It has been 5 years from the last release “Salomé – The Seventh Veil” of the German symphonic band. It was also the last record to feature Lisa Middelhauve on lead vocals, who left due to personal reasons. The band found a new singer in February 2009, who goes by the name Kerstin Bischof and who decided to quit the band after just one year to concentrate on a different career. Middelhauve replaced her for a series of concerts in summer 2010. However on 19 December 2010 the band finally announced the new permanent singer Manuela Kraller, so after all these difficulties and line-up changes, the band released their new album on February 27th.
Five years of absence are a long time and the fans’ expectations are high. From their very start, the band demonstrates that their return has been long overdue. The symphonic elements are handled very nicely and there is more guitar work than usually. The new singer brings a totally new tone to the band, they become more operatic, reminding a lot of Nightwish, but that suits perfectly the rest of the band. ”A Prophecy of Worlds To Fall” sets the tone for the whole album, as a dramatic and powerful symphonic metal song. This piece and such epics on the album like ”Valentine” or ”The Nomad’s Crown”, would feel at home in classic albums of the genre, like ”Oceanborn” and ”Wishmaster”. This album reminds you constantly the whole Tarja- Nightwish era.
And it’s not only the new operatic voice which reminds you of Tarja, but also all the melodies and ambiance, which is created by the instrumentation that is very Nightwishy. Musically, I believe it’s the bands best release so far. The riffs and solos in songs like “Soulcrusher” or “Cursed”, are really awesome, as well the drumming on the album which shows us that the band doesn’t rely only on the singing (which some female-fronted bands do). Of course the power ballads also exist on the album. ”The Dream Is Still Alive” and ”A Thousand Letters” fulfill this requirement. Kraller’s voice and interpretation convey great emotion; she performs both pieces in a really touching way. The emotions however, are not limited to the ballads, since even more powerful songs like “Euphoria”, “Blood on my Hands” and “The Lost Elysion”, transmit feelings of great emotion and feeling which only great vocalists can achieve.
The lyrics are about the end of Neverworld. “The end of the world of your fantasy and your dreams, especially the ones, which you had as a child. The more we grew older the more we realized that not all dreams can become true. We began to be more serious, to forget what we once wished for our lives, what we really wanted to be deep in our heart and which dreams we wanted to have fulfilled. The boy on our cover sits in front of his sinking and destroyed fantasy world, but he still has got the key in his hands, to save this world at least in himself” as the singer of the band Manuela Kraller states. Conclusion is that this is probably the greatest album of the band so far and it was a huge risk that the band chose a singer whose style is much more different from the previous one. Nevertheless there is great instrumentation, great interpretations from the singer and great production, so whoever likes the style of classic Tarja-Nightwish era, should definitely check out the album!
|Track List||Line Up||01. A prophecy Of Worlds To Fall
05. Blood On My Hands
07. The Dream Is Still Alive
08. The Lost Illusion
09. Call Of The Wind
10. A Thousand Letter
12. The Nomad’s Crown
13. When The Mirror Cracks
14. The Sailor And The Sea (Bonus Track)
|Manuela Kraller: Vocals
Marco Heubaum – Vocals, guitar, keyboard
Philip Restemeier – Guitar
Nils Middelhauve – Bass
Gerit Lamm – Drums