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Felony - First works 4.5/5

Reviewed: 2-3-06


1. An introduction to...
2. What a felony
3. Say goodbye
4. Justice
5. My way
6. Tonite
7. Freedom
8. Promising heart
9. After the rain
10. Cyberspace
11. Disappointed
12. On life's end

Sometimes the right CD falls into the right hands. This is one such case, as Felony's debut 'First works' has nailed just about everything I look for in a CD. For one, the CD is very melodic and similarities to Stratovarius, Freedom Call, Symphony X and the almighty Kamelot (especially) can be heard with each and every song. Secondly, there are both male and female vocals, which are mostly done in an alternating manner, rather than in harmony. Female vocalist Andrea Richner has a good clear voice (that's not in the soprano range), and male vocalist Andreas Wildi's mid-range voice sounds like the amazing Roy Khan (Conception/Kamelot) at times, although there are moments where his voice is a bit rougher than what we consistently hear from Khan. Even though I'm a big fan of male and female vocals in harmony (or layered), I really like how the vocalists alternate their lead roles.

The CD overall isn't a real heavy offering, but the many melodies and exceptional songwriting make for a debut that's outstanding from beginning to end. There are plenty of symphonic and neo-classical elements and the CD really offers up the entire package. Track 2 "What a felony" (after the short into "An introduction to...") is a wonderful start (one of the best songs on the CD!) with some neo-classical parts and both vocalists are instantly introduced. The bouncy track 3 "Say goodbye" with its memorable chorus is an awesome attention grabber, and track 4 "Justice", which starts out in an atmospheric manner (similar to how some Kamelot songs start) and later picks up with very catchy guitar work, is magnificent. So the first part of the CD is stellar, but this is one of those CDs I truly like all the way through. Other favorites are track 6 "Tonite" and track 8 "Promising heart", which both have slower moments, and I love the soft but memorable chorus in track 11 "Disappointed" that leads us to the hook-filled "On life's end" that finishes the CD.

I've really liked this CD from its first spin and I've found it to be almost as good as Kamelot's popular 'The black halo'. I realize it won't be as special to most of the power metal fans in existence, especially those who aren't into female vocals, but (as mentioned earlier) sometimes certain CDs provide many elements that satisfy individual tastes. 'First works' really does more than this though, as the songwriting and performances are really fantastic and I'd be quite surprised if Felony didn't quickly return with an equally as good follow-up. Excellent!




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