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Tales of Gaia - Hypernova

Tales of Gaia
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 October 2017, 2:35 PM

TALES OF GAIA’sHypernova” is a frustrating album to both listen to and review.  Musically speaking, it is a dose of power/speed metal that really gets the head banging.  I can’t say they are very original or mind blowing but still, the album is musically very solid.  The biggest basis of comparison would be the faster parts of LABYRINTH but with a bigger emphasis on symphonic keyboards.  The keys are epic, sweeping, and really put the Power into the Metal feel while the guitars show that even this sub-genre can have quite the edge to it.

The intro, “Prelude to Salvation,” is one of the best beginners I’ve heard on an album all year.  Miguel Clemente really knows his way around the keys and creates multi layered landscapes that blanket the Power Metal with drops of catchy, textured waves. The keyboards are very loud and often times over power the riffs that seem buried behind just about everything else.  The sound from the riffs is thin so maybe it’s for the best they are in the background somewhat. Still, the guitar duo of Javier Carrillo and Raul Moriana’s speedy and heavy style really work with the symphonic textures. “Knights of Heidelberg,” is littered with great melodies and galloping riffs. The band is at their best when the leads and the keys play together, such as they do on the aforementioned song.  “A Thousand Miles Away,” opens with some shredding that wouldn’t sound out of place on a MEGADETH album.  The rest of the song is enjoyable especially the trade-offs between the lead guitar and the keyboards, each of them taking a turn doing a solo.

At any rate, if I were just going by music, this album would garner at least a 7.  So what keeps me from enjoying the album?  The vocals.  I hate to take away points due to a vocalist because music is best judged, well, on the music.  However, vocals are an instrument unto themselves, or at least they should be.  If these vocals are an instrument, then it’s time to get a new one.  Nestor Catala has a unique voice but being unique isn’t always a good thing.  At best, his voice is distracting.  I love Power Metal and enjoy a good operatic, falsetto as much as the next fan but sometimes a line is crossed.  Ever heard THE CHIPMUNKS sing?  Or listen to a record at too high of a speed? That’s what his vocals sound like.  When I first heard him sing, I thought maybe this was a joke record; he sounds likes someone who doesn’t like Power Metal would sound if they were sarcastically making a joke record.  I rate him just above people who sing in the shower but really can’t sing at all; he sounds really out of tune and as if he is going three times faster than the band is playing.

Sometimes a vocalist is so good, they make the band.  Sometimes, such as with MEGADETH or pretty much every other Thrash band, the vocals are terrible but somehow fit the music.   With these corny vocals being such a glaring distraction, it really makes me forget everything I listened to and can’t recommend this album at all, during a year in which a lot of great Power Metal albums have been released.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 2
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Prelude to Salvation
2. Keep The Dream Alive
3. Soldiers of Light
4. Hyperspace
5. City of Dreams
6. My Right To Live
7. Knights of Heidelberg
8. Wings of Fire
9. A Thousand Miles Away
10. Flamma Ardet
11. Black Symphony
12. Black Standards
Javier Carrillo – Guitar
Raul Moriana – Guitar
Sergi Sabater – Drums
Carlos Leonardo – Bass
Nestor Catala – Vocals
Miguel Clemente – Keyboards
Record Label: Fighter Records


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