As I have previously stated, I cut my teeth on symphonic metal. The scene has exploded in recent years, with many fabulous acts making their debuts and finding their niches. Nightwish found more ethereal pastures with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley; Epica has moved into progressive territory with inspiring lyrics, structured guitars, and some of the best vocals of Simone Simons’ career; Tristania has remained faithful to the more gothic elements of the universe, as gloomy and brooding as ever; and I think Within Temptation is really enjoying a creative bloom in their midst, inviting artists from all genres to join them. I thoroughly enjoy hearing new entries to the genre, especially if it stands out from everyone else. Celestial Ruin hits the mark.
I am intrigued by the pairing of catchy, rhythmic guitars, dramatic keys, and the unconventional deep, rich timbre of frontwoman Larissa Dawn. Her powerful and unique voice is a departure from the operatic elements so prevalent in symphonic metal, and it blends perfectly with the bombastic flow of the music. From the moody and appropriately dreary Murder of Crows to the roiling seas of emotion in Firestorm, it is well produced and executed, and newcomers will find parallels to Luna Mortis with some hints of Evanescence. I even heard a guttural scream on Nevermore, and I felt exonerated, my sins absolved in a bloody roar that sets fire to the night. I am left quivering with anticipation, wondering and hoping that a full length album will only expand from this solid effort. I look forward to bigger and better from this band. Sneak a listen with the lyric video they released below!
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