Soul's Mirror - s/t (EP) 3.5/5
2. We await the passage
3. Judgement day
4. The legent of the sand castle
5. Soul's Mirror
Despite the few obvious exceptions, Switzerland has never really been a country known for exporting a great deal of metal bands, and power metal in particular seems to be in short supply in Europe's centre of neutrality and expensive watches. Soul's Mirror are a young band looking to set this straight and their 's/t' debut EP is an impressive glimpse at the potential these newcomers have to go places.
Containing 4 quality songs (as well as a nice little piano and guitar intro), the EP manages to sound immediately familiar, but at the same time does not call any one particular band to mind – Soul's Mirror seem to have managed to find that little sliver of originality which could prove crucial for them in the future.
A selection of uptempo melodic power metal with an attempt here and there at more ambitious territory, the EP shows a band confident in their own abilities and belies their youth and inexperience. The production job must be credited as well, as everything is clear as a bell and there are no amateurish failings to be found in this department.
"We await the passage" is a strong opening track, and sets the tone well for the rest of the EP, staring on a superb solo and exhibiting some superb lead playing and nice speedy riffs set off against quieter opening and closing sections that unfortunately show some limitations in vocalist Stefano Dell'Ava. He handles the verses and chorus of the song assuredly and has a sturdy voice, but the soft, almost whispered parts in the quieter pieces of the song do not sit very well.
The same problem appears on the curiously-titled "The legend of the sand castle", where his vocal parts sound of place and his pronunciation lets him down a little during the atmospheric sections. The song is another sure-fire hit though; the EP's epic at nearly 7 minutes long, and managing to jump between slower and faster sections without sounding muddled, it features another excellent solo section and shows a maturity to their writing that can often be absent at this stage of a band's career.
"Judgement day" and the band's title song "Soul's mirror" are more straight-ahead than the other 2, and the latter's strong chorus brings the EP to a rousing conclusion. It isn't an utterly stunning debut, but at the same time it shows more than mere promise – these are all great songs, and since the band are only just starting out you would imagine better is to come from them, but even a continuation of the level of quality on this EP onto a full-length CD will see them develop into a very competitive band, indeed.
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