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Borealis - 'Purgatory' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/17/a2/36/Borealis-Purgatory-89-1442348840.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 15, 2015    
 
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A showcase for a band with a real understanding of what is truly best in Melodic Power Metal.

Back in 2011, I listed Canadian Power Metal act Borealis' wonderful 'Fall From Grace' album in my Top Ten for that year. In my review in this very publication I stated that "Borealis are going to make a big impact on the Power Metal genre (that's if there is any justice in the world)". Sadly my prediction didn't come to fruition and Borealis seemed to pass many people by. Now they have returned with a stunning new release called 'Purgatory', one that I feel is even better than '...Grace'.

The obvious question I suspect you might ask is – what have Borealis come up with that has excited me so much? Well, it's an album of potent Metal songs that crackle and spark with energy and are, at times, reminiscent of the likes of Evergrey, Kamelot and Symphony X at their best. Each track though has an undeniable Borealis trademark, which goes some way to help this band standout from the crowd. That trademark goes by the name of Borealis singer/guitarist Matt Marinelli, whose forceful, captivating and muscular vocals really give this band its unique identity.

The new songs themselves are deep, dark, gloriously compelling and in their own way, extreme. I use the term "extreme" because of the intensity and aggression that can be found in each and every guitar riff, bass line and drum fill throughout this album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Take second track 'From The Ashes' as your starting point; the guitars hit you square on and force you back into your seat and from here on in, you will begin to marvel at just how clever this band have been. They have squeezed melodies into each and every crevice they could find, on this and every song found on the album.

The assault continues with 'The Chosen One', the pounding 'Destiny', 'Darkest Sin' (a beautifully arranged ballad with some ethereal orchestration and fantastic vocals) and the classy 'Place Of Darkness' where the guitars of Marinelli and Mike Briguglio work skillfully together to create an addictive soundscape; during the latter, the whole band work together to draw out what is best in the song. These tracks, and the others that appear on the album, combine together to provide a showcase for a band with a real understanding of what is truly best in Melodic Power Metal.

For whatever reason '...Grace' didn't propel Borealis into the upper echelons of the Power Metal league tables as it should have. Its successor 'Purgatory' has everything needed to make that slight blip a thing of the past and thrust this band onwards and upwards to the bright future they richly deserve.

Ian Johnson

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