Voices of Destiny - From the ashes 4/5

Reviewed: 4-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Ray of hope
2. Twisting the knife
3. Return from the ashes
4. Relief
5. Icecold
6. Apathy
7. Endeavor to life
8. All eyes on me
9. Bitter visions
10. Hourglass
11. Red winter's snow II: Blood and stone
12. Not the one


Forming in 2004, German symphonic metal quintet, Voices of Destiny have finally unveiled their debut release, entitled ‘From the ashes’. After a self-released demo recorded in 2007, the group participated in a local musical contest held in Stuttgart, Germany and received the jury award at the finals. Then in mid-2009, Massacre Records offered Voices of Destiny a worldwide contract; culminating with the recording of this CD following soon after.

Released in February of 2010, ‘From the ashes’ is a well crafted CD, joining the symphonic metal cluster of previous bands like Nightwish, Epica, Edenbridge and Within Temptation. With most symphonic metal bands, Voices of Destiny also have a gothic influence in their music, in which should therefore appeal to fans of the above-mentioned bands; but also bands like Operatika, Xandria, After Forever, Dawn of Destiny and Visions of Atlantis.

Adding depth to their already (almost neo) classically-entwined symphonic sound is the inclusion of raspy male vocals (Lukas Palme) in parts throughout each track. Overall, the male vocals are quite non-threatening; with the most extreme vocals you will find on the release is short deep growls. Main vocalist, Maike Holzmann has quite a bit of talent, with a seductive and angelic voice that can glide high as the night sky. Maike, who is just 20 years of age, sings with a slight operatic style; similar to Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish), when she sung with Nightwish on their ‘Angels fall first’, ‘Oceanborn’ and ‘Wishmaster’ CDs.

The melodic guitar blasts comes care of axeman Christopher Gutjahr, while keyboardist Lukas Palme does a great job in keeping it all together, like all keyboardists in symphonic metal bands. His creative, aggressive and atmospheric keys is easily one of the highlights on the release as he takes charge throughout each track, melding wonderfully with the guitar and bass.

With some symphonic metal bands of the past, there has been times where the bands in question hold off on an aggressive style, going for a more melodic and synth driven approach. The lighter side of symphonic metal, you might say. What I really like about Voices of Destiny, is that they are not afraid to get heavy. On numerous tracks on the CD, there is a fury of double bass, entwined with dazzling speedy guitar riffs; pulverising power chords aplenty. The only shortfall that I want to mention is that the track times are just too short (the longest track on the CD is just 5:01). For the style of metal they are producing, putting so much into each track, the 3:30 average is just not enough time to deliver the goods.

Thankfully all is forgiven, because 'From the ashes' contains some top-notch kick ass tracks; beginning with the CD opener “Ray of hope”. But wait, there's more, including the swift and upbeat “Return from the ashes” and the thunderous and brilliant (best track on the CD, in my opinion) “Endeavour to life”. Finally, the powerful “All eyes on me” the grand movie score sensations of “Red winter's snow II: Blood and stone” and the bombastic and devilish “Not the one” rounds out the scorching debut from this young band.

Voices of Destiny certainly have a bright and big future ahead of them if they can continue to produce this kind of quality on their releases, after laying down the rock solid foundations with 'From the ashes'. I was greatly surprised with this release and it is a fantastic effort knowing full well that this is a debut CD. 'From the ashes' is definitely worth tracking down if you've liked what you have read thus far. Without a doubt, one of the best debuts of the year.



SEAN




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