Anthriel bursts on the world scene with its second album for Lion Music, Transcendence, that takes the dramatic elements of Crimson Glory and flies into over gear with Rammstein guitar power chords. Now combine symphonic metal highlights and Anthriel has created a powerful musical concoction of muscle and melody as evidenced by "Under Burning Skies," a whirlwind of wicked vocals and bombastic band teamwork.
Expect the unexpected with Anthriel. The eleven-minute track "The Oath of Darkness" opens with a Mike Oldfield-type Exorcist instrumental and leads into brutal vocalizing of pain and passage of life. I wish I had a big screen projector and some laser beams while listening to this epic epistle to electronic madness and progressive metal. It's a feat unto itself to compose something this long but Anthriel keeps it moving with grit and sincerity by slyly segmenting the song into a wondrous trip of harmonic hide and seek.
"Siren's Song" is but another track you don't hear coming. Each track continues to change like it's trying to feature a strongest side of each player. Fantastic keyboards are prominent in this selection but they are used strategically and do not overwhelm the superb vocals and Malmsteen-strutting of the lead guitarist. "Siren's Song" is a radio hit if I ever heard one.
"Painted Shadows" and "Rhapsody of Fire" are straight-ahead progressive metal rock songs with little symphonic flare as previous tracks. Great credit to the band because if you hear these two songs first you would not recognize the rest of the album. The distinction of arrangement and tone is what makes Anthriel stand head and shoulders above most who attempt symphonic metal.
And finally, the last track "Fallen Souls" clocks in at just over nineteen minutes (that's right I said 19 minutes) A lush melody of Pink Floydish background pushes against philosophical lyrics of redemption and overcoming worldly decay. This singer gives Geoff Tate a run for his talent by informing his tone with emotional urgency but remaining a metal vocalist through and through. My money and time seeks original metal music from dedicated groups of monster musicians. Anthriel is the most intelligent choice.
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