Rating:
7.5
Arven - Music Of Light
30 September 2011


01. Music Of Light
02. On Flaming Wings
03. Raise Your Cups
04. My Dear Friend
05. World Of Hatred
06. Dark Red Desire
07. Midwinter Nights
08. Till Death Do Us Part
09. Ruined Castle
10. A Stranger's Story


Recorded by Kai Bender except for vocals, drums, piano recorded by Tobias Paldauf @ Zentralstudio Mainz and Choirs recorded by Stefan Schmidt (Van Canto)
Mixed by Kai Bender
Mastered by Sascha Päth and Michael Rodenberg @ Gate Studios
Artwork by Jan Yrlund


The music on the debut album Music of Light by this German band is female fronted melodic or gothic metal, add to that some symphonic and folk music elements and you have a decent picture of what you can expect. You can hear various renaissance flutes and violins, strings, classical themed piano parts, many decent guitar riffs, licks and solos and a enchanting operatic singer… so that would be the band reference that most of you would be able to refer to. Production of this album is immaculate, the sound is clean and spotless and the soundscape just begs to tell stories in songs. Speaking of songs, I would say that there are ten tracks on this album and if I would time it - I would notice that it will take about 51 minutes to play them all.

Music of Light, as a whole, oozes powerful renaissance drama; there's a lot to take in with every minute that succeeds each other throughout the duration of the disc, where the keyboard sections, symphonic madness, heavy guitar/bass riffing, decent (but not so prominent) drum work and form-fitting female vocals/variously voiced choirs combine; where epic chord arrangements and crushing heaviness combine in seamless successions. Their very straight-forward approach with short-and-to-the-point song lengths makes this disc as good as it is. Of the 10 tracks, there's certainly no filler and no pointless intros/interludes/outros.

The band makes clear early on that is very influenced by Edenbridge and Leaves' Eyes, but Arven is certainly not a bad copy, during listening to this album it becomes obvious that they have very good compositions. The songwriting style successfully manages to balance the heavy compositions with very heavy and speedy guitar parts, with folk passages using flute and other traditional instruments, and with the piano and classical music. There are many significant guitar sections in each song and that gives them variety in tone, many nice merry-folk flute/violin melodies but everything is overwhelmingly dominated by the really beautiful voice of singer Carina Hanselmann. There's no doubt that Carina Hanselmann is a talented singer - in fact the band as a whole come across as deeply competent, educated performers - but there's something predictable about the album. There's little to excite and that's where they really fall down.

Of the fact that this is a debut is there no trace at all, it sounds like this band really know what they are doing. They are skilled in their music, the songwriting holds a high standard, they have a really good singer, I think they have more or less everything going for them. Thing is though, that there is really nothing of consequence to find that is not good with this band and I believe it is a band that has the potential to be a really interesting act in years to come, their debut promises a lot at least.

Favorite songs: "Midwinter Nights", "Ruined Castle" and "My Dear Friend".

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 


written by Awesomesaurus | 22.01.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Ag Fox

Rating:
6.4
It has been a few years since people started to realise that there has been an excessive amount of female fronted melodic metal bands. As a result, to stand head and shoulders above others has been increasingly hard, and I think Arven realises it too as they certainly know how to differentiate themselves from the normal bunch - by having an almost all female supporting cast to back up their front woman!

Read more ››
published 19.11.2011 | Comments (11)



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