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Sanvoisen - Soul Seasons CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.05 | 4 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars A worthy follow-up

SANVOISEN's 'Soul Seasons' came three years after their very good debut and brings a more power metal approach than its predecessor. The main elements that constitute the band's sound are still there: the very good, high-pitched, ala-Tate (albeit slightly Greek-accented-problematic) vocals from Maranis and the powerful, clear, up-front guitars, the mid-tempo riffs borrowing heavily from Queensryche and Conception.

The opening ''Spirits'' is a ''safe'' short mid-tempo power metal track, with solid guitar riffs, reminding me of Annihilator's mid-90's, with a very melodic refrain and Maranis' voice dominating all the way through. The short soloing after 2 minutes adds a melodic/different tone to the otherwise heavy-guitar driven track. ''Mindwars'' speeds up considerably resembling Khan's vocal lines in Conception's 'Parallel Minds' and Savatage's great-guitar moments of the 80's. Not much of progressive metal so far, which is to come with the first real highlight ''Behind my Dreams''. Twin guitars initiate and a semi-complex rhythm section follows up, building up to a memorable super-heavy bridge and a grandeur refrain with the best vocal performance from Maranis. The riffs are not re-inventing the wheel, based again on the successful mid-tempo Queensryche/Conception recipe, but the way the different sections are combined creates a masterpiece of a track. Some funky soloing after 4 minutes adds the finishing touch. The first relaxed moment comes with ''The Difference'', a catchy melodic semi-ballad, with the interest focussing on the range and creativity of the vocal lines.

The title track begins with Sieges Even-like clean guitars, and builds up anxiously to a majestic bridge, only to disappoint with the uninspired AOR-oriented refrain which spoils the whole magic. This is enough to render the track rather forgettable, despite the excellent progressive twin guitar soloing during the 5th minute. ''Against the Fears'' is drawn out of Conception's best moments and returns to the opening tracks' solid power metal; even the multiple vocals replicate the Norwegians' approach in their '93-'95 period. ''Broken Silence'' is a bit too soft for my liking; it would not surprise me to listen to the same song with Greek lyrics, clearly exhibiting a Mediterranean-Latin feeling, albeit the structure is rather weak and fails to engage the listener. The same does not happen with the introduction of ''Waiting for the Rain'', which is clearly influenced by oriental musical paths. Riffs and vocals dance to slow and heavy eastern rhythms and an epic atmosphere. ''Somebody's Stolen my Name'' closes the album in a more or less similar way as it opened: enthusiastic heavy/power riffs in a short ''in-your-face'' track with melodic refrains.

All and all, another very good album from the German band that would appeal to friends of creative progressive/power metal, with a particular liking in Conception and 80's Queensryche. Although the resemblance to the abovementioned bands, their sound remains much more original compared to the majority of today's bands operating in the same style. For those interested, it is recommended that you start from their debut but also check this one to get the full picture - you will not be disappointed. Compared to that, ''Soul Seasons'' has less highlights and a less progressive approach and thus gets a slightly lower rating of 3.5-.

Highlights: Behind my Dreams, Waiting for the Rain, Spirits

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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