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BnB Power Metal - 70%

ruigeroeland, December 13th, 2007

In Virtue is a young American Power Metal band with a healthy influence of more aggressive forms of metal. Furthermore, they borrowed the idea of male grunts and female clean vocals from Beauty&Beast style Gothic metal, without actually sounding anything like a Gothic Metal band. Making In Virtue a pretty original mixture of styles and elements of different metal genres on paper, but does it actually work in real life?

The EP opener “Dreamwalker” displays the bands sound. The music is melodic Power Metal with decent and powerful riffing, but also a healthy dose of keyboard backing (without becoming cheesy). The song has a catchy chorus and ends up to be the highlight of the EP. The rest of the songs are in the same vein, but miss the catchiness of the first song.

The vocal department is handled by the female vocalist for the most part. She has a operatic style of singing, but still manages to sound more accessible than most operatic style singers do. The male grunts pop up occasionally to give the songs that extra boost.

The EP ends with a house/electro remix of the song Dreamwalker. The band stated this track was created purely for fun. We’ll leave it at that..

Good melodeath - 63%

Muloc7253, December 5th, 2007

This is some pretty decent melodeath. It's totally inoffensive, with some pretty good riffs here and there (of the power metal variety). There are two vocalists, one growled and one female clean vocal, which are both pretty well done. The production is good too (although the music would probably improve slightly having recieved a better production job, melodeath and power metal like this just begs for a full, lush, production).

Although from the band name, cover art and fact that there's one growled and one clean female vocal, you might be expecting this to be gothic, but there's really nothing goth about it. It's your basic melodic death metal - lots of nice, epic riffs, big choruses ("Dreamwalker! Dreamwalker!"). There's clearly been a lot of time put into writing the rhythm riffs and leads - I suppose you could describe this as a less repetitive In Flames with Tarja on vocals (although a bit more accesible than Tarja and not quite as high-pitched). For a debut EP (although it's rumoured there was a demo in 2005) this is pretty impressive, and i'd be quite happy to hear what this band gets upto in future, a better produced full-length would be a nice addition to my collection.

Not bad, just needs more melody - 60%

Noktorn, August 22nd, 2007

Okay, so In Virtue is a power metal band trying to pull off the sort of thing that Nicta does and getting it about half right. I appreciate the general thing that In Virtue is trying to do: a mesh of European melodic power with the more aggressive American style. There's a number of bands doing that these days, and it's a good move. The thing is though, unlike most of them, In Virtue is actually better at doing Nightwish than Iced Earth, and the keyboard-laden Europower style seems more familiar and natural to these guys than pummeling aggression and thrash influence.

There are three real tracks on this EP expressing all the basic sides of the band. Opener 'Dreamwalker' alternates between more aggressive passages reminiscent of Raise The Shield and melodic, keyboard driven sections. The latter are better; minus the keyboards, a lot of the music seems kind of thin and lacking in definition. 'Fatal Eclipse''s second half riffs and solos keep it moving along nicely, including dual lead sections that are quite nice and somewhat playful, bouncing nicely off the choir-backed vocals. Closer 'Paralyzed' is probably the best, with a very cool little chorus and bass interlude that adds an extra dimension to the music where the acoustic guitar on the first track didn't quite manage. The harsh vocals that are occasionally used add a nice dimension to the clean female vocals that dominate the release, and those too are actually pretty good even with the operatic style.

The europower material on this is clearly the best. When the band is sticking to the format of artists like Nightwish and making fairly simple, melodic, powerful... power metal, they do it capably and with a certain degree of originality and flair. The aggressive, keyboard-lacking sections, while not really bad, are certainly a great deal weaker. I admire that the band is willing to step outside the most strict of boxes imposed on the style, though, and perhaps a better synthesis of the two styles would bring them closer to their eventual height. As it stands, the two varieties interact sort of awkwardly; transitions aren't quite worked out, and bursts of rhythmic guitar create a somewhat jarring departure from melodic sections. All the instruments are played very well, though, and production is very clear and crystalline.

So while not all the issues are resolved quite yet, 'Delusions Of Grandeur' is a promising release from a fairly young group of artists. With more reliance on the melodic portions, the band will end up being one of the stronger Euro-style power metal bands in the US, and perhaps their gentle influence from their country of origin will add the extra uniqueness to set them apart from the pack.

The final track, a techno remix of the first song, we'll ignore.