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Esperfall – Act I - Origins In Darkness Award winner

Esperfall
Act I - Origins In Darkness
by Thomas Kumke at 09 May 2022, 5:40 AM

ESPERFALL hailing from Budapest, Hungary were formed in 2016 and they are a symphonic Metal band. Prior to their debut full-length album “Act I - Origins In Darkness”, the band released two EPs. The album was recorded and edited by Bela Boros, mixed and mastered by Zoltan Cserfalvi at the Hungarian Denever Sound Studio. The album has a length of more than 45 minutes and it was released by Hungarian label H-Music which is specialized in Hungarian Metal.

ESPERFALL have had a pretty consistent career path so far. After the formation of the band, the first EP “A Leap Of Faith” was released in 2018 and was followed up with the 2019 release “The Leaf Legacy”. The time between first and second EP was also the period for a few changes in the band, with both guitarists departing and being replaced by the current ones. Since then, the line-up has been stable, surely being beneficial for the band`s development. The release of the EP’s also earned ESPERFALL the label contract with H-Music, which has been another milestone for the band.

The album starts with a cinematic intro, which slowly builds up tension, before it transitions into “Tempest In Paradise (The First Advent)”. The track starts with epic lead guitars, before a fast Power Metal driven guitar riffing starts and takes over alongside with the fast double-bass drumming. The track switches between mid-tempo and highly paced parts. The lead guitars contribute excellently, in particular with a few extended lead guitar solos. “Tempest In Paradise (The First Advent)” would have been a classical Power Metal song, if there were not a few symphonic elements added. The vocals are highly pitched and are mostly operatic. The track was released as official video and the YouTube link is given below.

Retreat Into Dreamland” continues with the Power Metal vibes at mid-tempo, but Nora Sima adds a lot of growling vocals to it and the track is a frequent change between her cleans and growls with added background growls of bassist Peter Wachal. The main melodic frame of the track has some catchiness, while it is a very heavy track overall. The middle part is dominated by another fabulous extended lead guitar solo. The intro to “Plato’s Cave” brings back the symphonic vibes, before it transitions into a powerful melodic Metal track. One feature of the album is the central element in “Plato’s Cave”: the mid-track dueling of the lead guitars with the keyboards. The vocals are mostly the clean ones with a few added growls.

Nature Of The Disease (The Second Advent)” is a journey into melodic Death Metal with added symphonic elements. The track is fast with sharp guitar riffing, relentless drumming at high pace and aggressive growling. The transition of Nora Sima from a symphonic Metal to a Death Metal vocalist is remarkable and she is amazing in both. ESPERFALL like the changes, and “Don’t Leave Me Behind” is a very different type of melodic Metal compared to the preceding song. Starting slow and a measured tempo, the song has dark and almost melancholic melodies and powerful guitar riffing. The song is driven by the beautiful voice and operatic clean vocals of Nora Sima.

No Tomorrow (The Third Advent)” is a song that mixes all different elements together: there are Power Metal inspired parts with the riffing and drumming, there are some symphonic Metal parts and elements present, and there is also a melodic Death Metal part added. One highlight of the track is another excellent lead guitar solo, and a second highlight are the transitions between angelic clean and guttural vocals. “Futures and Options” is a mid-tempo track with classical symphonic Metal epic melodies with all its catchiness, however, the song structure is pretty complex with various changes in rhythm. The vocals are predominantly clean, but with growling vocals added to it, where you can hear both, male and female growling vocals.

Black Flag” is a frequent switch from epic symphonic Metal parts to fast Power Metal parts. There are plenty of tempo changes and highlight of the track is surely the drumming which includes a few blast-beats near the end. The album closes with “Cortex Breakdown” which sums up the sound of the album nicely and ESPERFALL finish the album with a highlight. The track has it all: epic melodies, darkness, heaviness, excellent lead guitars, and the combination of angelic and aggressive vocals where the latter one dominates. ESPERFALL go really out with a bang!

Act I - Origins In Darkness” is an excellent melodic Metal album. It contains a number of different elements, mainly Power Metal, symphonic Metal, and melodic Death Metal. ESPERFALL are not afraid to cross boundaries. That makes their music unique and gives them their very own character as a band. The central element to their music is vocalist Nora Sima, who has an amazing talent in different vocal styles ranging from traditional symphonic Metal towards melodic Death Metal and she is excellent in both. Another highlight are the lead guitars and the transitions between the genres within the songs. The album is well produced. ESPERFALL are a very promising melodic Metal band with “Act I - Origins In Darkness”, they set the bar very high for their future things to come.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Gift From The Gods
2. Tempest In Paradise (The First Advent)
3. Retreat Into Dreamland
4. Plato’s Cave
5. Nature Of The Disease (The Second Advent)
6. Don’t Leave Me Behind
7. No Tomorrow (The Third Advent)
8. Futures and Options
9. Black Flag
10. Cortex Breakdown
Lineup:
Nora Sima – Vocals
Laszlo Gabeli – Guitars
Szabolcs Kerek ­ Guitars
ZsomborZathureczky  ­ Keyboards
Attila Pecz – Drums
Peter Wachal – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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