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Sleeping Romance - 'Enlighten' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8e/aa/19/sleeping-romance-enlighten-92-1393782861.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 02, 2014    
 
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A delightful and exquisite record.

Symphonic Metal is the gift that just keeps on giving and now provides the world with another new act. Hailing from Italy the exotically named Sleeping Romance actually started life under the moniker of Hybrid Resolution. But after personnel changes, including singer, the band decided to alter their name as well. Their debut 'Enlighten' is another conceptual release that is described as a journey into the soul and focuses on the idea of human growth.

Musically they play a traditional brand of Symphonic Metal with lots of chunky guitar, pounding rhythm and oodles of sweeping orchestration although they do avoid the soprano and grunting routes. The musical diversity is added through varied pace, by including subtle other influences or by allowing the orchestration to come to the fore. For example 'Finding My Way' has a big bounding riff and arrangements that subsides at times leaving just vocals and the rhythm section. The solo is given an unusual slant with some trance like synth before everything races away to the crescendo. Another track that includes occasional bursts of insane pace is 'Devil's Cave' although the majority of it is played at a slower speed with the song's highlight being the infusion of Handel's 'Passacaglia' into the bridge.

At the other end of the power and pace spectrum is the beautiful ballad 'December Flower' with its passionate vocals supported by piano and strings. It wouldn't be right to talk about this release without mentioning two further tracks. 'Enlighten' is a truly bombastic Symphonic song played at a quick pace with lots of crunching guitar and striking arrangements. The chorus is exceedingly infectious and there's also a ripping solo as well. Lastly there is 'The Promise Inside' which includes haunting cello as well as lots of echoed, sensual vocals that rides on top of the thundering guitar, rhythm and arrangements.

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Not only does Symphonic Metal keep on giving but it keeps handing out quality to go with it as 'Enlighten' is an enchanting and superb album. In terms of a comparison SR is a mixture of Delain, Nightwish and Sirenia. The axe work is thick and catchy like Delain but SR includes a lot more classical arrangements a la Nightwish. Vocally Federica Lanne is more akin to Ailyn rather than Charlotte Wessels or Floor Jansen with a sensual, breathy style that makes a nice contrast to the heavy music. Top kudos however has to go to songwriter/guitarist Federico Truzzi who is responsible for not only playing a blinder but also deserves credit for creating some immensely rich songs full of fabulous arrangements that I really enjoyed.

Even though 'Enlighten may be a little too familiar for passing Symphonic fans it's still is a delightful and exquisite record with plenty to offer the genre's enthusiasts.

Dave Scott

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