I have to admit it, my favourite Metal bands come from Finland, what's the deal with that country? Everybody is born with a musical instrument in their hands? The range and variety of musical styles is impressive! But Finland is more known for their Gothic Metal bands than their Power Metal bands, with the exception of STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA, some of the BIG names in Power Metal these days.
So we have these young Power Metallers from Suomi, this is their debut album and let me tell you that the people that worked on this album are really something, besides that they're signed to Spinefarm, one of the biggest record companies in Metal these days, this album was recorded at Astia Studio by Anssi Kippo, mixed at Finnvox Studios by Timo Tolkki and mastered at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila. Besides the nice team that worked with them, they didn't manage to find a nice cover artist, I could be just me, but I think that the cover is a little cheesy and many, many people buy discs based only on the cover art you know.
So, I don't have to mention that the production is superb, you've seen the credits, but big budget productions aren't all in this life, so how they sound? Despite their young age, does this sextet have the musical skills? Or they are another clone of STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA?
All these questions will be answered as soon you put the record in your CD player and listen to "Gone To The Wall" and what a opener! Killer track my friends! The riffing is amazing and the singing is great! I was blown away by this one! The band stays away from being a clone of the afore mentioned bands because beside the Power Metal roots, they add a lot of 80's influences like Hard Rock and classic Heavy Metal, cool!
"At The Forge" starts with nice a synth and galloping drums, second song, another killer track, the lead guitar work in this one is amazing, as a matter of fact, I was really impressed by the guitar work all through the album. "Seventh Dawn" and "Enslaved To The Mind" are also great tracks. The singer, Heikki Pöyhä has an amazing vocal range, sometimes he reminds me of James LaBrie of DREAM THEATER, just listen him on "Return To Innocence" amazing!
Very talented young band, a very pleasant surprise, they just need to refine their sound a little more, because even thought they are not copying anyone, the influences are clear and I think that the goal of every band is to find its own sound. (Online November 27, 2003)