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Marchenbilder - Flickering truth 3/5

Reviewed: 8-1-13


1. Prelude
2. Marchenbilder
3. Tel'aran'rhiod
4. Awaken
5. Two paths
6. Contemplation
7. All roses shall fade
8. Premonition
9. Follow the trail of fear
10. Elegy
11. A step back in time
12. Two paths (orchestral version)

Marchenbilder is a new band from Canada, but their name is translated from German as "Images of Fairy Tales". While the band was formed by guitarist/keyboardist James Slainmann (in 2009), it's drummer Yanic Bercier and female vocalist Julie Belanger Roy who are familiar to me, as they're also members of the gothic/power metal band Gone in April, who currently have one CD 'We are but human', which is quite good.

'Flickering truth' is Marchenbilder's full-length debut, and its style is symphonic metal with hints of both gothic metal and folk metal (especially regarding track 10 "Elegy"). For general comparisons musically, think of Leaves' Eyes, Midnattsol, Edenbridge, Mena Brinno, Elis, Coronatus, and so on. Vocally, Julie provides operatic vocals throughout much of the CD, and she reaches operatic heights more than the vocalists from some of these other bands. You all know I love vocalists of this type, and Julie certainly has a wonderful voice and can easily be added to my list of top-quality female vocalists. In addition, Julie is responsible for the violin and viola, which are well done.

The CD has very little speed (less than what's heard from the aforementioned bands), and flows in a mid-paced manner for the most part, with some occasional slower moments as well. It's consistent as far as quality, but I can only label the quality "good", as I think the CD is lacking hooks a bit, and it isn't one of the more catchy or memorable CDs of this style that I've heard recently. My favorite song is the previously mentioned "Elegy", while my least favorite song is "Tel'aran'rhiod", with the remainder of the songs falling somewhere in between these 2 songs regarding quality.

There's no doubt that all of the ingredients are in place and there's plenty of promise heard from this debut, but I really do think the songwriting is going to have to improve for the band to become competitive in the extra-large world of female fronted metal. All of that said, this is only their debut and it's still good, which is better than some of the other female fronted metal CDs out there. So fans of female fronted bands should check it out, and I'm personally curious to see what the band's future brings us.




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