Endoras - Blood on the horizon 2.5/5
2. Where eagles dare
3. Blood on the horizon
4. The farewell stone
5. Princess of the dawn
6. By the firelight
7. Once in a lifetime
8. Black Jack Inn
9. The dawn of history
Out of Switzerland, Endoras brings us their full-length debut 'Blood on the horizon', a CD that's in the symphonic power metal style of Kaledon, Alsion, Eltharia, Dark Horizon, Dragonhammer, and I won't hesitate to include Skylark, Landguard, Gutter Sirens, Magnalucius and Crystal Castle.
Actually, listening to this CD has brought back memories of when I first heard the debuts from Kaledon, Alsion, Eltharia, Dark Horizon and Dragonhammer, and saying that Endoras' debut is comparable in quality to the debuts from these bands is accurate in my mind (though Dragonhammer's debut is the best of the bunch). For starters, the production, while not necessarily poor, is a bit weak and lacks the power that's obtained by bands like Rhapsody of Fire and Thy Majestie. This is fine however, as we all know that songwriting is more important. Plus, this is the band's first steps into the metal world and they surely produced this debut themselves.
Vocally, Endoras is fronted by Mischa Heinen, who seems to leave me both impressed and scratching my head. On the one hand, he has a clear voice that fits symphonic power metal and his performance is quite good. But on the other hand, he often twists his voice in an evil manner (sounding kinda like Fabio Minchillo from The Prowlers) and this other voice is unnecessary, in my opinion. Simply put, I wish he had stayed within his clear and "normal" voice for the entire CD, but keep in mind, this is just my opinion and some of you may like the contrasting vocals.
In addition to vocals, Mischa is also one of the guitarists (along with Marco Denicola) and one of the keyboardists (along with Andreas Niederer). So the guy is talented, and I think the band as a whole is too, and I'd surely call them promising. In fact, when I listen to track 6 "By the firelight" and track 7 "Once in a lifetime", I'm very impressed, as the music is awesome and Mischa stays within his clear voice throughout the songs (for the most part). Really though, the CD has some flashes of greatness, there's a nice balance of tempo, and the songwriting is good overall.
So we have a promising band here that could use some ripening, but the possibility of that happening is high. After all, Dark Horizon gave us an excellent 2nd CD after an average start (for a quick example). That said, for the ultra-picky power metal fans that are no longer watching for 2nd-tier or 3rd-tier symphonic power metal bands, there's nothing wrong with moving onto something else.
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