Anmeldt av Matt Coe(Massacre Records, 2017)
Slowly ascending the independent ranks through three EP releases from 2005-2012, Danish symphonic metal band Akoma finally gained the attention of Massacre Records to issue their first full-length in "Revangels". Gaining the opportunity locally over that time to support Leaves' Eyes and play numerous festivals, the quintet stride into this effort like seasoned veterans - as well they should, because this is a diverse effort that embraces the operatic and dramatic aspects of the genre, yet also never forsakes the heaviness and aggression necessary to keep things metal.
The double bass and churning guitars contrast against the keyboard strains and sultry Tanya Bell melodies for an early highlight "Change of Propensity"- the verses hypnotic in mid-tempo allure while the instrumental sections turn up the energy. "Humanity" is a stirring power ballad, drummer Rune Frisch pushing differentiation through particular fills as the keyboards and clean guitar framework delights in a comforting, Within Temptation manner. The heavier, speedier sections of "Heartless Deceiver" carry a little Kamelot-oriented drama against the normal Nightwish cinematic flair, Tanya once again soaring to the heavens and holding out some intense high notes. The title track even gets an assist from ex-Leaves' Eyes singer Liv Kristine, probably a sure-fire live hit when Akoma perform as it's got one of those enchanting guitar/keyboard hooks and supplementary operatic vocal work to get crowds singing and chanting along.
Alexander Krull at Mastersound Entertainment handles all the recording, mixing, and mastering duties - a veteran at his craft to let the quintet succeed sonically. A tidy effort in the genre (most symphonic metal albums go over an hour, this one even with a bonus cut barely tips 45 minutes), "Revangels" has cross-pollination appeal for those into all facets of the genre. European artists keep this style on track due to their wide array of influences and attention to detail, so add Akoma to the list of must watch bands because of this record.
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