Awaken Solace - In nightfall's embrace 4/5
1. Moonlight's wake
2. Escaping the beast
3. Tomorrow's child
4. Gentle breezes
5. Return to Avalon
6. Path untaken
7. The slaying of shallow's queen
8. Dream walker
9. Eternal in time
10. Dear Evelyn
11. The passing
12. The approach of dawn
13. Temptress of the desert eye
14. The final chapter
What we have here is an impressive debut 'In nightfall's embrace' from a new Australian band, Awaken Solace. The CD's style is symphonic power metal and it's female fronted, so if you've been reading my reviews for years, you immediately know that this is right down my alley. Comparisons therefore jumped out to me right away, and they would be Frozen Cross, Wildpath, Operatika, Amberian Dawn, Eternal Dream, Xandria's 'Neverworld's end', and of course early Nightwish.
The band is fronted by Maree Nipperess, who doesn't have the range or power of Tarja (for a quick example), and she doesn't really reach operatic heights, but she has a sweet voice and does a fine job. Thankfully, being a major power metal fan, there is plenty of speed - reminding me a lot of another new band Eternal Dream (previously mentioned) and their debut 'The fall of Salanthine'. There are some wonderful slow songs too, and some mid-paced songs as well. As a whole, the CD is successful at providing a nice balance of tempo and it has a consistent and smooth flow. I also like the frequent guitar solos that pop up, and they bring to mind my experiences with Wildpath's fantastic debut 'Nyx secrets'.
Especially considering this is just a debut, the band's effort is tremendous, and it's obvious they have the talent to be competitive in the style. There's a full orchestra, some choirs (including a children's choir that ends the CD with the closer "The final chapter"), and all of the songs are excellent with passionate songwriting. In addition, the CD has 14 songs and is a lengthy 70 minutes, so the band truly didn't hold anything back with this CD. Also, it comes with a bonus disc, which is the symphonic version of the entire CD - so it's just without metal, though I definitely prefer the original/metal version.
I realize that this CD is suited perfectly to my tastes, but if this is a style that you're also into, this will be an enjoyable CD and an exciting discovery for you as well. I welcome new bands like this with open arms, and I hope we see many more CDs from this talented and competitive band.
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