Rating:
7.5
Stream Of Passion - Darker Days
22 June 2011


01. Lost
02. Reborn
03. Collide
04. The Scarlet Mark
05. Spark
06. Our Cause
07. Darker Days
08. Broken
09. This Moment
10. Closer
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.

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


Band profile: Stream Of Passion
Album: Darker Days


 


written by R'Vannith | 23.01.2012


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



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Susan - 24.01.2012 at 04:25  
So I first heard this album when it came out and was very underwhelmed. It bored me a bit, seemed generic, and Marcela's voice seemed harsh, and the moments she was under-pitch were all I remembered.

Then I read this review and saw how you said that non-fans of the bands might not get it on first listen. What the hell, I listened again.

So right you are! I can at least see why people are enjoying this now. It's not going to be my new favorite but I'm digging it now and will listen to it again. I can appreciate it for the nice little album it is.
R'Vannith - 24.01.2012 at 08:30  
Written by Susan on 24.01.2012 at 04:25

So I first heard this album when it came out and was very underwhelmed. It bored me a bit, seemed generic, and Marcela's voice seemed harsh, and the moments she was under-pitch were all I remembered.

Then I read this review and saw how you said that non-fans of the bands might not get it on first listen. What the hell, I listened again.

So right you are! I can at least see why people are enjoying this now. It's not going to be my new favorite but I'm digging it now and will listen to it again. I can appreciate it for the nice little album it is.


I'm glad my review inspired you to give it another chance! It really is a pleasant enough listen, probably not something I would come back to often but there is some nice music here. If there is one track that keeps me coming back it's 'Nadie Lo Ve', it's simple yet very effective.

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