Fairyland - Of Wars in Osyrhia

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Arise Metal
Catalog Number: AR045
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:03:00

An orchestral opening to a new band who can lay claim to be one of very few who can rival Rhapsody for their totally involved, epic and symphonic power metal. Fairyland ? a ridiculous name for a band with a lot of promise.

The band is actually from France: starting with original member Willdric Lievin (d/g/b) who formed the band in 1998 under the name Fantasia. Together with Philippe Giordana (k) they soon joined up with ex-Heavenly guitarist Anthony Parker. For the length of 2002 they were busy recording the music for this album and when they started looking for a captivating vocalist to fit their epic music, they came across ex-Dark Moor screamer Elisa C. Martin. This is actually a transitional band for Elisa, until her own band Dreamaker release, but in the same vein as Rhaposdy and Dark Moor, Fairyland continue those epic adventures of men and gods, demons and wizards. After 1000 years of evil laying in wait, the fight is about to begin: Of Wars in Osyrhia.

As a metalhead, and one who loves prog/power metal, I'm sure you're aware of every conceivable criticism of a band like Rhapsody. If you're not, well, I won't elaborate here. Unfortunately for Fairyland, what they do is take the positives of Rhapsody, and many of the criticisms, and exacerbate them on this album. Don't get me wrong, this is a genuine attempt at an entertaining release full of orchestral, choir-etched power metal - but after 60 minutes it's pretty hard going. It's smooth, almost too smooth, and like water running off a duck's back, Of Wars in Osyrhia might do the same. You see, the core of this band is Lievin (d) and Giordana (k) and whilst their playing is worthy of a band like Rhapsody, they unfortunately overload you with over-the-top everything in a bid to make this album as "big" as possible. Unfortunately, they end up making it too symphonic. Too epic. Too big. It's almost a case of they tried too hard, the ambitions rising until they couldn't control the outcome.

Overall, this is a very good album, at times brilliant in fact. But there's no balance, no subtlety. Everything is based around making this grand and epic, yet it comes off pretentious and overambitious. For example, they spend a large portion of this CD throwing at you (male) choir after (male) choir mixed in with Elisa's symphonic female vocals. It's a really good contrast and one that works well. Except here they overdo it with almost every song parading this technique. Maybe it's their obsession, but it's repeated ad-nauseum. But this problem is apparent in the overdose of keyboards and guitar solos; every song as epic and prophetic as the last. But?

?these guys have a big future ahead of them.

They know exactly what they want and over time will do what no others have done. But before that, the band have to revamp their song-writing. They have the talent to write good songs, but need to master the art of subtlety, of which this album has almost none. Plus, I don't necessarily think that throwing in a (nice) ballad and one (main) instrumental constitutes balancing. It only avoids the inevitable onslaught of more symphony, more epic-ness, and, to some, more noise.

Rhapsody and Dark Moor is clearly their thing. And good on them for it. Between those two bands no band have really taken that symphonic, epic nature to such extremes but Fairyland need to inject some poise and refine their sound. But this will come with time and I have every expectation that this band will live to see many more albums.

Similar To: Rhapsody, Edguy

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Intro / Ride With The Sun / Doryan The Enlighted / The Story Teller / Fight For Your King / On The Path To Fury / Rebirth / The FellowShip / A Dark Omen / The Army Of The White Mountains / Of Wars In Osyrhia /Guardian Stones (Japan Bonus Track)

Willdric Lievin - drums
Philippe Giordana - keyboards
Anthony Parker - guitars
Elisa C Martin - vocals

Fantasia - Realm Of Wonders (demo) (2000)
Of Wars in Osyrhia (2003)
The Fall Of An Empire (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FR

Added: November 26th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.fairyland-metal.com
Hits: 1410
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]