Next review: » Fatima Hill - Valhalla
Released: 2002, Worldchaos Production
Wha??? I don’t even know how to begin this review! There’s so much diversity in this absolutely magnificent piece of work that I don’t even know how to describe Fatima Hill’s sound in their newest opus AION. It goes from symphonic melodies much in the vein of Blackmore’s Night to some goth-ish passages that sometimes remind me of Rainbow. I don’t even know where to begin. The musicianship in this album is top notch and if there’s something that will catch your ear right away it’s Anjue Yamashiro’s lightning fast scaling and the sophisticated sound he brings to this five stars Japanese outfit. Yamashiro’s intense and clean use of the 6 and 12 strings and even the electric mandolin put together with his refined sense of composition bring us a mix that you won’t easily forget.
My very first listen to this band came through the opener of this, their second full alum (the first being VALHALLA) “Ares Dragon” and I must say I was very nicely impressed with the music right off the bat. The problem for me came when singer Yuko’s vocal style came crashing through the beautiful ambience the music had created. I was definitely not ready for a full rock/metal approach in the vein of Kimberly Goss (but without resorting to screaming). Don’t get me wrong, Yuko brandishes a very appealing vocal style once you get past the initial shock and accept her voice for what it was meant to be on the CD. No siren or operatic touches and that’s not a bad thing at all.
The real treat for me came when the second track “Babel Dune” kicked off with a clear oriental balladesque sound and then kicked into a full blown power metal approach very much akin to Hammerfall, Synergy and maybe even some Stratovarius. This track was when I fully realized the potential of Fatima Hill. Anjue’s composition was absolutely beautiful, Yuko’s vocal dexterity came into bloom and the rest of the band spins around these two enormous figures to create a beautiful masterpiece of an album.
While not an intense power metal fan like many of my peers and friends at Metal-Rules.com, I am compelled to urge you people out there to pick up this magnificent piece of work. I guarantee you will not be disappointed by the Juggernaut-to-be this band may become if pushed correctly!
Special Kudos to Anjue Yamashiro for writing some of the best music I have heard in a while and to EvilG for handing this excellent CD my way! This almost makes up for sending me the Duncan Wilder Johnson thing… ALMOST ;).
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