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Moby Dick - Ballads of the wolf flights 4/5

Reviewed: 12-7-07


1. Millennium
2. Walls
3. Blood and filth
4. Faces of dreams
5. When you're alone
6. Caprice 13
7. Born by fire
8. All this world
9. Ballads of the wolf flights

Sometimes we make mistakes, and I made one earlier in 2007 by not throwing Moby Dick's debut 'Ballads of the wolf flights' into my listening rotation. Actually, month after month since then, I've passed on throwing it into the rotation, perhaps because the band name and cover artwork wasn't too appealing/promising. Well, I finally got it spinning and much to my surprise, it's one of the catchiest CDs I've heard this year. The band is from Russia and the debut is a Russian-language CD (I've translated the tracklist) in the traditional/heavy metal vein, so Aria becomes the most obvious comparison. But unlike Aria, Mody Dick uses a keyboard in an atmospheric/background manner (though it's upfront on a few occasions), kind-of like the band Kurazh.

The CD is a hit from its opening moments, as track 1 "Millennium" is upbeat and fairly fast with catchy guitar work and a fantastic solo. The following track 2 "Walls" is crunchy and it too features a sweet guitar solo. But while the beginning of the CD is awesome, the quality doesn't let up, continuing on with track 3 "Blood and filth" and track 4 "Faces of dreams", which both feature smooth/catchy rhythms and keyboard highlights. Track 5 "When you're alone" is a very good slow song (the first of 2) and it takes us to the instrumental "Caprice 13", an excellent song that really fits on the CD.

For some reason (and unfortunately), the CD enters hard rock territory at the beginning of track 7 "Born by fire", and this throws things off a bit, as it really doesn't fit the rest of the CD. The song gets back to the band's strengths at the end however, and the following track 8 "All this world" is the fastest song and one of the best, so the CD only hits one minor bump ("Born by fire"). The final track, "Ballads of the wolf flights", is a slow ballad-type song that is good, but the band excels the most when they're upbeat and thankfully the majority of the CD is of this kind.

I'm not sure why, but I just seem to like the majority of the Russian vocalists, and Moby Dick's Andrey Angev is no exception, as he has a great voice, though I do feel like his vocals stand out more on some songs than others. The band really doesn't have a weakness, and besides "Born by fire", I like every song. With lots of catchy riffs, terrific guitar solos, strong vocals and competitive songwriting, this cool CD is a definite surprise and is recommended to fans of Russian-language traditional/heavy metal, especially those who are into Aria and the more obscure Kurazh.




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