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The Chronicles of Israfel - Starborn,Tome I CD (album) cover


The Chronicles of Israfel


Experimental/Post Metal

4.08 | 17 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The Chronicles of Israfel - Starborn, Tome 1

This album is fantastic. In isolation these tracks are amazing but in the final format all together running in the order they should be it is something else. Each track blends with the next playing out the first instalment of Israfel's story to perfection. Below is a description of each track and the sound you can expect to hear once the album ships. I assure you that you will not be disappointed!

Starborn Part I: Empire Of Light This track did appear for a short time on the Myspace page. Rainfall can be heard beating down and a voice whispers "I am Israfel. This is my story". A fitting beginning! A clean guitar gives way to the first of many amazing heavy riffs on this album. Being an instrumental track the song showcases Dominic's solo mastery. I would describe this as a heavy yet melodic rock track filled with amazing solos. The main theme of the song continues to 3.40min where the track stops and build to a fast pace finale.

Starborn Part II: Citizen An atmospheric track filled with fast pace riffs and wonderful supporting keyboards. Another instrumental track but shorter than the first. Reminds me of the sound from the Pulse Ultra days. Another slightly faster and heavy rock track.

Starborn Part III: On A Forever Road This track was the track that began my journey with Dominic and Israfel. This track has been up at Myspace for a long time so you don't really need me to tell you how good it really is. Footsteps can be heard and whispering voice calling Israfel on a forever road. When the riff starts you know straightaway that you are in for a musical treat. It builds and builds showcasing some of the best riff work I have heard for years. Fast yet tight chops cover this track. At 2.22 min you get a solo that I personally did not expect. Almost jazz like but amazing to say the least. Then onto some perfect tapping solos. Then back to the main theme. Another bridge section slowing things down to build again to a pounding final riff. An aggressive and powerful metal opera track.

Burning Day The first vocal track of the album. Vocals and guitar that is it! The riff is almost Van Halen-esque. Peppered with delay and oozing with dirty yet clear tone. This is a taste of the amazing vocal performances throughout the album and Dominic's ability to tell a story through music and words.

The Equinigma Currently up on the Myspace page. Another vocal track and the first acoustic track on the album. I loved this track as soon as I heard it but questioned how it would fit in with all the other heavy distorted guitar tracks. Well in the context of the album it is perfect. Making the heavier track heavier and showing us how good a writer Dominic is. The solo at 2.41 mins for some reason reminds me of early Marty Friedman. Dual clean guitars dripping out an oriental sounding solo.

Laudanum A slow burning track that at the time of writing is my favourite track of the album. An acoustic opening with haunting guitar sounds (using volume pedal if I am not mistaken). At 1.42 mins a fat and heavily distorted guitar pounds out a relentless riffs that really screw with my car sound system. Another oriental sound guitar/keyboard solo features along with amazing vocal/lyrics.

Nation Another track that has been on Myspace for some time and one would say a favourite to be a single. Does everyone know what the backward lyrics are on this track? Another amazing riff kicks this track off to see a slow verse section with more fantastic vocals. This track shows the epic nature of the album with orchestral backing and a rousing speech by The Witan Leader. Another great example of story telling and dramatic musical scale.

Born Fighting Another contender for best track for me. This has been on Myspace also and was exactly like I imagined it to be from the title. Heavy, fast, aggressive riffage and anthem-esque chorus. Does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a great example of how the track takes on a new life when played in order. Played after Nation makes this song seem faster and far more aggressive than in isolation.

Kill Division Another track featured on the Myspace page and the first track to detail the story being played thought the music. The track starts with a dialogue using voice manipulation equipment for sure. More fast and heavy riffs and another chorus destined to be streamed by thousands of Kill Division members.

New Mood Therapy Another track that has recently seen a short stint on the Myspace page. An instrumental epic with synth and orchestral solos. Another fast and furious track somewhat akin to the keyboard solos you would expect on a Dream Theatre album. A rock/metal extravaganza.

Eugenics Another track that is currently on Myspace. Clean guitar and gorgeous piano plays in the background while a variety of "characters" tell the story of Israfel's first mission. More amazing vocal performances. The calm and focused clean guitar and piano together with the aggressive and evil subject matter show cleaver song writing skills. Another heavy riff over the chorus sees this track touch on many emotions.

Home To Oblivion More piano work plays while the sound of war can be heard in the background. Forceful and driven guitar riffs kick in and build to the tolling of bells and an amazing repeated solo. The final battle so perfectly created in musical form. Destruction and the burning of the dead is all that remains.

Lacrima Christi A mournful acoustic riff repeats with a haunting voice echoing in Israfel's ears. The final track of the album leaving us all asking "what is to happen next?"

This album is a must for all Prog Rock fans or anyone that loves amazing guitar work. This is probably the only album i own that i can listen from start to finish over and over and never skip a track.

BravViper | 5/5 |


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