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Reflection

When Shadows Fall

Review by Gary Hill

Take an epic metal sound and stripped it down to a more raw production. You’ve got a really good idea of what this disc sounds like. It’s a darned good album, despite not wandering too far from one musical concept. I like it a lot, actually.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Entering the Sea...

There’s an almost Spanish texture to this acoustically driven and compelling little introduction. There are some vocals, but they are distant and I believe non-lyrical. This is less than a minute in length and serves as an introduction.

Mistress of Sea
A rather stripped down, but purely metal, approach leads us off here and serve as the backdrop for the first vocals. This builds as a less polished Iron Maiden. They aren’t content to stay there, though. They bring in some Eastern tinged elements and take this off into a more epic metal journey from there. This has some intriguing changes and alterations and is quite complex.
Ghost Ship
They waste no time here. This fires out in metal fury and power with some killer musical textures. Again they take us out into epic metal territory, but this has a rawer, less overproduced sound than a lot of music in that genre. It’s got some killer jamming later in a guitar solo section, too. 
When Shadows Fall
This is just plain mean. There is nothing out of place here. In many ways it reminds me of early Rush, but taken more purely metal. It’s a real killer. It’s got a lot of drama and power and a number of intriguing changes and alterations. 
Whispers of the Lost...
A short atmospheric piece, this is a bit creepy and serves as the introduction to the next number. 
Lost
Slow and plodding, this is another killer cut. It’s got a different texture than the stuff we’ve heard thus far, but still fits with everything else.
Desert Land
There’s no big reinvention of the wheel here, but this rocker works quite well. It’s got some dramatic guitar work and has a tasty mood.
Soul Salvation
A slow moving number, this has some powered up motifs, too. Overall it’s not that far from doom metal, but it’s also got a lot of old school prog metal built into it. I can definitely make out some Candlemass on this one. 
Eyes of the Night
Another slow moving piece, this is dramatic and powerful and there’s a vintage edgy metal riff driving a lot of this. 
Serpent's Eye
This isn’t feeling samey but they aren’t changing things up much. I guess that this track might seem little mundane compared to some of the rest of it. It’s definitely got its charms, though. 
Kingdom of Fire
The chugging riff that drives a lot this is cool. The cut has a bit of a dramatic flair to it and rocks out quite well. 
Mistress of Sea (Orchestral Version)
Not only is this not heavy metal, I’d say it’s not even rock music. It’s literally an orchestral take on the track and is basically modern opera (with more rock oriented vocals). It’s a killer number and a great way to end the set in style. If the whole disc had been like this (or at least more of it) it would have landed in the progressive rock category.
 
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