Aina - Days Of Rising Doom

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Transmission Records
Catalog Number: TME 040
Format: CD
Total Time: 123:31:00

Imagine you get a phone call from a record company, asking you if you can create a rock opera, how would you feel? And before you know it, you have followed in the footsteps of the great Tolkien and have created your own world, people and even your own language! Then you ask the best of the best in musicians and singers to play and sing on this project. Sounds like a dream? Maybe, but for Sascha Paeth (top producer of bands such as Rhapsody, Kamelot and Epica and guitarist in the band Heaven's Gate) this became a reality, as indeed he did get such a call, from Hans van Vuuren (Transmission Records) and he and his companions, Miro (keyboards, orchestral arrangements), Roberto Hunecke-Rizzo (drums, all guitars and bass) and Amanda Sommerville (vocals) set out to create, what would become the world of Aina

I received news of this project in September and have been watching my mailbox since, to see when I would get it. Of course such high expectations could lead to disappointment, but with Aina this was definitely not the case! The cast is no less than impressive: Damian Wilson, Glenn Hughes, Tobias Sammet, Candice Night, Sass Jordan, Simone Simmons, Derek Sherinian, Emppu Vourinen, Erik Norlander and many more. Musically it is mainly guitar orientated as well as song orientated. Roberto Hunecke-Rizzo plays drums, all guitars and bass. The guest musicians in most cases only play solos in the various songs.

After the heavy "Aina Overture," the story kicks off with "Revelations," excellent vocals by Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) and Damian Wilson (ex-Landmarq, Ayreon) and the use of the boys choir gives the song a true opera feel. Kiske stars also in "Silver Maiden," and this is definitely no metal here, but sheer beauty! In the up tempo "Flight Of Torek," with powerful drums, Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia) and Glenn Hughes share vocals, one of my favourite songs already. "Naschtok Is Born," has a dark, angry mood, aptly sung by Thomas Rettke (Heaven?s Gate) and with a stunning guitar solo by Sascha Paeth. After "The Beast Within," "The Siege Of Aina" is another highlight, with two real opera singers, a keyboard solo by Derek Sherinian (Planet X), great choirs and again powerful drums. The story moves on with "Talon's Last Hope," with Glenn Hughes and Andre Matos (Angra, Virgo) on vocals, and a chilling intro guitar solo by Sascha Paeth. In the delicate "Rape Of Oria," Candice Night (Blackmore?s Night) has the lead vocals. Wow, what a beautiful voice she has! Next up is one of the highlights of the album: "Son Of Sorvahr." The choir chants "Syrius," which just sticks in your mind, it has such a catchy melody, fantastic bass play by T.M. Stevens (Tina Turner, Steve Vai) and great guitar solos.

Aina is called a metal opera, but there are some really good ballads on the album, that have nothing to do with metal, like "Serendipity," again with the amazing vocals of Michael Kiske and the boys choir, accompanied by acoustic guitar. "Lalae Am?r" is entirely sung in the language of the Anae and has a very nice melody, a bit oriental and somewhat catchy. It is a slow, soft song, but at the end the pace picks up and Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot) kicks in with a heavy guitar solo. The metal is back in "Rebellion," with Glenn Hughes on vocals and guest appearances by Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish, guitar solo) and Erik Norlander (keyboard solo). Another very catchy, but very good song is "Oriana?s Wrath" with Sass Jordan (Nikolo Kotsevs Nostradamus), Marko Hietala (Nightwish). I particularly love Sass Jordan?s part in this song and wished she would sing more, with her powerful voice. All?s well that end?s well (hmmm, not Tolkien, but Shakespeare) and the story ends happy for the Ainea with "Restoration," with more Michael Kiske (he already is my favourite vocalist!) and Simone Simons (Epica) with her soprano voice.

In a few words I have tried to tell you what each song is about, but I realize that is never good enough. This is an album you really have to listen to. Not just once, because there is so much to discover in this project. I am very impressed by the fantastic four, but most of all by Amanda Sommerville. She is not only very beautiful, but the mere fact that she can create a new language and make people sing in it, wow. Of course many of the guest musicians have some connection with Sascha Paeth, but this way he knows what qualities each have and this way he can get the best end result. If the album is not enough, I can only recommend the limited edition, which includes a bonus CD and DVD. The second CD has a musical version of the story, where the story is told by Sebastian Thomson, also an instrumental version of it, and several alternate versions, demos and single versions. These alternate and demo versions are sung by Amanda Sommerville and Roberto Hunecke-Rizzo, most likely as guiding vocals. The DVD contains a video clip and a making of. This is really cool to see!

So, at the end of 2003 Transmission Records releases one of the most impressive albums of the year, so this gives 2004 a great musical start. The limited edition is excellent, with many illustrations, the whole story, lyrics and photos of the entire cast. This is a release in the vein of the limited editions of which Inside Out used to have the monopoly, but not anymore! Transmission Records is rapidly developing to become a very important label, with bands such as After Forever, Epica, Lana Lane, Erik Norlander and now Aina. Aina - Days Of Rising Doom is a superb release and absolutely a must have.

[This review originally appeared at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Disc One: Days Of Rising Doom: Aina Overture (2:01) / Revelations (5:29) / Silver Maiden (5:00) / Flight Of Torek (5:24) / Naschtok Is Born (4:40) / The Beast Within (3:16) / The Siege Of Aina (6:50) / Talon's Last Hope (6:11) / Rape Of Oria (3:04) / Son Of Sorvahr (2:59) / Serendipity (4:04) / Lalae Am?r (4:13) / Rebellion (4:01) / Oriana's Wrath (6:12) / Restoration (4:55)

Disc Two: The Story Of Aina: The Story Of Aina (instrumental) (15:08) / The Beast Within (single version) (3:44) / Ve To?ra Sol (Rape Of Oria - Ainae version) (3:05) / Flight Of Torek (single version) (3:34) / Silver Maiden (alternate version) (4:59) / Talon's Last Hope (demo) (5:46) / The Siege Of Aina (single version) (3:54) / The Story Of Aina (15:09)

DVD: Beyond The Borders: The Beast Within (3:41) / The Making Of Aina (14:57) / The Story of Aina (15:08) Slide Show / Artwork / Lyrics

Robert Hunecke-Rizzo - drums, Guitars, bass, arrangements
Sascha Paeth - producer, additional arrangements
Amanda Somerville - artistic and literary Conception, story and lyrics, vocal coach and vocals
Miro - keyboards, orchestral arrangement and effects


Olaf Hayer (Luca Turilli) - vocals
Marko Hietala (Nightwish) - vocals
Glenn Hughes - vocals
Jens Johansson (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Stratovarius) - keyboards
Sass Jordan - vocals
Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Supared) - vocals
Andre Matos (ex-Angra, Shaman) - vocals
Candice Night (Blackmore?s Night) - vocals
Erik Norlander (Lana Lane) - keyboards
Thomas Rettke (Heavens Gate) - vocals
Cinzia Rizzo - vocals
Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia) - vocals
Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Planet X) - keyboards
Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir - vocals
Simone Simons (Epica) - vocals
T.M.Stevens (Tina Turner, Steve Vai) - bass
Sebastian Thomson - vocals
Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) - guitars
Damian Wilson (ex-Threshold) - vocals
Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot) - guitars
The Trinity Schoolboys Choir - vocals

Days Of Rising Doom (2003)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin VA

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1515
Language: english


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