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A fresh sound to the symphonic metal genre! - 100%

within_darkness, August 13th, 2008

Some new freshness in the symphonic female fronted metal, or what? The fans of the scene are already granted with the presence of the giants in this genre and also with the new additions to the beautiful music of those leaders. But if you think that Velvet Seal is just another commercial band, you’re very wrong.

The first thing that strikes you while listening to their promo material is how fresh and original the sound of the band is. The symphonic parts which became a constant trade mark through time for this musical style are at hand here, but there is also a refined gothic element, brought to the fans by the beautiful musical passages and the incredible voice of the vocalist Gabriella. She doesn’t copy the operatic style of her experienced vocal colleagues and impresses with a pure talent and a strong, clean voice, which sounds very appropriate with both orchestral sound and more energetic guitar riffs. The other main figure is the one of the guitarist Csabee, who is also responsible for the synths.

The title track “Lend Me Your Wings” brings us a strong bombastic opening, a mixture of symphonic background and a havier guitar work, above which sounds the confident voice of Gabriella. This is a most appropriate introduction – you have a pure hit there, but with a great doze of originality. “The One” has a darker sound, the symphonic parts are not forgotten as well, but the main thing is that the composition is based on just a few basic guitar riffs that sharpens the vocal lines and gives the track a special sound. “Desperati” carries in some more ominous mood with its marching beginning, there are also a choir and a stringed instrument elements that fit the darker atmosphere at most. As for “The Divine Comedy”, it’s an excellent ending that proves and keeps up the gothic-symphonic mood from the previous tracks. Csabee did a great job on this one, adding some progressive riffs that makes the composition even more original and different.

With this material I am amazed to still find Velvet Seal without a label, because the band sure proves worthy of attention and deserve to be brought to the public at large. The truth is that despite the numerous newcomers in this musical genre, we rarely get to hear something so fresh and at the same time suiting the requirements of the fans of the female fronted metal stage. The band will be accepted very well both by fans of the originators in the symphonic genre such as Within Temptation or After Forever and of admirers of some new bands like Eyes Of Eden and Nemesea with a similar kind of music sound. I hope for the best future for Velvet Seal because they surely deserve it, and the fans by no means will be disappointed.

After Forever and Epica fans take note! - 98%

ruigeroeland, July 29th, 2008

VelvetSeal is a young Hungarian Gothic/Symphonic Metal band that formed in 2006. They released a four track demo in 2007 and started working on a full-length album after that. The band actually finished the album, but released this four track promo to gain label attention for the actual release of the album.

The band certainly goes all out on the symphonic aspect of their music, with both instruments as choir passages. But the metal aspect aren’t forgotten off course, as proven directly at the start of the promo with a crushing riff introducing the first (and title) track “Lend me Your Wings”. Their style closely resembles bands like After Forever and Epica in both the level of symphonics and heaviness. They even have some of the Middle Eastern influences of Epica, most clearly displayed on the second track “The One”. Great and somewhat surprising thing is: the level of musicianship and song-writing is also up to par with these established bands.

The vocals are handled by Gabriella who has clean non-operatic voice. She has an astoundingly good voice and really takes the songs to a level an average vocalist would not be able to. As mentioned before, there is support by choir passages.

The band paid a lot of attention to both the production of the songs and the visual aspects of their promo release, which makes sense when looking for a label off course.

And I really hope a label picks them up. Based on these songs they deserve a chance to release their full-length and I would certainly like to hear the remaining five tracks and hear the four tracks on the promo without the voice over (god I hate those). Keep an eye on this band if you’re into Symphonic Metal or female fronted metal and if you are a fan of aforementioned bands Epica and After Forever, this is a mandatory listen. And with After Forever on a break for a year, this album might fill the void for fans looking for some new tracks to bang their heads to.