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Epicrenel - The Crystal Throne

The Crystal Throne
by YngwieViking at 01 April 2013, 5:17 PM

Lately it seems that the ex-ADAGIO singers are under a positive spell and are very exhibited with a strong CD release activity. In fact after David Readman (PINK CREAM 69 / VOODOO CIRCLE) and Gus Monsanto (SYMBOLICA / CODE OF SILENCE, the album “Dark Skies Over Babylon” is warmly recommended by me & myself), here is the once ADAGIO's ("Archangels In Black" era) frontman Christian Palin (RANDOM EYES / ex-ESSENCE OF SORROW) with his new outfit composed by members of THAURORD / AMBERIAN DAWN and ADAMANTRA: An all-star Finnish Underground deluxe side-project, if you authorize me this rhetorical neologism.

If I quoted a reference to Stefan Forté’s ADAGIO, is also because this debut album is quite similar to that talented French Neo-Classic Metal band, obviously because of the voice of Uruguayan born Mr. Palin. But the musical parallel analogy is intriguing and perceptible, not really in the form but mostly in the darkness of the melodies (“To Cursed Lands Again”) maybe he leaves the band with some of its magic? However, if the melancholy and gloominess clearly prevails here, the sound is more bombastic and less extreme than ADAGIO, the EPICRENEL identity is more Medieval or Heroic. Finally “epic” is the right word.

The melodic Metal merchants from Finland, under the guidance of mastermind / Composer Mikko Sepponen (ex-OLYMPOS MONS) are also inspired by DRAGONLAND or BLIND GUARDIAN with also some Italian Power Metal breakneck speed flavor as LABYRINTH or some heavily orchestrated parts as RHAPSODY and an imposing flamboyant Scandinavian Instinct such as REQUIEM / KIUAS or an eminent instrumental coruscation capacities such as, now defunct VIRTUOCITY.

The singer is indeed a solid asset for EPICRENEL with a powerful clean voice that recall sometimes the almighty Mats Leven (ex-TREAT / ex-RISING FORCE / ex-THERION and ex-ADAGIO), but the players deserves to be cited as they provide a finely crafted score and a few virtuosic Metal fills, in the most flawless way, the best proof is the only instrumental track "Skyride”: it's a masterpiece of Neo-Classic hi-speed dueling between guitar and synth solos.

Another good element for "The Crystal Throne" is the strong use of luxurious Baroque arrangements (“Defenders of the Crown”), from time to time lush and symphonic ("Conquering the Throne") or more Folkloric ("In The Dungeon"), but without killing the guitar sharpness or weakening the headbangin' groove.

Some songs are even more based towards fierce thrashy riffage, heaviest than the rest of the pack as "Fantom's Grove" breaking the formulaic impression and giving with stuff like the final track "The Coronation" the full picture of EPICRENEL’s DNA, a huge potential for the future to come, a band to follow.

3 Star Rating

1. The Calling
2. Thurs Lands Cursed Again
3. Where Kingdoms Fall
4. Walls Of The Cave
5. Floating Souls
6. Guarding Fellhound
7. In The Dungeon
8. Skyride
9. Defenders Of The Crown
10. Fantom's Grove
11. Conquering The Throne
12. The Coronation
Mikko Sepponen – Guitar
Christian Palin – Lead Vocals
Emil Pohjalainen – Lead Guitars
Chrism – Keyboard/Orchestrations
Jukka Hoffrén – Bass
Joonas Pykälä-aho – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records


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