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Phoenix Rising - Acta Est Fabula Award winner

Phoenix Rising
Acta Est Fabula
by Kevin Lewis at 28 September 2021, 5:35 PM

PHOENIX RISING is a Spanish Power Metal band formed in 2007. Acta Est Fabula, their fourth full-length album, was independently released on March 26th, 2021. In standard power metal speak, this band is everything you need. They have two guitarists who each play lead and a keyboard player who adds the orchestration. This allows minor symphonic elements to enter the mix and add depth and texture to the sound. Sung entirely in Spanish, this record should be huge in parts of Europe and Latin America.

The record opens with a short instrumental, “El Portal De Thalogrim,” to set the mood and tone for what is to come, an epic tale. The drums are subdued to start, but become more powerful, the keys are ambient and slightly haunting. The strings are urgent. The sound effects instill a bit a dread. The song builds throughout and crescendos into the title track.

Acta Est Fabula” is a guitar driven song that shreds from the start. The bass and drums are frenetic, powerful, and just right. The lyrics point to the hero knowing he needs to act with dignity and integrity, even in times of war. Without honor, the battle cannot be truly won. The vocals are mostly belted, and the singer is really good at hitting the right tone and holding it well. The backing vocals are chants, which adds weight to the composition.

Luna De Sangre” and “El Ultimo Aliento” are both serious power metal, venturing into speed metal at times. There are hints of DRAGONFORCE and AMARANTHE here. The speed and precision are impressive. When not moving at light speed, the melodic tempos are enticing. The keys and guitars work really well together, harmonizing at times and venturing apart into different patterns at others to really set the tones apart. The solos are pretty cool as well. Definitely some serious shredding ability here.
Jumping down to “Deriva Speranza,” we get a bit of a techno intro that runs into a folksy rhythm, then goes almost thrash before getting to the vocal passages. This is a tricky feat to pull off, but they do it well. The talent comes through both in the writing and the playing of the tune. There is a lot to like in this song.

Wrapping the record up are “Ira Ciega” and “El Caminate.” Translated as “Blind Anger” and “The Wayfarer,” these are the epic wraps to a really good power/symphonic metal album. The themes are tied back in and the album wraps, not exactly where it started, but it does feel like the journey has come to an end. Some go full circle, but this feels like it reaches and end point, but there could be more to come.

There is a lot of blending on this record. Power Metal is mixed with Symphonic and Progressive elements. Add some Techno, Thrash and Folk and you get a killer mixture of sounds that make for some seriously strong music. The individual musicians are all excellent and come together well, not treading on each other. The mix is good, and the production is handled well, also. This is definitely an album worth digging into.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  8
Production:  9


4 Star Rating

1. El Portal De Thalogrim
2. Acta Est Fabula
3. Luna De Sangre
4. El Último Aliento
5. El Doblón De La Muerte
6. Deriva Speranza
7. El Temor De Un Hombre Sabio
8. Achterhuis
9. Ira Ciega
10. El Caminante
Miguel González – Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar
Cristian Rodríguez – Bass
Carlos Vivas – Drums
Daniel Martínez – Lead Guitar
Jesús M. Toribio – Keyboards/Orchestration
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Records


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Edited 01 December 2022

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