Eunomia - The Chronicles Of Eunomia Part 1 - (9/10)
Published on February 19, 2019
Elsewhere in the world of the brothers Danielsen.
The times have been very good for Marius Danielsen’s career, as his now flagship metal opera project Legend Of Valley Doom has been a hot item in symphonic power metal circles. What is perhaps less obvious is that his younger brother and fellow-traveler Peter Danielsen has been at work making his own way, now establishing himself as the second half of what can be dubbed The Brothers Danielsen. The author of this review must offer up a mea culpa given that upon discovering the 2013 demo of what he believed to be a mere predecessor version of Marius’ aforementioned project was actually its own full fledged entity that happened to exist in the same fictional universe. Eunomia, the name given to the principle ally nation of Valley Doom, has a very similar stylistic vibe to its more established counterpart, but it is not a full on carbon copy of the other and features its own unique ensemble cast of voices and a more concise, anthem-based demeanor rather than an all out book-on-tape extravaganza with all the massive, Wagnerian bells and whistles going on in the symphonic department.
Though maybe a slightly humbler effort in some respects and definitely a less dark effort compared to the recent second installment of Valley Doom that flirts with Freedom Call territory at times, The Chronicles Of Eunomia, Pt. 1 definitely stands as a formidable effort that comes with the usual array of symphonic splendor and technical prowess that comes with a Rhapsody Of Fire emulation. To any rare individuals who may have heard the Crystal Sword demo, the highly repetitious and vocally limited parameters that made it a decent yet less than spectacular first attempt have been redressed at every possible turn. The inclusion of such vocal heavy hitters as former Metalium and current Firewind front man Henning Basse, Alessandro Conti fresh off his brief stint with Luca Turilli’s version of Rhapsody, and the new arrival and versatile powerhouse front man of Wind Rose and Fairyland Francesco Cavalieri gives this safely structured collection of songs the needed level of ornamentation and grandeur to morph it into a veritable celebration of sound, while the lead guitar contributions of such six-string wizards as Victor Smolski and Jimmy Hedlund don’t hurt either.
In total scope, this album is a bit more immediately accessible as the second Valley Doom offering, yet not really all that much shorter in overall content or intrigue. It has a bit more of an old school, early 2000s power metal album structure where there is a greater collection of shorter banger anthems in the mold of “Freedom Call”, “March For Freedom” and “Eternity, the former two being holdovers from the preceding 2013 demo that have been necessarily spiced up with a greater array of performance talent, but that ultimately listen about as close to something heard off an early Freedom Call album as it would some of the shorter numbers off Symphony Of Enchanted Lands. Other boisterous anthems that drag things out a bit more such as “Crystal Sword” (also a holdover from the demo), “Stand Up And Fight” and “Dark Horizon” come with a few more technical treats in the riff department, but follow a generally similar structure. Even the massive double feature of 16 minutes length that culminates in this album’s climax point in “Last Stand” and “Dangerous Times Ahead” where this musical side-quest comes to a conclusion maintains a fairly firm rooting in traditional heavy and power metal techniques, featuring maybe a bit more balladry and slower moments (like that Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell” sounding march on the latter), but nothing wildly off-kilter.
Though ultimately a bit less of a grower and more of a straight up, traditional mode of symphonic power metal storytelling, this album pulls no punches in the power department. It also provides some much needed plot points to fill in a number of gaps presents in the dark, dramatic, yet seemingly incomplete lyrical account of the second part of the Valley Doom series, namely the forces of Eunomia’s quest to retrieve the first of seven talismans (namely the crystal sword) as others were off seeking refuge from and later allies to fight against the dark hordes of the story’s principle antagonist. Chalk it up to the peculiar obsessions that a fan boy of such works as Dragonlance, The Shannara Series and The Dragonriders Of Pern tends to develop when being presented with a new high fantasy story, but when all things are considered, that is most of the target audience of this metal sub-genre anyway. There have been many exciting new additions to come out of the woodwork in 2018, but the one-two punch that The Brothers Danielsen managed to offer up will probably be the most remembered, this one being the series of quick jabs that paved the way for the proverbial hay-maker that Marius unleashed a bit later.