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R-Genium - What dreams may come 4/5

Reviewed: 11-1-11


1. What dreams may come
2. Forever
3. Dreamer
4. Passion and artist
5. In the power of the night
6. Loneliness in the moonlight
7. Following the sun
8. Another day
9. Beyond the horizon
10. Be with me

R-Genium is a symphonic power metal band from Russia and this is their debut CD, which is sung in Russian (the title and tracklist are translated). Just like you would expect from a symphonic power metal CD, the songs are generally very heavy, crunchy and dense with huge warm pervasive symphonic keys. The arrangements are really epic and often anthemic, sometimes almost intoxicatingly enthusiastic and dramatic. Every song contains several memorable hooks, from a catchy chorus to a galloping guitar run to a speedy bombastic rocking guitar riff. Indeed, most of the songs are quite extraordinary in their ability to convey a sense of triumph and exuberant well-being without sounding silly or contrived in the least. There are also 2 beautiful ballads.

The primary vocalist is Tatyana Shevchuk, who sings mainly with a beautiful lightly operatic soprano style; when she sings like this she could often easily be mistaken for Tarja Turunen singing in Russian. She also sings with a deeper mezzo-soprano style when it suits the music, and is even occasionally playfully poppy in her delivery. Although I cannot understand the lyrics, her melodies are always remarkably expressive, engaging and uplifting. There are warm male vocals on several songs with some beautiful harmonies with Tatyana. There are also excellent death vocals on one song, their 14-minute epic, almost progressive, 9th song "Beyond the horizon".

R-Genium’s obvious influence is Tarja-era Nightwish, especially ‘Once’, their last CD with her as vocalist. While Tatyana does not quite have the power and polish of Tarja, she is still an amazing and versatile singer. The real magic of ‘What dreams may come’, however, it the astonishingly powerful songwriting, especially for such a familiar genre with so little room for real innovation. Yet R-Genium has written songs that are so engrossingly uplifting that they make the genre feel fresh and new, so much so that I always find myself just a little bit happier after I have listened to this CD. R-Genium’s songwriting skills are right on par with Nightwish, making it an essential CD for fans of Nightwish who still miss Tarja, as long as you can enjoy everything sung in Russian.




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