Sound Storm - Twilight opera 4/5
2. Bound to hell
3. The nightmare
4. Always be the same
5. Falling star
6. Ecclesiae iudicium
8. Love at sundown
9. Me and myself
10. Lord of the blood
11. Queen of the ice
Those who know me well are aware that I've been into Italian power metal for many years, and it's always exciting for me to discover a new Italian power metal band, especially when I can pass the information onto all of you. While Sound Storm was actually formed way back in 2002, 'Twilight opera' is their full-length debut, and the band has definitely gained a lot of experience over the years. It's also really obvious to me that a lot of time has been spent in creating a debut that will make some waves in the ocean of metal. I sure hope it does, as it's truly excellent.
Simply calling Sound Storm a power metal band is a bit misleading though, as they're more of a symphonic power metal band and this debut is quite epic, contains a few neo-classical segments, and is even a little folky at times. Band comparisons stood out immediately, and they are Kyrie Eleison, Divinefire, Rhapsody of Fire, 7 Seals, Six Magics, Irencros, Holy Knights, Bride Adorned and Thy Majestie. Some of these bands are totally awesome in my mind, and I consider Sound Storm to be up there with the best of them.
The band has come up with some special names for themselves (like Dusk and Sadwise, for examples), and vocally, they're fronted by Letstat (Filippo Arcancio is his actual name), who has a clear yet somewhat rough voice, so he's different than the typical high-pitched (falsetto) Italian vocalist. He does provide some screams, but for the most part his voice is decently rough, and I think he fits the music perfectly. There are also some female (soprano) vocals, but not very many, and of course there's a choir, which adds to the overall epic feel of the CD, without dominating the rest of the elements.
One of the things I like about this CD is that it's extremely powerful, with a tremendous production. It was actually mastered at the popular Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland. The music is sometimes pounding (a la 7 Seals), there's plenty of speed, and there are some amazing keyboard parts as well. In addition, there are many strings present, which include 2 violins, a cello and a viola, and they sometimes lead the songs, in a very well done manner. Overall, the CD contains a lot of nice melodies and is quite memorable.
So what we have here is a strong new band with all of the ingredients in place and a bright future. What's most impressive to me is that 'Twilight opera' is a consistently excellent CD. I like all of the songs and it has a wonderful ending, as "Queen of the ice" is a beautiful slow song that leaves a lasting impression. Basically, there's nothing to dislike about this debut and if you're into symphonic power metal, you've simply got to grab it as soon as possible.
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