Barque of Dante (The) - Final victory 3.5/5
2. Final victory
3. Last moment
5. Dine in the hell
6. Immortal king
7. Warrior's ballad
8. My spirit will go on
The Barque of Dante is the 3rd Chinese band I've discovered, and their full-length debut 'Final victory' is also the 3rd debut, following Frozen Cross' 'Frozen heaven' and Illusion's 'Invincible'. Unlike 'Frozen heaven' and 'Invincible' however, 'Final victory' is not a Mandarin Chinese-language CD, as it's sung in English.
The style of this debut is symphonic power metal in line with Thy Majestie, Holy Knights, Skylark, Rhapsody of Fire, Kyrie Eleison, Kaledon, Ekzistencia, Gutter Sirens, Final Chapter, Seyminhol, Derdian, Masterpiece, Landguard, Dark Horizon and so on. Vocally, Zhiheng Xie (who's also the bassist and one of the guitarists) leads the way with his clear voice and he reminds me of Claudio Canti from the early Kaledon CDs and Michele Sorrentino from Landguard. There are also backing vocals, most of which are provided by female vocalist Jing Wei, who has a very nice voice.
Just like the many mentioned bands, The Barque of Dante offers up plenty of speed, but there are some wonderful slow songs too. These are track 4 "Farewell" and track 7 "Warrior's ballad". Both feature Zhiheng and Jing singing duet style (not far off from what I've heard from Final Chapter and Ekzistencia), and they also contain some really cool musical segments. My favorite song is probably track 5 "Dine in the hell", as it's fast-paced and it seems to be the most memorable, but all of the songs are well done.
Unfortunately, 'Final victory' is a very short CD at only 40 minutes, and especially considering the final song is a Dragonforce cover that's 8 minutes long, I find my self wanting a bit more. By the way, the Dragonforce cover "My spirit will go on" (which is one of Dragonforce's best songs) is really good and it contains some light symphonic elements that put a somewhat unique twist on the original version. Anyway, regardless of the CD's length, this is a great debut and fans of symphonic power metal should definitely check it out, even if power metal from China seems unusual.
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