Merging Flare - Reverence 4/5

Reviewed: 11-1-12





Tracklist:

1. At daggers drawn
2. Faker
3. Carved in stone
4. Terrordome
5. In the line of fire
6. Steel redeemer
7. Pride and bravery
8. Killing ground
9. Under the fire
10. Star odyssey
11. Sign of the crimson storm (bonus track)


Merging Flare is a Finnish band, but I'm going to say right away that they sound like a German band, and I was really surprised to learn that they're Finnish. Anyway, 'Reverence' is their full-length debut, and it's pure power metal a la Gamma Ray, Judas Priest, Helloween, Vorpal Nomad, Primal Fear, Stormwarrior, Iron Savior, Heavenly, and so on, though Gamma Ray is by far the best comparison. In fact, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray/ex-Helloween) is a guest on the CD - he provides vocals on track 1 "At daggers drawn" and track 6 "Steel redeemer", as well as guitar solos on track 4 "Terrordome" and track 10 "Star odyssey".

The band is fronted by Matias Palm, who sounds a lot like Kai, and it's actually really hard to distinguish them. Musically, the band provides a well done balance of mid-paced and fast-paced songs. There's not an onslaught of either pace, and it's the balance of tempo that's one of the aspects that stands out the most. I also like the guitar solos, which seem to pop up at just the right moments and are truly excellent. The band only suffers in originality, as this CD could easliy be mistaken for the next Gamma Ray CD, but when the quality of the songs is high, that can certainly be overlooked. After all, not much originality is left in the power metal world.

This one is really simple folks. If you're a big power metal fan and the many CDs from the aforementioned bands are part of your collection, this is a no-brainer. Highly recommended.



CLINT




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