CD Reviews

Symphonity - 'King Of Persia' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 22, 2017    
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A strong and consistent work of undoubted merit.

Symphonity are purveyors of Symphonic Epic Power Metal. Hailing from the Czech Republic, with Slovakian and German input, 'King Of Persia' is their first album since 2008's 'Voice From The Silence'. The time lag is partly explained by the desire to maintain standards and partly by the tragic death of bass player Tomas Celechkovsky in 2012. He is replaced here by Ronnie König.

That's quite a lay off, but back they've come with an ambitious work that will doubtless appeal to those with a penchant for the likes of Sonata Arctica, Stratovarious, Rhapsody and Avantasia. Surviving from the 2008 album are founder member and guitarist Libor Křivák, keyboardist Ivo Hofmann and drummer Martin Škaroupka. In a less enforced line-up change, the band have added the slightly softer tones of second vocalist Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed, Avantasia) to the more Operatic vocal talents of Olaf Hayer.

Opener 'King Of Persia' clocks in at over nine minutes and sets out the band's credentials in fine Symphonic Metal style. There are some nice Classical touches and a chorus line that would not be out of place on an album by Classical/Prog fusionists The Enid. Symphonity are, I think, comfortable giving expression to Progressive influences and these are certainly in evidence on 'Children Of The Light' with its notable pace and mood changes. That's not to downplay the band's Metal credentials – we are talking more Iron Maiden than Marillion here.

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Top picks include 'The Choice', a powerful, high speed affair that benefits from some fluid classically-inspired Metal riffing, 'In The Name Of God' and 'Flying' which add surprisingly catchy melodies to the brew without sacrificing either riffs or heaviness. Listen out too for the classical scales, harpsichord touches and vocal histrionics in the fast and furious 'Unwelcome'. The instrumental 'Out Of This World' offers the prettiest two minutes of music on the album.

In truth, there's not a bad track here, though not all quite reach the heights of the mighty title track or the album's better moments. As an album, it's not quite as compelling as the best of the genre – I'm thinking of recent releases by Almanac and Leaves Eyes as points of comparison – but nevertheless Symphonity have delivered a strong and consistent work of undoubted merit.

Michael Anthony

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