Minstrel - Departure for daydream orbit 3.5/5
1. Ancient calling
2. Time goes
3. Purley salvation
6. Secret time
7. Fairy forest
9. On the road
Metal from Taiwan? Yes, that's right! Until now, my only experience with metal from Taiwan has been with the female fronted power metal band Seraphim. Minstrel is also a power metal band, but they're quite different than Seraphim. For starters, they're not female fronted, and with male vocalist Raku leading the way, they're more in line with what I regularly hear from the Japanese power metal scene, which you probably all know I constantly follow.
So with Seraphim now out of my mind, I'd lump Minstrel and their debut 'Departure for daydream orbit' in the group of bands that contains Galneryus, Knights of Round, Azrael, Prophesia, Versailles, Skywings, Concerto Moon, Black Masquerade, Hizaki Grace Project, Ark Storm, Balflare, Eyes of Fenrir, Marchen Station, Atomic Tornado, Seven Seas, and so on. However, unlike the CDs from some of these bands, almost all of the songs are sung in English, and the 2 songs that aren't are sung in Chinese - track 5 "Refuge" and track 8 "Starlight", which I've translated.
These days, calling a band's style power metal is a fairly generic statement, as very few bands are actually pure power metal. So, as you might expect, there are keys and this CD contains symphonic elements, a progressive edge in spots, and there are also neo-classical flurries. There's plenty of speed, and the guitar work is really fantastic throughout. There are a few slow songs, and they're good, but I think the band is at their best with the fast-paced and exciting songs. I like the progressive parts too though, as they bring in some uniqueness.
In the end, I think this is a CD that fans of the decently big Japanese power metal scene would enjoy. So it's right up my alley, and it's also nice to discover a metal band from Taiwan.
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