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Arion: Life Is Not Beautiful

Downer album title aside, Life Is Not Beautiful is a hard hitting, melodic, epic slice of power metal from Finland's Arion, another new roster addition to the always dependable AFM Records. Complete with new vocalist Lassi Vääränen in tow, Arion have created a lively album here chock full of crunchy guitars, driving rhythms, and just the right amount of symphonic keyboards to keep that somewhat proggy and epic sounding edge. "No One Stands in My Way" sees Vääränen leading the charge over some truly bombastic & metallic arrangements, and it's catchy as all hell, while the vocalist teams up with female singer Elize Ryd on the engaging "At the Break of Dawn" for a super power metal duet. Great keyboard orchestrations on the huge sounding "The Last Sacrifice", and Ryd once again appears on the fast paced melodic rocker "Unforgivable". Though catchy hooks are ever present on the album, the band can also dig deep and deliver the crushing metal as well, which you can hear on the bludgeoning "Punish You", the raging, near prog-metal title cut, and the dark, brooding "I Am the Storm", a tune from their debut album that's been re-recorded here by the current line-up.

Littered with hooks but plenty heavy as well as proggy in spots, Life Is Not Beautiful avoids many of the power metal trappings and sees Arion delivering a highly enjoyable album that has high appeal to a wide variety of heavy metal listeners.

Track Listing
1. The End of the Fall
2. No One Stands in My Way
3. At the Break of Dawn
4. The Last Sacrifice
5. Through Your Falling Tears
6. Unforgivable
7. Punish You
8. Life is Not Beautiful
9. The Last One Falls
10. Last of Us (2018 Version)
11. Seven (2018 Version)
12. I Am the Storm (2018 Version)

Added: December 31st 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1204
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Arion: Life Is Not Beautiful
Posted by on 2018-12-31 18:02:03
My Score:

Well I quite liked the debut album and still have the cd. Didn't realise the vocalist had changed but that explains a lot.
This sophomore release is a miserly 39 minutes and includes 2 forgettable ballads and a 2 minute instrumental intro. So not much left to get your teeth into.
At times the band sound like a poor mans Sonata Arctica and personally I find the guttural vocals very annoying. The drum sound on "Unforgiveable" and "Punish You"7 in particular is also annoying and too high in the mix.
Best song is probably "At The Break of Dawn" with the guest female vocalist.
A big step backwards all round unfortunately especially the new singer.
I'm in general a huge fan of Finnish power metal bands but couldn't recommend this album to anyone.

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