Final Chapter - The wizard queen 4.5/5

Reviewed: 12-30-04


1. Intro
2. The wizard queen
3. The beginning
4. The old man
5. The one who cannot loves
6. The ballad of the queen
7. The temple of fear
8. The king of the court
9. The fight
10. The resurrection
11. The arrival of the queen
12. The search

Final Chapter is a German band and 'The wizard queen' is a metal opera, but I don't really hear a similarity to Tobias Sammet's Avantasia CDs - it's just not as bombastic. Tobias is a guest on track 10 "The resurrection" though, and he fits in nicely.

Musically, Final Chapter is very melodic, but even more symphonic. Bands like Holy Knights, Thy Majestie and even Skylark come to mind periodically while listening to this. Rhapsody could possibly be comparable in a few spots, but Rhapsody is far more epic than what you'll hear on 'The wizard queen'. So although the band is German, they remind me more of the Italian style.

The majority of the vocals are very high-pitched, somewhere between the Italian and German style. But there are 5 or 6 vocalists in all (remember, it's a metal opera), and at least one female vocalist. It's actually the slow track 7 "The temple of fear", which is a solo by a female vocalist, that's one of my favorite's on the CD. It's a short and simple song, with a wonderful melody line, and is very reminiscent of Skylark 'Wings' material by their female vocalist Kiara. Track 6 "The ballad of the queen" also reminds me of Skylark with its nice keyboard work and symphonic arrangements. The lengthy track 2 "The beginning" and track 9 "The fight" have me thinking of Thy Majestie a bit (specifically their debut), and there are also moments when the great Holy Knights sound appears. All songs are fantastic, there's a great song variety, and it's really enjoyable from beginning to end.

Some CDs aren't full of thundering power metal, and instead are filled with pleasing musical and vocal melodies, cool symphonic arrangements, while still having excellent guitar work. This is one such case, and it's highly recommended!




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