Highlord - When The Aurora Falls...

Year of Release: 2000/2001
Label: Northwind Records
Catalog Number: -
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:50:00

Have you heard of Highlord before? Then this might be from their first release Heir Of Power that happened to be one of the worst releases of 1999! Stay with me because by the end of 2000 a new chapter had opened for the Italians in the form of When The Aurora Falls... their second full-length release.

Interestingly, Highlord does not sound like the typical Italian metal-brew but falls more in line with the Scandinavian style of symphonic speed metal with lots of folklore melodies worked into the very fast and melodic double bass driven songs. Some of the more obvious comparisons are Stratovarius and the faster Nightwish numbers. This also brings the originality rating right down but the weakest part of the album is probably the speed. Stefano Droetto (guitars) and Alessandro Musicio (keyboard) try to fit too many notes in some of the songs, making them somewhat too cluttered and busy at times. The obvious way around it would be, either slow down the songs or lose some of the notes played, but apart from that, both of these musicians are capable performers. The vocalist, Vasc?, has a great range and has overcome the off key singing from their debut release and sounds quite good, even when singing into the higher, nut-crunching regions.

The sound on the album also falls victim to the speed problems mentioned earlier. When things are getting too busy it sounds in some spots slightly over-compressed but that could have many reasons. The impressive artwork on the front-cover suggests a "Dungeons and Dragons" theme ala Luca Turilli/Rhapsody but the lyrics deal with the anguish, doubts and decisions one encounters at the crossroads of life.

Overall this is a 100% improvement over their debut release and the next one should reach the A-list of releases, perhaps.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
When The Aurora Falls / Don't Kill Me Again / Frozen Heaven / We Are Gods / All I Want / Again / Perpetual Fury / Le Rouge Et Le Noir / Tears Of Darkness / You'll Never Be Lonely

Vasc? - vocals, acoustic guitars
Luca Pellegrino - drums
Stefano Droetto - guitar
Alessandro Musicio - keyboards
Diego De Vita - bass

Avatar - Avatar (demo tape) (1997)
Heir Of Power (2000)
When The Aurora Falls... (2000)
Breath Of Eternity (2002)
Medusa's Coil (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Peter Fundeis
Artist website: www.highlord.it
Hits: 879
Language: english


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