One look at the bio sheet will give you a decent idea of what Finland’s WINGDOM might sound like. Featuring ex-members of SONATA ARCTICA and RHAPSODY (OF FIRE), and backing/label-support from STRATOVARIUS’ vocalist, it should come as no surprise that WINGDOM specialize in Power and Progressive-tinged Melodic Metal, with a soaring vocalist. WINGDOM isn’t nearly as speedy as SONATA ARCTICA or bombastic as RHAPSODY, but instead takes a more mid-paced, Rock-influenced approach on its debut full-length, “Reality”.
Right away it’s clear that WINGDOM won’t outdo many bands in the heaviness category, as this is a rather light affair. There are episodes of crunchier, heavier riffing sown throughout, but for a better part of the album the keyboards tend to reign supreme. The production is crisp and clear, with every instrument distinct from the others. This is of particular note, as the bass playing is heard clearly throughout “Reality”, which isn’t always the case in this particular genre (or Metal as a whole for that matter).
The bio makes a claim for “catchy choruses and strong melodies”, and while WINGDOM is certainly leaning in that direction, the songs are not quite as memorable as that statement would imply. But since this is a debut, that’s forgivable. An album or two down the road for WINGDOM could yield some great results as the songwriting (hopefully) improves. For now, “Reality” is a decent album of Melodic Metal that’s not likely to offend anyone, but won’t necessarily impress either.
(Online January 18, 2007)