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Dionysus: Anima Mundi

There are so many European power-metal bands these days that it's tough to keep track of them all. And with many of those bands employing the galloping rhythm sections, demons-and-dragons lyrics and epic imagery that fuel critical contempt for the genre, it's no wonder they come and go so frequently.

Into the fray charges Dinoysus -- a German/Swedish collaborative of players formerly with Sinergy and Nation, plus Olaf Hayer, the singer for Rhapsody guitarist Luca Turilli's solo projects -- with Anima Mundi, the band's second album of atypical power metal with neoclassical flourishes. The result sounds sort of like Stratovarius, sort of like Malmsteen and sort of like the players' other bands.

Taking its name from the Greek god of wine, Dionysus doesn't necessarily adhere to clichés. Outside of the generic title track and a few other bland, by-the-numbers songs, Anima Mundi resonates with the sound of veteran musicians who know what power-metal fans want to hear. As on the band's 2002 debut Sign of Truth, the songs that work best here are the mid-paced rockers and the ballads: "Bringer of War," "What," "Forever More" and (especially) the dramatic "March for Freedom." Hayer sings more naturally outside of Turilli's fantasy realms – not even sounding like the same dude on "March for Freedom" – and producer Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia) brings out the finer points in each player.


Track Listing:
1) Divine (4:10)
2) Bringer of War (5:05)
3) Anima Mundi (3:32)
4) Heart is Crying (5:01)
5) What (5:15)
6) Eyes of the World (5:37)
7) March for Freedom (6:05)
8) Closer to the Sun (3:16)
9) Forever More (4:53)
10) Paradise Land (4:52)
Total Time: 48:03

Added: May 2nd 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: AFM Records
Hits: 1521
Language: english

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