Magion - A different shade of darkness 4/5

Reviewed: 12-1-13





Tracklist:

1. Beloved enemies
2. Masquerade
3. Ever and a day
4. Shallow grounds
5. Out of time
6. Chance to change
7. Break the silence
8. Untrue
9. Body's betrayal
10. Neverending winter


Magion is a symphonic gothic power metal band from Netherlands and this is their 2nd studio CD. Most of the songs feature epic symphonic gothic metal with bombastic power metal choruses, and frequent instrumental interludes. The gothic metal is unusually dense, busy, majestic and stirring with huge symphonic keys, and the power metal choruses are extraordinarily fresh, engaging and catchy, as are many of the vocal melodies. The instrumental passages are a nice mix of warm and soothing ones along with fast, energetic, driving ones, and there are also 2 or 3 excellent power ballads.

The vocals are primarily mezzo-soprano, courtesy of Myrthe van Beest, with occasional excursions to an enthusiastic soprano style. Although pleasant and appealing, Myrthe’s vocal delivery tends to be somewhat subdued and restrained, with a “little girl” quality about it that is all the more exaggerated by how far back she is in the mix; I would say she enhances the arrangements with gentle beauty rather than carries them forward. As is common for the genre, there are gruff almost shouted death vocals on several songs, but unfortunately they usually distract the listener rather than enhance the songs because his style is so tuneless.

There is no question that Magion’s strength is not so much their vocalists as their knack for remarkably strong songwriting within a genre that has, in many ways, simply been done to death. Indeed, they are able to seamlessly blend a strong pop sensibility in their choruses with surprising intricacy in their gothic and power metal arrangements; the band that most comes to mind in this style is Sabine-era Elis, though Magion is much more symphonic than they were. Magion is highly recommended for fans of the genre, especially those who thought there was no more room for innovation.



CHRIS




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