That Mexico has a growing Metal scene is nothing really new anymore, but like in many other countries it is rather the heavier end of the spectrum, which contains the majority of bands. That we now get progressive Power Metal at our ears is new at least to me and with that a nice surprise.
FAHRENHEIT is the name of the septet from Guadalajara that offers us its debut with "Epic Enter" and even though five songs does not look like much, the playing time proves you otherwise, because with more than 32 minutes it surpasses some regular releases, which more or less deservedly are called albums. That they have two singers in their line-up, more precisely Luis Armendariz and Karla Andujo, might hint at Gothic Metal (without having heard a single tone of the Mexicans so far), but as mentioned before, this is not the case.
What strikes right off the bat is the very good cover by Lemuel Delgado and the really cool FAHRENHEIT logo by guitarist Alejandro Isaac, such a good packaging puts you into a good mood right away, before even pressing "Play" yet. After a good intro "Dark Storm" lets go with swift, keyboard supported Power Metal with a light progressive slant, with Luis Armendariz' quite high voice over it. But for one the Juarez-born singer does not always sing in these pitches and also not in ear splitting heights, but nicely varies his vocal lines, also using deeper sung passages. And he also has a really strong voice, just listen how long he can hold a tone perfectly, respect! And the calm break in the middle also leaves a really good impression, strong opener!
In the following "The Sea" they lower the speed considerably, held in measured mid-tempo, for the first time also with some vocal support by Karla (if not much) and altogether a more progressive touch, as shown in the fast and a bit more intricate middle part. Once more I have to point out the strong vocal performance by Luis, really strong! But with this I in no way want to take away from the performances of the other musicians, because what the other 5 guys deliver here is more than just adequate, a strong team effort!
After "Wandering Still" is almost pure Progressive Power Metal, "Ride With The Moon" surprises with a strong guitar melody, which leads into an again faster track, in which Karla also has some direct vocal parts and at times sings a duet with Luis, which sounds great, they should do that more often in the future, because it gives an already strong song a very special touch, greatly arranged and played it is full of tension, power and energy, the keyboard fit perfectly (often used as piano), a true gem that FAHRENHEIT have created here!
"The War I Wage" finally closes off "Epic Enter" and with its somewhat dramatic build up reminds me of somebody, just who, I could not say, if my life depended on it, but, I think, it has been a South American or South European band... Again supported by Karla, Luis Armendariz once again excels with his expressive vocals over another very well arranged, a bit progressive piece of powerful, catchy, yet still demanding Power Metal, which hardly has to hide from many of the big names.
With "Epic Enter" the Mexicans of FAHRENHEIT have delivered a really strong debut, which has fully convinced me and makes appetite for more. As the songs already had been recorded in mid-2002, new material should have been crafted already. If I look, or rather listen, which bands currently have record deals, I have to say that FAHRENHEIT are not a iota weaker than many of them, rather the contrary. How ever the record labels might decide, I recommend this young band to all fans of demanding Power Metal this side of happy melodies, on the homepage of the Mexicans you can listen into three of the five songs, it is absolutely worth it! (Online November 5, 2003)