Charizma - II 3.5/5

Reviewed: 2-29-08





Tracklist:

1. The sign
2. Charizma
3. Choose!
4. I'm going towards the light
5. I'll be here
6. Fire
7. Revenge
8. Stop while you're alive!
9. The secret
10. Zone X


The amount of Russian power metal bands has definitely increased lately, and one of these new bands is Charizma, who released a solid debut 'Source of power' in 2005, and their 2nd full-length CD 'II' is hopefully a sign that these guys are here to stay. As you would guess, they've chosen to sing in Russian, and it's something that I'm grateful for, as many of you know (from some of my previous reviews of Russian bands). The CD's title and tracklist are therefore translated, as usual.

Charizma's power metal style is melodic, mostly fast, very much in line with the great Epidemia, and other comparisons would be Arda, Reanimacia, Decuman Wave, Korsika and Retriem, but there are a lot of keyboards present, so Bastion of Destiny and even Miriada also come to mind. Vocally, Charizma's Deymon Avramenko is clear and quite strong, easily comparable to the vocalists from these other bands. All the pieces are in place, for sure, and the band as a whole is certainly talented.

In addition, 'II' is a slight improvement over the already solid 'Source of power'. There are some outstanding guitar solos, some dominating keyboard parts (that I personally enjoy), catchy riffs, and the song variety is very well done. The CD contains highlights too - the ultra-catchy track 4 "I'm going towards the light" being my personal favorite, but the fast-paced track 6 "Fire" is also great, as are the crunchy track 8 "Stop while you're alive!" and the exciting (and guitar-driven) instrumental "Zone X", which ends the CD. There are 2 slow songs (track 5 "I'll be here" and track 9 "The secret"), and they're good, but I definitely prefer the band's faster side. Still, this is a great CD overall and surely a worthwhile purchase for those into Russian-language bands.

In my opinion, the future of Russian power metal is highly promising, as bands like Korsika, Retriem, Miriada (a personal favorite!), Reanimacia and Charizma have proven they have a spark and there's no doubt that they can unleash some of the best Russian power metal ever. So let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that Russia can become a strong competitor in the world of power metal.

As a final note, for those of you that have yet to dive into Russian power metal, know this: If you're a major fan of bands like Stratovarius, Dreamtale, Thunderstone, Sonata Arctica, Celesty, Axenstar and so on, the bands mentioned in this review are extremely similar musically, leaving the Russian language as the only barrier between the diving board and the water. I'm here to tell you that the Russian language really grows on you and the melodies from these many bands are absolutely fantastic. So I highly recommend giving Russian power metal a chance.



CLINT




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