It is very nice to see more and more epic, symphonic, female-fronted bands appearing in the United States. Traditionally this style has a stronghold in Europe, specifically Holland, but if you know where to look, you can find excellent examples of the style right here in North America. If you are looking in Minnesota, you will find Heliosaga.
Heliosaga released their independent debut album, TOWERS IN THE DISTANCE, back in the summer of 2014 and it is as good as anything coming out of Europe these days. From the opening burst of ‘Tower So Tall’ to the closing strains of the 10-minute epic finale ‘All Souls” the album is of extremely high quality. The vocals of Chelsea Knack, formerly of DesDemon are soaring, operatic, soprano style and she has a very sweet voice, reminding me a bit of a cross of Tarja Turunen and Sabine of Edenbridge. He has range, power and a classy delivery that is not too bombastic.
In terms of song-writing choruses are strong and the band has many little progressive and symphonic components but always retain the sense of being a Metal song. The guitar tone is decent and the pace is good the Metal side of the equation doesn’t get swamped in layers of orchestration. For example the fast cut ‘Lost’ has very little in terms of sonic extras and is a straight-up Power Metal song but on other songs some of the symphonic elements come to the front.
I’m very impressed by TOWERS IN THE DISTANCE It’s a compact, nine song, 49 minute introduction to the world and a fine example of the style and a good omen of future albums to come. They look professional, sound great and are ready for the international stage. Recommended for fans of older Nightwish, Imperia, and Visions Of Atlantis.
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