A fresh lick of paint applied to an old warhorse...
Borealis are a Canadian metal band that are mainly power metal, but there are symphonic / thrash elements thrown in. This album is a total re-recording of their debut album. At first I wondered why, then I heard the original. While good, the original had horribly dated synths that needed to go. No–one wants to sound like the nineties, do they? Anyway, into the musical abyss we go:
Lost Voices is a good solid opener. Sean Dowell’s drums are solid, Matt Marinelli and Mike Briguglio’s guitars have a steady gallop and a great intro to Matt’s vocal style. Their dynamic riffs mix with Sean Werlick’s synth wizardry.
Midnight City got a bit monotonous, but the drums keep it interesting and the solo saved it. Some of the best vocals on the album right here.
From the Fading Screams – Ballad. Eww, no.
Forget the Past and Eyes of a Dream were two songs that never really take off. I found myself wandering off in thought while listening to these. Maybe the drums are too soft? The solos are good, but not enough to save them.
The second half of the album seems to have all the goodness. World of Silence and The Afterlife show the band at their best. They come together at last to give me something with a hook that will keep me interested!
Divine Answer – Just have one ballad and make it this one. It’s not fantastic, but the solos are nice. Good symphonic synths that know their place and don’t bleed into areas they shouldn’t.
The Dawning Light – This is the song of the album, hands down. Galloping intro, synths that sound a bit eighties at first, but ultimately find a good balance in mix and overall great production. It all comes together in this song. Great vocals and a great hook that stays with you long after the song is over. This is why we’re here. The synth solo reminds me of the soundtrack to an Amiga game I played in the nineties, but that’s totally ok.
Black Rose – A grand intro for the finale and a big sound to take us home. A great song, but I’m not a big fan of the fade out. It screams of ‘We didn’t know how to finish the song, so just turn it down slowly while we jam away’. Sadly, there was some great fretwork in the fade out that I’d like to hear more of.
I’m not sure a re-record of their debut album only 9 years was warranted, but maybe the band felt they had more to say a decade later? I’d probably focus on new material, but hey, I’m not in a band.
Would I get a patch for my jacket? I’m not sure, but I’ll be checking out more of their albums before making a final decision. Borealis have definite talent and can pump out a good song or two. These guys are one to watch.
World of Silence – MMXVII is out now on AFM Records.