soon; this Greek band really have a passion for what they are doing, and it shows through as clear as day. Excellent job!