Zandelle - Flames of Rage
Flames of Rage is the 4th full length album of the US Power, symphonic, progressive metalband Zandelle. The first album in three years. So can this album keep the standards of 2009?
Speed guitar part at the beginning of „Killing gaze“, before the keys appear the first time. George Tsalikis tries to combine darker vocals with higher parts. Really fast song, remembers a little bit to Rhapsody's Holy Thunderforce. Weird guitar solo and some backing vocals round up this epic start. „Broken Trust“ opens with a huge riff and drum, percussion set in. Experimental noise is changing from my left speaker to the right and back. Hard played, lots of power in that song. Before another epical, folky sing-part sets in. Continuing with noisy riffing and solo. The voice is getting more and more in the background, the instruments reign. This is what I would call progressive. With a lot of different kinds of metal in it. Following is the 5 minute title track „Flames of Rage“. Another speedy begin. We have most time 2 or more vocals at a time. So this has a hymn character. Awesome drumwork forwards the song. Some melodic breaks, more screaming vocals, longer guitar solo. I wonder if the band can play a song like this live. It seems very difficult to play with all its facettes. That proves what excellent musicians are doin the talking on that album. „Thermopylae“ is the title of the next song. Don't ask me what that means. Anyway....another fast song. Sounds to me a bit like Children of Bodom with clean vocals. Tsalikis is performing most time in one level height, except the backing vocals of the other bandmembers. The guitar solo this time is done in harmony, the riffing against it. It is a pleasure to hear what surprising sound elements the band use to plug in sometimes. Here an explosion, there some hall effects, war screams. All that you don't await at that time. Great !! In „Dark Nemesis“ we find a symphonic keys and synth intro, guitars and drums are their guests. Balladesque vocals make this song more slow. Keys dominate!! Brings that song to a dark scenery. This is the most progressive song so far. Choirs of the backers in the refrain makes it also a song to sing with. Very imperessing. „Face of war“ is shown over 9 minutes. Starting fast, awesome vocals from Tsalikis. From nearly spoken parts to high performance. Well, the guitars are doin 5 minutes the same, so this is boring you a little bit. After that is more variation in it and so it is getting better. Seems that should describe a war scenery. Not the best song of the album, definetely not. Sure...well played but not much enough adventures to explore for that length of a song. Only the vocal performance can count. After that „Inner strength“ starts acoustic with slow vocals. Let you dream for a minute before the furious guitars crash in and the vocals move to aggression. Memories of old Manowar are in my mind. A hommage to the 80's US Metal bands. Straight and epic. ProgMetal is back in „Defiance“. Aggressive vocals, backing keys, fast drums and guitars. The backing vocals are a little too high I think, but there are that much different facettes in this 5 minutes that this song leaves your mouth wide open.
And now it comes.....“Eradicated existence“. A celebration of a 21 minutes epos. Melancholy start, you are in a parallel world now. Suddenly you you are back on the ground, hit by hard guitar riffs. The story has begun. Normally I am not a big fan of songs with a length like this one. But all what happens in this song is nearly unbelievable. Every second there is something new to explore. Sound effects, guitars fast played, melodic hymns, underlining the vocals. What will come next? I am not sure that I ever heard something like that. I even can find out a thrash metal part, or was it only a sequence to lead over to the next epic refrain? This song cannot be explained, it has to be heard. Dream Theater (their first album) meets Iron Maiden meets Manilla Road meets....meets....meets...
Ok. My words have left me. Listen to it !!
Zandelle made it to find their own style in the area of Powermetal and ProgMetal. It was a difficult album to review cause of all the various styles and sound elements in it. The longtrack at the end could stand for itself, but it is definetely worth to check the whole album. Well done !!
review by Kerb
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