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ReSolve: Wayward Sanctuary

After listening to the debut from Dutch outfit ReSolve, I'd never have guessed that drummer Gregory van der Hoeven and singing guitarist Lennert Kemper, began their band due to a shared love of Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Dream Theater and Symphony X. In fact, other than a few and it is only a few vocal grunts, the only influence that seems to have seeped into Wayward Sanctuary are those of the Theater of Dream and X of Symphony. And yet, this lengthy seven tracker never really feels like a James LaBrie-athon, or Russell Anderson-homage. Instead with elements of symphonic metal, a female singer in the shape of Radena Dimcheva and, in fairness to the Opeth reference, a meatier (but not that meaty) guitar sound, there's little copycatting going on. However neither do the likes of "December", a fine meandering progressive ten minute-plus journey which closes the album, or the more Iron Maiden inflected "These Voices", where the male vocals are more shouts than growls, really hit as genre bending slices of originality. However, how many bands truly aim for, never mind achieve that goal these days? So singling out ReSolve seems unfair when the ever evolving offerings are well constructed and crammed with enough variety to keep you engaged throughout.

The perfunctory production does its job, holding the differing elements together and yet it's hard not to suggest that the guitars couldn't do with a little grit in some places and polish in others, while the vocals can become a little buried under the excellently delivered drum barrage. Opening cut "Pitch Black Eyes" illustrates an atmospheric side to this band, something they could maybe bring to the fore a little more often; a slow build drawing you in, before surging guitar-key tradeoffs do their best to smack you over the head. "N.P.O.A.L.", which opens with an excellent spoken sample takes a more forceful metal swipe to gets its message across, so it's a shame that the jazzy breakdown it employs is completely unnecessary...

There are areas that ReSolve need to work on before they can be considered as major league contenders. However for a first offering there's plenty promise on show. A more unique sound may well be the key to their progression, while a little more focus on what really clicks into place wouldn't go amiss either. That said, as an opening gambit, this album isn't as off the mark as its Wayward Sanctuary name may suggest.

Track Listing
1. Pitch Black Eyes
2. These Voices
3. Unchained
4. Still Breathing
5. N.P.O.A.L. (Instrumental)
6. Blood Will Tell
7. December

Added: January 9th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: ReSolve on Facebook
Hits: 1653
Language: english

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