This is a concept album, (which could probably be gathered from the sub-sectioned song titles alone), and the rather excellent album cover sets the scene perfectly.
The first song Overture – Hymn to Sathanas is all orchestration and builds up to some nice martial pomp that gets the blood pumping and the juices flowing.
After this we’re off into the land of Power Metal for A Thousand Lies – A New Dark Age. The start of this song is nicely written and at this point I remember thinking “so far so good, I just hope it’s not all ruined by a substandard singer”; the idea, of course, that quality music deserves quality vocals, and as I’ve opined about previously the weakest link in Power Metal for me is usually just that – substandard vocals.
When the singer of Burning Shadows does make an entrance I was relieved as it wasn’t the average vocals I was fearing and impressed that he’s also quite different to what I was expecting. He’s more restrained than a lot of Power Metal vocalists, and not as high pitched. Even when really going all out he’s still in control of his voice. It’s refreshing to hear and it makes for a better experience than another band simply fronted by Mr. High-Pitched-Generic-Vocalist-Person.
The music follows the concept and creates a suitable narrative of the story the band wish to tell. The songs combine elements of Power Metal and traditional Heavy Metal and are wonderfully composed. You feel part of the action and it’s easy to get swept away with the passion and excitement the songs elicit.
Everything here is well written, well recorded and well played. Burning Shadows have been an eye opener for me and I’m so happy that there are still bands out there who are doing this kind of music so brilliantly.
One of the best Power Metal albums to darken my door in a long time. Don’t miss this.