Stream Of Passion - Darker Days review
|Band:||Stream Of Passion|
|Release date:||June 2011|
04. The Scarlet Mark
06. Our Cause
07. Darker Days
09. This Moment
11. The Mirror
12. Nadie Lo Ve
13. The World Is Ours
14. The Hunt [Digipak bonus]
In the world of female fronted symphonic metal it's the little touches that mark a band out from the mass. Stream of Passion are all for these little touches, ever since their inception under the guidance of Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen they have embraced an ever shifting sound which is far from generic. Their debut album Embrace The Storm, designed as a showcase for Marcela Bovio's vocal talents was heavily influenced by a distinctly Arjen oriented sound. The follow up The Flame Within represented a significant departure from this, the progressive elements taking second place to catchy melodies. Darker Days continues in this vein but is far from a stagnant pool of uninspired and indistinguishable tracks and there is more to this album than simply the vocal delivery than first meets the ear.
The songwriting here is truly a marvel, each song while continuing in a similar fashion manages to distinguish itself from its predecessor. Repeated listens will prove rewarding as each track unveils its own twist, from the lovely piano driven "Nadie Lo Ve" to the vocal harmonies of "Spark" and the haunting atmosphere of "Broken". The symphonic elements are not overused, simply added subtly to the mix to give flavour to the melodies, "The Scarlet Mark" being an excellent example. While certain aspects to the sound of the album aren't overused the tracks do have a very similar feel and can become somewhat tedious when approached in one hearing. However, there is just enough in each track to make most distinguishable from the rest and there is much here to return to and enjoy.
Fans of symphonic metal will likely be pleased with this album, however its tendency to offer little that distinguishes itself from the genre will probably leave newcomers indifferent. This album delivers what one would expect from the genre, a collection of wonderful melodies accompanied by symphonic elements given voice by a strong singer such as Marcela Bovio. While many bands fail to leave any impression Stream Of Passion doesn't fall to the background but performs well executed yet fairly standard melodic metal.
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