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Calm references to classical music and new age - 60%

kluseba, June 11th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Independent (CD-R)

Despite obvious grammar mistakes in the lyrics, Metalwings' debut EP Fallen Angel in the Hell was a promising release thanks to grounded, natural and unique vocals and the use of viola sounds and Irish flutes in an epic symphonic metal context. The first full length release For All Beyond by the Bulgarian sextet is a step back in my opinion.

The viola and Irish flutes are only scarcely used. Only Stela Atanasova's skilled vocals remain to make the band stand out among the elevated number of similar symphonic metal bands like Within Temptation, Sirenia and Edenbridge. Her vocals are soothing and executed with precision. Occasional clean male vocals add some welcome dynamic diversity but they are also scarcely used.

One positive element that can be pointed out is that Metalwings sounds much calmer than most genre bands. The song structures are often long and almost epic, recalling classical influences rather than metal sounds. The keyboard sounds are often as, if not more dominating than guitar melodies. The band offers calm symphonic metal that fans might describe as elegant, professional and unique while others might rightfully criticize most of the song material as somewhat dull lullabies. Symphonic Wings would have been a more appropriate name for this band than Metalwings. People who like to listen to classical music or new age music will like this album while metal purists could easily feel bored.

In the end, Metalwings' For All Beyond isn't without its merits and convinces with elegant references to classical music and harmonious vocals. On the other side, the song writing is less creative, eclectic and exciting than on the better debut EP. Genre fans can give this album a try but occasional symphonic metal fans should rather check out the latest Leaves' Eyes album.

My prayers were answered! - 88%

Dragonforza, April 22nd, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Independent (CD-R)

I speculated not long ago that symphonic metal was dying; some new bands and/or recent records lacked the depth that had been set by the forerunners of the genre. Although maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough. Allow me to elaborate. I came across "For All Beyond" by Metalwings and was immediately hooked.

What I like immediately is that the opener "End of the War" is a proper song in its own right, which properly sets the tone for the record. It sets a really vivid and strong tone as well. It leads nicely into "Secret Town" which gets the ball rolling after the scene has been set. The listener will come to realise that there is a quality depth in the sound. There is plenty of melody and drama right out of the box.

Naturally, there are lots of synth melodies in play but the guitars and bass are executed well. I really like when bass isn't abused and it is integral to the dictation of the sound. The listener will also come across and may deeply appreciate the themes of emotions and feelings, and that they're not afraid to change the tempo and feel, they expertly split the grand climatic finale in "Immortal Metal Wings" then contrast that with the much slower and softer "When We Pray".

The whole record comes in at virtually bang on an hour but there's no feeling of any 'filling', particularly as I was enjoying it and what the songs are trying to convey, even now on the nth pass. The vocals are pleasant and definitely suit the themes. Stela stands out particularly to me in the title track with an impressive display of power. "Fallen Angel in the Hell" and an accompanying instrumental is a perfect way to end, encompassing the power and emotion. There's even a nice guitar solo in it too.

Overall, it's definitely a winner. I've happily been proven wrong and I have a lot of free time to enjoy this album even more. Symphonic metal fans will definitely enjoy it and I think the themes will also attract a lot more listeners.