Release DetailsLABEL Metalism Records
RELEASED ON 12/18/2004
Lead To Your Destiny
posted on 10/2006 By:
Usually when I attempt to tackle a power metal album, two specific factors will determine just what kind of response I’ll have to it: the vocalist, and the amount of soloing contained on the album in any capacity. Admittedly, there really isn’t a whole lot of Russian power metal to be found in my personal collection, but I definitely wouldn’t be ashamed to own 2004’s Lead To Your Destiny, the Metalism Records debut from Moscow’s Retriem. Even in the most unlikely of locales, metal still thrives.
An attempt to do a little research came up fruitless, as their website no longer works, and there is very little biographical information on the label website. So, you and I are basically trudging through this together a little blindly, using only our ears as a guide (as of this writing, there are six MP3 samples available at Metalism’s site). With lyrics sung in native tongue, and an aesthetic firmly locked into progressive power metal, Retriem present a very solid, at times great disc that pretty much does everything right, but offers very little by way of surprises.
The first three tracks, “Outcast”, “Curse”, and “Highway” are all fairly uneventful and straightforward power metal songs with galloping riffs, softer acoustic parts that burst into life with sudden uptempo chugging, dual harmonies galore, and fairly conservative mid-ranged melodic vocals that don’t try to get too operatic. Rather standard stuff. Tons of hammer-on soloing too, so if you’re into that, prepare for bliss. Steadily, the vocals tend to become a bit wilder starting with and following “Death To Death”, as far as breaking out the falsetto and letting it wail. Sometimes the singer is dead on, and other times he’s off the note just far enough to make you wince a little bit, but far and away the vocals are more of a strength than a hindrance. Even though they're a little high in the mix, the vox don't overpower everything despite the guitars being buried slightly at times in odd places (like during soloing).
Most of the songs have very classy arrangements that unfortunately tend to sound too similar, mostly due to the lack of variation as far as tempo or riff selections, but the cheese levels are always kept to a minimum. Although I do have to bring up that there were a few very brief moments during “What Was This World Created For”, as well as the title track, and closing track “Lonely Wolves”, which reminded me of 80’s thrash juggernauts Holy Terror as far as biting precision riffs go. Much of the material highlights Retriem as a band who would like to try writing heavier material judging by the brute power that tends to pop up in limited intervals, and not just heavier material, for there’s a very ambitious feel to the concluding few tracks which sounds quite spirited and forward thinking beyond mere Gamma Ray worship.
Lead To Your Destiny probably won’t take anyone by storm, but Retriem are definitely a very good band, featuring some excellent musicians who really know how to write compelling power metal without falling into annoying trappings such as vocal histrionics, or silly solo syndrome. If anyone has any info about the band, please let us know of any updates, because they’ve produced an admirable album that followers of the style will be sure to enjoy. Fans of Symphorce, Stratovarius, and classic Maiden should give ‘em a shot.
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