Lion Music 2013
Rippling the surface and scared to get deep, Birmingham quartet push things to the limits.
Song titles such as “Rites Of Passage” or “Deus Ex Machina” may be indicative of this band’s non-originality and prog rock aspirations but as far as the signifiers of one’s debut go, they’re spot-on. Spot, then, implies something static, which goes against the grain of the English foursome’s very nature… that they seemingly struggle to define.
With overall atmosphere of power metal, expansive in the “Labyrinth Of Mirrors” symphonic sway, sometimes the heavily compressed drums blow out a lot of dynamics lurking in the heart of “Echoes Of The Soul” and “Forever’s Edge” despite the melodic flow of Joe McGurk’s guitar. Strangely – and that’s where the “opposing” part comes into play – on the minefield of ballads the ensemble deliver with much grace and gusto. Two slow songs the savers of the whole record, in the strings-wrapped acoustics of “Las Lagrimas Del Diablo” and the piano-led choir of the title track Ludovic Desa’s voice shines the brightest over the shimmering strum and synthesizer strokes. And then there’s the three-part epic “The Fallen Opera” which binds together all the band’s motions and, while running the risk of sounding histrionic, goes for the marriage of prog and metal once again.
A little alchemy for all the good intent, living up to their name doesn’t work miracles here direction-wise. The start is nice, though.