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Whyzdom – Of Wonders And War Award winner

Of Wonders And War
by Thomas Kumke at 04 October 2021, 6:48 AM

WHYZDOM were formed in 2007 by Vynce Leff as a symphonic Metal project. They are from France and their music is a symbiosis of powerful Metal riffs combined with massive orchestrations and a clean female voice. WHYZDOM’s success grew steadily and prior to the release of their new album, they had one EP, four full-length albums, and one DVD to their name. “Of Wonders And War” was released via Italian label Scarlet Records which is known for having Power, Thrash, and Heavy Metal bands among their roster. The album has a length of more than 59 minutes.

The key driver in any symphonic Metal band is the vocalist. Mezzo-soprano Marie Mac Leod joined WHYZDOM in 2013 and “Of Wonders And War” is the third album with her. It becomes clear already during the opener why the vocal contribution is so central in symphonic Metal: Marie Mac Leod has an enormous diversity in her vocal style ranging from operatic to more rock-oriented, and Vynce Leff as the mastermind behind WHYZDOM takes full advantage of that in his compositions. “Wanderers And Dreamers” is a journey, mixing different styles starting from classical symphonic Metal with choral background and heavy guitar riffing, via a quiet string part to a more epic melodic part that incorporates Metal instruments and orchestral arrangements. The more Metal dominated parts include powerful riffs and a comprehensive lead guitar solo. The overarching element, however, are the vocals that keep the song together.

Child Of Damnation” is a bit faster, it sounds heavier and more straight forward compared to the opener with dominating choral contributions supporting the vocals. The lead guitar solo half way through the track is not overly playful and comes straight to the point. “Stonehenge” starts with an operatic intro before the song transitions into a traditional Metal song. “Ariadne” is one of the highlights on the album. It starts with a bombastic choral and dark string parts before it continues with tight and catchy guitar riffing and develops into a head-banging Metal song with some orchestral contribution in the background. The extended lead guitar solo is harmonic and technically advanced.

After the fireworks of the opening tracks, there is time for a break and the ballad-esque “Touch The Sky” provides just that. However, it starts slow and quiet, but as time goes by, the intensity and heaviness is raised. After an operatic beginning, “War” is one of the faster and heavier tracks of the album and Marie Mac Leod shows once more her impressive range of vocal skills and diversity. “Metropolis Lights” is not dominated by orchestral or operatic parts, but the brass elements contribute very much to the darkness and heaviness of the track and Marie Mac Leod takes full advantage of her Rock voice. “Pyramids”, on the other hand, is driven forward by the epic choral. “The Final Collapse” is a good piece of symphonic Metal where there is a constant switch between classical and Metal vocals. The Grand final is “Notre Dame”, a song that was written during the night of the fire inside the Notre Dame cathedral in 2019. WHYZDOM released the song as video and the YouTube link is given below. “Notre Dame” is a very emotional song about a fire that changed a whole nation: “When my heart was lost in the night/I used to turn to Notre Dame/Now the sky is set on fire/Your spire has fallen to the ground/Memories of centuries were swept away in a heartbeat”.

Of Wonders And War” is a very strong and mature symphonic Metal album. WHYZDOM deliver an emotional album and create an atmosphere that does not let the listener go. The band has established their very own and unique sound thanks to the talent of songwriter Vynce Leff and the amazing vocalist Marie Mac Leod. All songs tell their own story but come together into a bigger conceptual framework which is evidence for excellent songwriting. The album is very well produced. “Of Wonders And War” should be part of the collection of every symphonic Metal fan.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Wanderers And Dreamers
2. Child Of Damnation
3. Stonehenge
4. Ariadne
5. Touch The Sky
6. War
7. Metropolis Lights
8. Pyramids
9. The Final Collapse
10. Notre Dame
Marie Mac Leod – Vocals
Regis Morin – Guitars
Vynce Leff ­ Guitars, Orchestrations
Nico Chaumeaux – Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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