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The Grey Eminence (demo)
Released: 2000, Independent
Let me just start by saying that I am not a happy camper. I am sitting here and my internet access has been down for the better part of the day because of a snowstorm and the tech support of my service provider is nonexistent. You would think that for the good money that we pay them that they could empty their message manager every once in awhile!! Ok. Rant over. Lets get to the CD at hand. The Grey Eminence by Bride Adorned. The band is made up of Jukka Hoffren: bass, Panu Kiskola guitars, Tapio Kuosma: keyboards, Ville Mannila: drums, Mikko Mustonen: guitars and Tuomas Nieminen on vocals. Its kind of hard to describe their sound. It contains powermetal, choirs and orchestration. A very good blend of components that you would think would make them a Rhapsody clone. That is not the case. They are much more sombre than Rhapsody and their orchestration does not go to the lengths that Rhapsody employs. Bride Adorned depends much more on the use of choirs to create their unique sound. The harmony vocals were arranged for 4 male and 4 female voices and have a very dark and dramatic quality to them.
The band originally began as a power metal outfit so its easy to tell where their influences lie. The opening track "Otherworldy" is a straight forward powermetal track which uses choir and keyboards to great effect. "Ivory Towers Fall" carries on in the same tradition but breaks down in the middle to what is almost a thrash riff. It doesn’t seem out of place at all. Kuosma adds keyboards that sound like they are right out of a medieval religious ceremony. The choir has a big medieval cathedral quality which makes this song even more interesting.. A slight Rhapsody influence surfaces on the intro to "Bridewell" but quickly gives way to a more Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force influence that fits well with the ever present choirs. The title track is the bands showpiece. "The Grey Eminence" is an 8:54 track that the band feels is the best representation of their sound. This song has a all the elements that are found on their other songs. Power metal blends with the choirs and orchestration in a sombre epic track that is definitely the best song on the demo.
Bride Adorned are searching for that unique sound. They are definitely on the right path. The production on this CD is great considering it’s a demo and all the choir and orchestration had to be worked on in the studio with scarce resources. If you are a fan of Rhapsody, Therion or bands of their ilk you won’t go wrong by checking out Bride Adorned.
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