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Wildpath - Nyx secrets 4.5/5

Reviewed: 3-30-07


1. Night birth
2. Black & white
3. Everlasting wish
4. Gaia
5. Before I die...
6. Ice Rose
7. Ipsylos
8. When legends come to life
9. Eternity
10. Necromancer
11. Prophecies of light and darkness
12. Nyx secret

Are you a fan of female fronted symphonic/power metal, specifically bands that have followed the Nightwish path paved long ago? If not, why not? (hehehe) If so, you're going to love this! That's right, Wildpath is a new female fronted symphonic power metal band from France and their debut 'Nyx secrets' will amaze those who fell in love with Nightwish's early work, especially 'Oceanborn', the CD considered by many (including myself) to be an absolute masterpiece and a CD that provided an innovative and fresh sound to the power metal scene.

Musically, 'Nyx secrets' is very much in the style of early Nightwish, specifically their 'Oceanborn' (mentioned) and 'Wishmaster' CDs, but there's also a strong Dark Moor vibe, circa 'The hall of the olden dreams'. So yes, there is tons of speed on 'Nyx secrets'! In fact, only the short instrumental intro "Night birth" and the ballad "Ice Rose" are without speed. Keyboards are present, in a symphonic manner, and really, think of the Nightwish and Dark Moor CDs mentioned, as there is no better way to describe this CD. Also, this is one of those CDs that offers up unexpected changes in tempo and turns in direction, as opposed to a single rhythm in each song.

Vocally, Caroline Michaud has a great voice in the soprano range, but she isn't as good as some of the other vocalists in this style (ex-Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen for example). Instead, she comes off as a 2nd tier vocalist, similar to the young/lovely Isabel Santos of Rosa Ignea perhaps. She isn't as operatic as Tarja on 'Oceanborn' or 'Wishmaster' either, but I'm not sure that's going to matter to many of you. I must mention that Elisa Martin (Dreamaker/Hamka/ex-Dark Moor/others) makes an appearance on track 3 "Everlasting wish", but I don't really consider this to be a good thing, as Caroline is a much better fit on 'Nyx secrets'.

In the end, I'm quite confident that fans of early Nightwish and early Dark Moor are going to totally dig this CD. There's a high amount of speed, the guitar work is powerful, melodic, aggressive and catchy, and the symphonic elements are not overbearing. Seriously, the musical side of 'Nyx secrets' gets a 5/5 in my book. The only thing that drops the overall quality down (just a bit) is the fact that Caroline's vocals aren't quite up to the "masterpiece" level, and I do wish she stood out more. It's possibly unfair to continue with the Tarja comparison, but when I think of Tarja's vocals on 'Oceanborn' compared to Caroline's on 'Nyx secrets', there's a definite difference. Still, this is a killer CD that's going to leave many of you more than amazed!




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