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Stormwind – Resurrection (Reissue)

Stormwind
Resurrection (Reissue)
by Rachel Montgomery at 16 November 2020, 2:19 PM

STORMWIND is a Swedish symphonic metal band with a strong sound and stronger symphonics. Formed in 1996, this band went on hiatus in 2003. However, they re-released their third studio album “Resurrection” with new tracks. It’s worth a listen, as the melodies in the song carry the listener away into their imaginations beautifully, However, there are some glaring technical problems they didn’t clean up. Namely, the vocals are placed too far back.

The ambient opening track “Phoenix Rising” indeed rises from beginning to end, swelling with a beautiful orchestral sound. The thunder at the end of the intro leaves me in suspense. However, “Ship of Salvation” opens with a thud rather than a bang. The synthesizers sound artificial and the vocals, which are beautiful and clear, are sadly pushed back in production. If the vocals were brought to the front where they should be, the music would be a wild ride.  “Souldance” has a more promising opening, coming in with biting instrumentals and crisp, screaming guitars. Once again, the vocals are too far back, but the music is so lovely on this track, it’s almost forgivable. Apart from the vocal placement, the chorus echoes in a gloriously uplifting way. The complexities in the instrumental break are a nice break, including how the lead guitar faces off against the lower rhythm guitar by flying through sweeps.

Their fourth track is their slow ballad. “Seven Seas” brings the vocals up a hair more in lieu of intense guitars. However, they’re still a little too far back. The ambiance brings some unnecessary flourishes like sparkling sounds, but overall, any ambient sounds (like blowing wind) work in the song’s favor. The melody is nice. However, a small but common problem emerges on this track: the vocalist’s upper register needs some strengthening. Fortunately, the problem dissipates on the next track: “Passion,” where the vocalist has much better control of his range (I find that some singers are stronger controlling their range on slow songs, others fare better on faster tracks). The operatic belts at the end of the chorus are divine. I also enjoyed the warbling, echoing guitar solo. It had a unique, underwater bubbly effect.

The rest of the album carries the same epic, symphonic theme as the rest of the album. “Blinded Eyes” has a traditional metal edge that reminded me of the 80s. They ham up the chorus and rock out the song. They follow it up with an instrumental that stretches over eight minutes. “Symphonia Millennia” begins with some soft, fast guitar work that reminds me of a mandolin. The instrumentals involve a sea shanty or a night by a moonlit beach. Then, the tone changes to an intense, orchestral guitar movement, full of gallops. The organs used give a Baroque feel to the song. Although the next part of the song uses more artificial synthesizers, it’s still intriguing.

While the band has a similar sound on the album, they mix the album up by switching tempos and flavors between songs. It’s a common trick on albums with an overarching thematic sound is to split the songs by tempo, having a fast song followed by a mid-temp song, an intense song followed by a slow ballad For example, they follow their long, symphonic instrumental with shorter songs: a more intense track called “Samuraj” and a mid-tempo, short song, “Holy Land”. The vocals are particularly strong on these tracks, with clear, operatic belts used. They’re clear and operatic and while they’re still a little far back, I love how they echo at key parts in the lyrics and verses. They keep the epic power in the chorus, creating a nice, uplifting sentiment. Granted, these were the final two tracks on their first release.

The next song, “Spellbound” is faster, setting it apart from the previous track to keep variety in the album. They follow it up with a radio edit of “Seven Seas” and some bonus tracks that never made it on the album. They’re good to check out, but mainly continue the sound of the original tracks. The new outro, “Marco Polo” is another instrumental and serves as a better farewell to the album than the more generic ending of the first release. The album ends with a slower song, with an intro featuring soft, sad violins. I love how the airy, quick piano notes juxtapose against the longer violin melody, then the guitars. They jam-pack so much variety into the last track and harmonize the instruments so well, it’s hard not to leave the album feeling positive about it.

I love the imagery this album involves: either a Mad Max desert or an enchanted lagoon, the orange-and-blue vibe I get from the album is enchanting. Sadly, the technical problems, especially those in the beginning, are impossible to overlook. They’re stronger on instrumental tracks, where the production is more even.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Phoenix rising
2. Ship of salvation
3. Souldance
4. Seven seas
5. Passion
6. Blinded Eyes
7. Synphonia Millenialis
8. Samuraj
9. Holy Land
10. Spellbound
11. Seven Seas (Radio Edit)
12. Mountain of Zion
13. Forever Free
14. Marco Polo
Lineup:
Thomas Vikstrom – Vocals
Thomas Wolf – Guitars
Kaspar Dahlqvist – Keyboards
Andreas Olsson – Bass
David Wallin – Drums
Record Label: Black Lodge Records
     


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Edited 04 December 2020
 

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