Conquest (Ukr) - Frozen sky 3.5/5
2. The ways of vice
3. My aim
4. The road to nowhere
5. Flying in the rain
6. The temple of fear
7. Don't tell me farewell
9. Before the war
11. Frozen sky
It's been over 3 years since Conquest (from Ukraine) released their debut 'Endless power' and a lot has changed in that period. For one, they've changed record labels and are no longer with the popular Russian label Irond. But more importantly, the band's line-up has nearly completely changed, with guitarist W. Angel being the only member that remains from the 'Endless power' line-up. They've even added a keyboardist (Lady Dea), although keyboards aren't a major part of their music. So they obviously needed the entire 3+ years to bring us their 2nd CD 'Frozen sky', and they perhaps could have used even more time, as although 'Frozen sky' is a great CD, it feels like a debut and doesn't improve over 'Endless power'.
For those who are unfamiliar with Conquest and their debut 'Endless power', they play fast-paced power metal in line with Axenstar, Guardians of Time, Celesty, Lost Horizon and at times reach the speed of the ultra-fast Dragonforce. 'Frozen sky' continues the fast pace we heard with 'Endless power' and will surely satisfy fans of the band. The "Intro" (though your typical power metal opening) is very good and the thundering track 2 "The ways of vice" that follows is a strong start and is going to have fans of speedy power metal very excited. Track 3 "My aim" speeds things up even more(!) and is one of the CDs highlights, offering up some outstanding guitar work.
But as we hit track 4 "The road to nowhere" (during my first spin), which is another fast-paced and exciting song, I begin to notice a lack of pronunciation and occasional lack of emotion that exists with new vocalist Alex G.L., who replaced Jenick D. Lenkoff that did a fine job on 'Endless power'. Although Alex's vocals are decent on the slower songs and he does have a nice tone and good range, I struggle a bit with his vocals the remainder of the CD (and following spins). A somewhat minor complaint however, as the music on the CD is awesome.
More faster songs are found with track 6 "The temple of fear", track 10 "Warbeast" (which follows a slow but very nice instrumental "Before the war"), and the CD finishes in a speedy manner as well with "Frozen sky", one of the more melodic songs on the CD. There are 2 ballads ("Flying in the rain" and "Sunset"), and although they're good, I don't think they quite match the greatness of "Winter has come" and especially "I wanna be with you" from 'Endless power'. I'm a sucker for guitar solos though, and both ballads thankfully contain them.
While recommended to fans of fast-paced power metal in the style of the previously mentioned bands, 'Frozen sky' really does comes off as a "start over" CD to me and I actually slightly prefer 'Endless power'. A true debut feeling exists here, and with the vocals bringing down the overall quality of the CD a bit it's hard for me to look forward to these guys bringing us a masterpiece in the future. Especially when I've made comparisons to Guardians of Time (who has sadly split-up) and Lost Horizon, who each have 2 Magnificent CDs that constantly enter my listening rotation.
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