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Divinefire: Eye of the Storm
The world's on fire!
Even though there are myriad amounts of power metal bands out there, especially with religious leanings, Divinefire stands out just a bit. Yes, they do sometimes fall into that clichéd power metal sound but for the most part they sound pretty original and creative. Even at its lowest points it puts forth both god sound and effort. And, for those who are a bit tentative about lyrics with religious leanings, don't despair that much, they aren't that prevalent.
The musicians on this album are very good, and there are some very good guests, too. They include Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall), Markus Sigfridsson (7Days, Harmony & Dark Water), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt & Narnia), CJ Grimmark (Narnia, Rob Rock & Full Force), and most notably Thomas Vikström (Therion, Candlemass,7Days & Mehida). Besides these great voices, the instrumental sections stand out, too. Both the keyboards and guitars mix very well throughout the whole album and especially well on "To Love and Forget" and "Send Me Out". The guitar solo near the end of the latter really exemplifies great musicianship and control. These two elements are what really make this album stand out a bit more than the rest of the field. While most power metal is mainly a chorus and then maybe some solos and such, Eye of the Storm mixes these elements around to create a unique yet constant feel. Through the 50 some minutes that this album lasts it does tend to get a little repetitive in the middle and towards the end.
One thing that keeps this album interesting is the vocals. Christian Liljegran is very good at both singing and creating the lyrics. His voice is both crisp and clear while still having a metal feel to it. Also what I like about his compositions is that they tell a story, and each song is a mini story which I find really cool. Even if you don't like the religious themes, which don't at all detract from the album, it's hard to discredit him for a wonderful job putting this all together. Jani Stefanovic is another person I would like to point out for his multiple talents. In the credits he is said to be on guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums. Not only does he play those four instruments superbly he also orchestrated the whole thing and contributed on the vocal parts with some growls. While the growls aren't superb it is a very nice effort and I do like his style.
The production on this album is very good by once again Jani Stefanovic. The production is warm but still very heavy and powerful while be very clean and precise.
Eye of the Storm is an album I would recommend to any fan of majestic or melodic metal. This is another great release from Liljengran Records so far in 2011 and I think it is safe to say that almost everything coming out of its label is well worth picking up. For their very good release Divinefire gets 3.5 stars.
Publisher's Note-as we were not given a lot of information with the digital download of this release, it appears our staff was missing some key information on personnel, guest stars, etc.. Jani Stefanovic from Divinefire was kind enough to chime in with this info:
"The poeple you are emntioning are found on the bonus tracks from previous albums, but the album it self EYE of the storm does not contain any of these super guests. Songs like worlds on fire, never surrender are new recordings from old albums, thus the info about appearing people. But it misguides people thinking that they are apart of the new songs 2011. One major thing you miss is that i do not do any growls on the new songs, and CHristian is not the only lead singer. German pascual sings on half of the songs, lead vocals i mean, and he fairly gets any credit or didnÂ´t you recognise that there was 2 different lead singers, their sound is really different. I do a clean vocal part though on Hold on, and another guest singer is a woman. But basically the introduction you mentioned that the album contains a bunch of superb musicians is only half of the truth.
But thanks for the fairly good review anyways, just wanted to correct some flaws there.
Take care. Jani"
1. Time For Salvation
2. Hold On
3. Unchain My Soul
4. Bright Morning Star
5. To Love And Forgive
6. Even At My Lowest Point
7. Send Me Out
8. Masters And Slaves
9. The World's On Fire
10. Never Surrender
12. Close To The Fire
Added: March 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Brian Block
Related Link: Band Website
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|Divinefire: Eye of the Storm
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-03-10 19:31:58
Close To The Fire
Fans of Christian power metal have had a lot of solid material to sink their teeth into from Liljegren Records recently, and Divinefire's latest effort, Eye of the Storm, is no exception. This album is filled with symphonic keyboards, double bass riffing, and soaring vocals galore, with the quality of music often unquestionable. Although I do have a few gripes with the often-cheesy lyrics and the overall level of bombast, there's no doubt that this will please fans of symphonic power metal for years to come. Eye of the Storm isn't the most terribly original album out there, but it's an above-average release with enough quality tunes to satisfy this reviewer.
Eye of the Storm is symphonic power metal in its truest sense. Expect to hear tons of symphonic keyboards, fast drumming, heavy guitar riffs, neo-classical solos, soaring vocals, and even some growls thrown in for good measure. If this sounds like the type of thing that you can't stand, you'll want to avoid this one at all costs. I actually enjoy Eye of the Storm a surprising amount - this album is significantly better than many of its symphonic metal peers. Maybe it's the extensive use of heavy riffs and dark atmospheres that really intrigue me. There's still a bit of cheese here, but the generally dark moods keep this dreaded factor to a minimum. One of the best things about Divinefire are the incredible musicians, and that's certainly no exception on Eye of the Storm. The powerful vocals from Christian Liljegran, German Pascual, and a host of guest musicians really enhance the overall quality of the album. You can expect a decent amount of growling from Jani Stefanovic as well, and, although he's not the best growling vocalist out there, he adds some nice vocal variation into the album. In addition to that, Jani is also responsible for the guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, and orchestrations - when one considers the intricacy of the compositions and the talent that is required to master all of these parts, a new appreciation is surely gained for this excellent musician.
Some people may have issues with the prominent Christian lyrics, but they're surprisingly unobtrusive here - and that's coming from a fairly strict atheist. A few lyrics irk me a bit, but in comparison to some of Christian Liljegren's other projects (particularly Golden Resurrection), this is a pretty "mellow" album from a lyrical perspective. The production is a bit too bombastic and synthetic for my tastes, but I have a feeling that was the intention here. Still, I would've preferred a much rawer approach.
Eye of the Storm isn't the most groundbreaking album out there, but it's an enjoyable symphonic power metal album that should please fans of the genre. Divinefire is a group of talented musicians that deliver quality compositions and impressive arrangements, and that surely shouldn't go unnoticed. Although my interest waxes and wanes throughout the duration of the album, it would be unfair to give Eye of the Storm less than 3.5 stars. I'd recommend all fans of symphonic power metal to give this a listen.
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