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Under Sanity's Bane - A Cosmic Tragedy

Under Sanity's Bane
A Cosmic Tragedy
by Danny Sanderson at 16 July 2014, 1:58 PM

There are plenty of Symphonic Power Metal acts in the world. For the most part, this genre is filled with great musicians and songwriters who can weave images in the minds of a listener; and there are, of course, plenty of bands that have the potential to be good bands, but suffer either bad song writing or poor production on their albums. Luckily for us all, Germany's UNDER SANITY'S BANE are one of the best underground acts of the genre. Their debut effort, "A Cosmic Tragedy", is, despite a production that could have been better, a really great album that shows a lot of potential for this band. All of the band members have a myriad of talents and skills which can all be found somewhere on this record.

One of the main strong points of this album is Cristina Grijalva's vocals. They are powerful, and she has a wide range which allows the vocal lines to often carry the song. "A Pirates Tale", for example, is a brilliant example of the power of the vocals in this band, and when this talent is coupled with the virtuosity of Krenz' Keyboard work, it produces an under looked Symphonic Metal masterpiece. It is, in short, a fairly standard, catchy Power Metal song. The album's title track plays to the many strengths of Krenz, the band's keyboard player, and opens with a very promising harpsichord-esque keyboard section, and the song eventually begins to build into something that even a well established act like NIGHTWISH would be proud to call their own. "My Last Chapter" is strongly reminiscent of "Oceanborn", arguably one of NIGHTWISH's most popular albums. By far the best song on this album is "Vulturis", in which the capabilities of the whole band are made clear. The album closer "Iele" again has some fantastic vocals, and is a great way to end a great album. If there is any way I think that this band could improve, I would say that it lies in the guitars and bass. They are often just background noise to the vocals and the keyboards, and I feel that there was a lot that could they could have showcased through their guitars and bass. However, the fault lies mostly with the producer as opposed to the band members. The vocals and keyboard are extremely prominent in the mix, so if there is anything worth noting about the band's string section, it is quite easy to miss.

It is a shame that Crisitina is only making a guest appearance doing vocals on this record, because, despite the high musicianship and great hooks, the vocals are where this album really excels. Hopefully, the band's new, permanent singer, Amber, will prove to be a great alternative. This is an incredibly strong debut record, and it seems as though this band are already fully formed sonically. The juggernauts of the Symphonic Metal world should take note; a new contender might just have entered their arena.

4 Star Rating

1. Welcome (Intro)
2. Under the Black Banner
3. Vulturis
4. A Cosmic Tragedy
5. The Pied Piper of Hamelin
6. A Pirates Tale
7. My Last Chapter
8. Storms of Rage
9. Iele
Markus Hosch- Bass
Simon Buse- Guitars
Denis Pfeffer- Guitars
Cristina Grijalva- Vocals
Krenz- Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 07 February 2023

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