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Visions Of Choice - Mistress Of The Gods Award winner

Visions Of Choice
Mistress Of The Gods
by Rachel Montgomery at 18 February 2020, 3:25 PM

A concept album with intensity, twists, and turns, VISION OF CHOICE proudly presents its debut album, “Mistress of the Gods”. The brainchild of Steve Brockmann, he formulated the album off the heels of “AIRS – A Rock Opera”. Combining his ability to weave musical narratives with the gritty, operatic vocals of Lukas Remus, Brockmann composed a story following an ancient archaeologist, as told from the perspective of his son. The ambiance throughout the album, full of ancient horn sounds and cosmic electronica, reflects the theme of the album and gives it that aura of mystique.

The opening of the album, “New Horizon”, is long, electric ambiance leading into a revving guitar, like an engine starting before the album takes off. Through a galloping riff in the first verse, the vocals are clear, in the front where they should be, but not overpowering, gritty, but operatic and sung correctly. The echoing chorus and soaring melody behind it make this song for me and make me excited for the rest of the album.

The album itself is a combination of doom, Viking, and traditional elements that are solidly produced and contain a decent variety. “Come Tomorrow” begins with tuned-down guitars, but ultimately continues the high-pitched 80s guitar stylings and Viking Metal gritty vocals of the first track. The next track is strictly traditional.

Into the Light” is unique in that it begins with a funk-style bass riff before going into a high-octane squealing guitar riff. The song also employs a Doom Metal production technique of echoing the vocals and pushing them back behind the instrumentals. Here, it’s not done so badly it drowns out the vocals, but it’s noticeable. The traditional, squealing and sweeping guitar solo also brings it away from doom and more into traditional metal territory.

The middle tracks themselves are the most-unique on the album. “Endlessly” has a slower beginning, featuring beautiful, soft horns. The electronic ambiance is space-like and cosmic. Like many songs on the album, the riff climbs and speeds up into an intense first verse. The chorus is pure power metal, reminiscent of BLIND GUARDIAN or RHAPSODY. The slow song, “Hold Your Head High”, has more of a doom metal vibe. The vocals remind me of the Doom Metal band PARADISE LOST, especially the timber behind the notes.

The rest of the songs are varied, but still carry the same fast style. The songs go from a bombastic doom track, “Mistress Of The Gods”, the title track, to a short, fist-pumping number, “Givin’ It Up”, to a song that begins as a ballad, but then after a few thrashing notes, rockets into intensity like “New Horizons” and “Endlessly”. The choral elements in “Gates Of Evermore” and the refrain make it more of a unique, standout song on the album and it’s worth a listen on its own.

The final track, “Touch the Sky”, is a seven-minute closer that features many of the same techniques from the rest of the album. It begins with slow, slightly discordant acoustics; some random minor notes are thrown in to give the intro an eerier effect. As the song increases in intensity, it employs some wonderful harmonies and an epic chorus.

With a strong opener and a strong closer, this album remains solid throughout. For fans of Traditional Metal with a harder, darker edge, this is an album worth checking out.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. New Horizon
2. Come Tomorrow
3. Shine
4. Into The Light
5. Endlessly
6. Hold Your Head High
7. Mistress Of The Gods
8. Givin' It Up
9. Gates Of Evermore
10. Hold On
11. Touch The Sky
Lineup:
Lukas Remus - Vocals
Steve Brockmann – All Instruments
Record Label: ZOUNDR / Fencesound
     


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