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Glasya - Heaven’s Demise

Glasya
Heaven’s Demise
by Gary Hernandez at 30 July 2019, 10:16 AM

Even in the sub-genre of Symphonic metal there are sub-sub-genres. Or maybe there isn’t and genres are artificially imposed labels that only serve to limit creativity and restrict thinking. And yet I have the urge to categorize. GLASYA is a Symphonic metal band with operatic leanings—think NIGHTWISH and AESMA DAEVA. They are based in Lisbon, Portugal, and they released their debut album, “Heaven’s Demise,” in July this year.

A friend of mine, whom I periodically reference with no credits, has accused me of being biased toward female-fronted metal bands that do covers. While there are no cover songs on this album, lead vocalist, Eduarda Soeiro, was formerly with a NIGHTWISH cover band. So maybe he’s right, or maybe there are a lot of good female-fronted bands out there, GLASYA being one of them.

I had to look up what “Glasya” means. As it turns out, it’s a shortened name of Glasya-Labolas, a high-ranking commander of a crap load of demons in hell. Now, if you’re thinking a demon’s name for a band that plays music in a genre known for sentimentality and such is odd, get this: Glasya’s distinct power is to get friends and enemies to love one another. And they say a little Wikipedia is bad for you.

“Heaven’s Demise” kicks off with the title track, a heroic number that sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a stereotypical Symphonic metal tune, featuring epic chants, an incredible solo, and vivid synth work that sounds like a whole orchestra come to life. The song ends at full gallop, smoothly segueing into “Ignis Sanctus” (holy fire), another standout track. Other personal favorites are “Eternal Winter,” “Glasya,” and “Neverland.” A special note: At about the 2:50 mark in “Eternal Winter” the band launches into a segment that flat out reminds me of that scene from “The Fifth Element” when the Diva (voice of Inva Mula) goes staccato while Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) kicks alien butt all over the place. Or maybe it’s just me.

Paramount to the GLASYA is Eduarda Soeiro. You just can’t get away from how incredible a vocalist she is. Now I fully understand that an extraordinary vocalist is license to operate in Symphonic metal. But aside from Eduardo, what makes GLASYA so good is the guitar work of Bruno Prates (formerly of EnChanTya). On every single track this guy lays out a solo that just soars. Also requisite to a great Symphonic metal album is a host of guest artists. “Heaven’s Demise” is no exception with three guest vocalists and one violinist: Paulo Gonçalves, Flávio Lino, Nélson Raposo, and Inna Calori, respectively.

On the downside? Well, there are several instances of talk over narratives that lend an overly dramatic air. I know, it’s Symphonic — overly is allowed and expected, but still. And to that point, the last song, “A Thought of You,” was also just too much.

There’s a whole lot of great Symphonic metal coming out of Europe lately. I can’t say that GLASYA are shockingly unique or wildly innovative, but they add nothing but strength to the burgeoning genre.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Heaven's Demise
2. Ignis Sanctus
3. Coronation of a Beggar
4. Glasya
5. Eternal Winter
6. Birth of an Angel
7. The Last Dying Sun
8. Neverland
9. No Exit from Myself
10. A Thought of You
Lineup:
Manuel Pinto – Bass
Bruno Ramos – Drums
Hugo Esteves – Guitars (rhythm), vocals (backing)
Bruno Prates – Guitars (lead)
Davon Van Dave – Keyboards, orchestration
Eduarda Soeiro – Vocals
Record Label: Pride and Joy Music
     


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Edited 21 January 2021
 

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