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Visionatica - 'Force Of Luna' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/11/53/bc/visionatica-force-of-luna-66-1476820048.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 18, 2016    
 
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A promising and enjoyable first effort.

Visionatica are an ambitious young German Symphonic Metal band led by Classically-trained Soprano "she-wolf" Amara Avodem. The rest of the band consists of her well-trained cubs – Manuel Buhl (guitar), Michael Wolnitza (bass) and Gerhard Spanner (drums), with 'Force Of Luna' being their debut album.

Cinematic in scope, '...Luna' seeks to combine power and melody, attempting to mesh virtuoso guitar, the driving aggression of the rhythm section and the sweetness of Avodem's eerily precise vocals with orchestral parts and epic arrangements. The result is a big sound that, from the first strains of the atmospheric opener 'Visions' to the closing bars of the ultra-melodic and movie-score focused 'Never Will Die', will put fans of the genre at ease.

Lyrically, and in keeping with Avodem's preoccupations, much of the album deals with wolf mythology ('Totem', 'She Wolf'), though other topics are explored too. 'Lilith', for example, detects church skulduggery in the concealment of the story of the first wife of Adam, while ballad 'The Thorns' is a tale of salvation from the Valley Of Death which includes a duet with Winterstorm singer Michael Liewald.

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Elsewhere, 'Certainty Of Benevolence', a musical highpoint, blends influences from Oriental and Balkan cultures and serves as an exhortation to belly dancing (the first Metal track of its kind, I wonder?). 'Imprinting Lies' is one of many tracks to benefit from superb keyboard contributions (in this case a cool organ interlude and nice music box touches) though curiously no keyboard player is listed in the press bumpf.

The band hope that the album will appeal to fans of Within Temptation, Nightwish and Xandria, and I'm sure that it will. At the same time, there have been some superb releases recently by the likes of Leaves Eyes, Almanac and Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, and I'm not sure '...Luna' is quite in that league. Despite the big sound, in relative terms it lacks the hooks and depth of some of those other releases. Arguably, Visionatica need to find a harder, less cutesy edge if they're really going to run with the pack.

Nevertheless, 'Force Of Luna' is a promising and enjoyable first effort. It might well "make the wolves dance under the blood moon", though next time out they need to show more teeth.

Michael Anthony

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