Asgard (Rus) - House of ashes 3.5/5
2. Study moon
4. The attraction of heaven
5. Falling into the abyss
9. House of ashes
10. Death note
11. Heavy wings (bonus track)
12. Hypnosis (bonus track)
Asgard seems to be a popular name for a metal band, and this Asgard is a Russian band that was formed in 2003. They released their debut 'Sacrament of confession' in 2006, their 2nd CD 'On the verge' in 2008, and this 3rd CD 'House of ashes' was released in 2012. What's interesting is that the debut was sung in Russian, they switched to English with the 2nd CD, and now they're back to singing in Russian for this 3rd CD. The tracklist has therefore been translated, as usual.
You all know that I regularly follow the Russian metal scene, but while I have a lot of bands in the traditional/heavy metal or power metal styles, Asgard provides something different, and that is progressive/power metal. They're successful too, as the CD has a smooth flow with great songwriting, containing enough power metal and enough progressive metal to pull in fans of both genres. In addition, vocalist Alexandr "Rokk" Savchenko fits this style perfectly, with his clear voice that contains plenty of range. In fact, there are spots on the CD that remind me of Geoff Tate and early Queensryche. Plus, there are also female vocals (courtesy of Irina Zaporozhtseva), which are nicely done, so the vocal department is truly outstanding.
All of the songs hover around a level that I'd call great, but track 9 "House of ashes" is definitely my favorite, as it's extremely memorable and emanates a lot of emotion. Track 8 "Shaman" is probably my least favorite however, as portions of it have an aggressive feel that doesn't seem to fit the rest of the CD. Special mention must be made of the 2 bonus tracks "Heavy wings" and "Hypnosis" though, as they're especially catchy. These 2 songs were actually composed by a local pop songwriter, and they're performed to perfection (this is a very talented band), so the songwriter has surely got to be pleased with the songs.
I kinda liked that the previous CD 'On the verge' was sung in English, but I love the Russian language too, so I consider this CD to be at the same level. If you're a fan of progressive/power metal and are open to Russian-language CDs, this CD would certainly be a worthwhile purchase.
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