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Kapel Maister - Into salvation 4.5/5

Reviewed: 8-12-05


1. Immortal kiss
2. Never to far
3. Glory
4. Thunderforce
5. Keeper of my heart
6. The final symphony
7. When everything ends
8. Sunshine
9. Darkness & tears

Unbelievable! This is a CD like nothing I've ever heard before. While I'm always discovering female fronted bands in the symphonic metal, gothic metal and power metal genres, Kapel Maister (from Argentina) is totally original, incorporating female operatic vocals with neo-classical power metal! Think of bands like Iron Mask, At Vance, Majestic, Symphony X and Magic Kingdom with vocals a la early Nightwish, Operatika, Visions of Atlantis, Imperia and so on. To my knowledge, there hasn't been a band yet that combines this music style and vocal style, and I'm totally loving it!

As if their originality isn't impressive enough, Kapel Maister excels at this combination. There are 2 wonderful female vocalists, Luciana Queirolo and Mariela Lemos. Their vocals are magical, competitive with any other female vocalist I'm familiar with, including Tarja Turunen of Nightwish and Nicole Bogner of Visions of Atlantis for quick examples. In fact, I like some aspects of these 2 Kapel Maister vocalists more. I believe they're young, so they might not have the experience of Tarja yet, but they have amazing voices. Many times their vocals are in harmony (or layered), reminding me of the now defunct atmospheric/gothic metal band Rain Fell Within.

Remember though, It's not the female operatic vocals that make Kapel Maister unique, it's the combination of the vocals and neo-classical power metal that accomplishes this. Guitarist Gonzalo Solgarian is very skilled and could easily duel with the guitarists from the earlier mentioned bands. This is apparent right from the start, as track 1 "Immortal kiss" is excellent. Track 2 "Never to far" (which instantly gives off a "classical" vibe) is also great, and has you wondering if you're about to hear something special. This truely is the case, as the brilliantly composed track 3 "Glory" is phenomenal! The song starts out with some nice symphonic arrangements, then quickly turns to some fantastic guitar work. Midway through the song Gonzalo goes all out and does nothing short of amaze! The fast-paced tracks 4 "Thunderforce" and track 6 "The final symphony" are awesome, as is the slow and keyboard-filled track 5 "Keeper of my heart". The instrumental track 7 "When everything ends" is also good, and track 8 "Sunshine" is very catchy, but the vocals really hit the high notes with this one, sure to scare away anyone that's not a fan of operatic soprano vocals. The final track "Darkness & tears" has many changes in tempo, is very long, but has some outstanding moments and is well composed.

So we have a very original and talented band, a CD with plenty of speed, but with slower classical moments as well. The only minor drawback with this CD is the songwriting could be even better, as a few of the songs lack memorable choruses and melody (Kapel Maister is not as melodic as bands like At Vance). So while the band totally amazes me as I'm listening, only "Glory" really sticks in my head. I have more of a general memory of the beautiful vocals and skilled guitar work. I've found myself constantly craving this CD though, and it's surely my favorite female fronted CD of the year. I know it won't appeal to everyone, but it has more than satisfied many parts of my musical tastes.




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