Warmen - Beyond Abilities

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8092
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:33:00

The Germans may lay claim to having set all the stereotypes for it and still being the kings as far as a national scene is concerned, but it is the Finnish who have ruthlessly taken over polished and accessibly melodic power metal with the sporadic neoclassical touch. Take Warmen, for instance. Children Of Bodom keyboardist Janne Warman's solo project is a roundtrip collection of everything that makes bands such as Stratovarius click with the masses. Grand melodies led by smooth electric guitars and agile synthesizers, sporadic nods to baroque fugues and tricks, blazing solos, melodic high-pitched vocals, and an approach that often borders the thin line between so-called hard rock and heavy metal, all delivered with sheer perfection and a corresponding production. Good enough; now what's new about it? Not much, really.

And as has sadly been the case with the vast majority of Euro power metal releases seeing the light of day in recent years, the problem is that no matter how pretty, well executed, or technically impressive it can get to be, it eventually becomes tiresome. And even then it gets devoured by ravenous power metalheads whose only purpose in life seems to be to find the nth Stratovarius clone and rave it about it like kingdom come. Fortunately in the case of Warmen, however, not all of Beyond Abilities is the insufferably derivative work of another buffoon who just wants to foolishly eat the hand that feeds. After all, this is a member of Children of Bodom we're talking about. It's just that the vast majority of the record is a tragic case of the same old song and dance; the kind that gets one excited for the first few minutes and then just lingers somewhere in the back of the mind.

That's not to say that there is nothing to bite into with lustful metal passion, however. "Beyond Abilities" is an entertaining instrumental despite its multitudinous solo wanking, "Hidden" actually sounds kind of cool in its innocuous collection of simple but catchy riffs, and "Salieri Strikes Back" features a predictable baroque fugue that is nevertheless quite enjoyable, as one always embarrassedly admits. But the real treat here is "Dawn," which leaves behind the melodic imitation and goes into a mid-tempo mood of mysteriousness above which Pasi Nyk¨nen provides some accurately fitting vocals that find themselves in between Layne Staley of Alice in Chains and Tom G. Warrior of Celtic Frost/Apollyon Sun fame. Even solos shed their melodic skin while the bass goes through a slap exercise in the middle and Sami Virtanen dives into a surprisingly blues-infected, although quite rapid, solo. Elsewhere, however, it's just business as usual, with quick melodic runs forming the typical backbone of instrumentals and the fine vocals of a Timo Kotipelto or Kimberly Goss the life of songs. Meanwhile, some metal radicals will probably want to dismiss the band merely for including the Heart ballad "Alone" on Beyond Abilities, but that would be far too superficial an analysis. Not that a much deeper one is needed, because it is obvious from the start that those who enjoy melodic power metal a la Stratovarius, delivered with classy conviction and absolute precision, will love this, while the rest of us will file it among our list of releases that are excellently performed, but nothing to really get that excited about.

Similar artists: Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Sinergy

Released in Europe by Spinefarm (SP1139CD)

Beyond Abilities (3:27) / Spark (4:31) / Hidden (3:26) / Trip To... (3:07) / Dawn (4:45) / Singer's Chance (5:02) / Alone (3:46) / Confessions (2:46) / Salieri Strikes Back (5:17) / War Of Worlds (3:46) / Finale (6:33)

Janne Warman - keyboards, grand piano
Mirka Rantanen - drums
Lauri Porra - drums
Antti Warman - guitars
Sami Virtanen - guitars
Timo Kotipelto - vocals
Kimberly Goss - vocals
Pasi Nykänen - vocals

Unknown Soldier (2000)
Beyond Abilities (2001)
Accept The Fact (2005)
Japanese Hospitality (2009)
The Evil That Warmen Do (2010)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: May 18th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.warmen.org
Hits: 526
Language: english


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