Score To A New Beginning
posted on 6/2009 By:
Fairyland is not a gay theme park, thank you very much. It’s the adventurous output of epic fantasy metal, now solely mustering in the hands of the French symphonic master Philippe Giordana. Rising to his feet as the only surviving warrior of 2006’s solid Fall of an Empire album, raped of all but his keyboard and a blank musical manuscript, Giordana has boldly marched on, recruiting a glorious battalion of mercenary voices and instrumentalists to help him on to his finest hour yet.
This impressive composition could give even the mightiest film scorer a run for their money. The impulsive underlying speed of “Across the Endless Sea (Part II)” and “Assault on the Shore” mixed with the travelling tempos of tracks like “Master of the Waves” rarely give up, adding movement to the images of a fantasy world created by the choral grandeur and symphonic vistas. Choruses never fail to deliver emotion and every audio layer can be identified and experienced; filling the sound and playing its part.
As a whole, the narrative to Score to a New Beginning may not be as engrossing as the likes of Rhapsody on Fire’s Symphony of Enchanted Lands II, but the head first approach into action is refreshing, as songs flow from one to the next effortlessly, riding clear around the ambient filler and monologue downtime that can often drag an album like this down. “A Soldier’s Letter” manages to stand out as compellingly told tale, throwing a mighty arrangement of keyboard sounds and voices that will have you empathetically singing the line “I wish I had more time” after the first listen.
Despite the ripping guest guitar solos and gripping pace, this release is unlikely to score any new beginnings for the non-symphonic power metal demographic; being the epitome of the genre that it is. Had there been a vocalist you could really hang on to and a bit more of a signature sound, this album would have been a classic, but Giordana’s masterpiece will undoubtedly find great acceptance amongst its followers, and deservingly so, for the ability it takes to realise an album like this is astounding.
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