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Well-crafted if exchangeable symphonic metal - 70%

kluseba, December 18th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Metalwings is a female-fronted symphonic metal quintet from Bulgaria that has recently released its debut EP ''Fallen Angel in the Hell''. As a fan of the genre, I enjoy the four songs on this release quite a bit. Stela Atanasova is a quite potent classically trained singer with an angelic, beautiful and natural voice that doesn't get too annoying as it's the case for some more theatrical performers in the genre. The keyboards add an epic and mystique atmosphere and aren't too artificial or omnipresent. Occasional Irish flute sounds and especially a prominent use of the viola add an elegant touch to the four compositions. The choruses are all quite catchy and have single potential if the band were signed to a bigger label. The guitar play and rhythm section are less outstanding and rather deliver a solid background job that suits the genre. Metal purists might despise this but it's very common in the symphonic metal genre.

Despite numerous positive points and my personal enjoyment of the material, I simply can't give it a higher rating because Metalwings is ultimately just another of the numerous female-fronted symphonic metal bands hopping on the bandwagon of the successes of Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica and the likes. In addition to this, the band has the bad luck that its music comes at least a decade too late to get an immediate breakthrough and more attention by the media. Despite a great front woman and a skilled keyboard player, the band doesn't truly stick out among the numerous groups of its genre. The four tracks are nice to listen to only to be forgotten sooner than later. If you want to succeed in the symphonic metal business, you have to stand out in one way or another. This isn't the case here yet. If the band focused a little bit more on its use of the viola and the Irish flutes and added some crunch to the guitar sound, there could be hope for the future.

As it is now, I would recommend this record to faithful symphonic metal fans with extensive collections. It's a solid addition without a doubt but neither a highlight nor a stinker. I hope to hear a more unique full length record from this promising band in the future.