This debut album by this relatively new German progressive/power metal combo is something of a curate’s egg – good in parts, not so good in others.
Musically, it certainly is good – especially in terms of the interaction between drummer Heiko Burst and bassist Dominik Burgdofer, and again between guitarists Dirk Baur and Siggi Maier, and vocalist Selin Schönbeck certainly has a great voice with an impressive range – but its problem is that it cannot quite make up its mind what it wants to be…
The first two tracks, for example, are all over the place in terms of composition, with pianos and even cabaret sections disappearing in and out of them, with ‘This Holy Dark’ especially disjointed, and it isn’t until ‘Enemy Within’ that the band seem to settle on a pure power metal direction, while the title track (with its brief intro-lude) would have been much better served opening the album rather than jammed in halfway through, as it is a much more attractive (if derivative) scene-setter than the opening couplet…
‘God Is Dreaming’, on the other hand, is so bad as to give even the deafest of supreme deities nightmares and make them wish they had stayed in bed the morning they created mankind, while ‘Out!’ just screams at you to open the door and go on its merry way! ‘Only Time Can Tell’ goes some way towards redeeming matters, with its solid riffing and galloping pace, interjected with some deft piano touches, and features another solid performance from Schönbeck in particular, while closer ‘March Of The Living’ is a good, solid way of rounding things off, with another fine set of performances all round.
As said, musically it’s competent, and there are some really good flashes throughout, but the positives do not outweigh the derivatives (or the negatives) and there is just not enough to bestow legendary status upon either band or album.
Hungry Mirrors / This Holy Dark / Enemy Within / Birth Of The Legend / Rise Of The Legend / God Is Dreaming / Out! / Only Time Can Tell / March Of The Living
Recommended listening: Enemy Within
‘Rise Of The Legend’ is out now on Pure Legend / Pure Steel Records