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Legions Of The Sun
Released: 2016, Underground Symphony
Before hearing this release, Germany’s Final Chapter was an unknown name to me. The promo came from power metal mavens Underground Symphony so I had an inkling as to what type of music the band played but vague cover painting didn’t exactly fill me with confidence. Still, the promo came at just the right time for me: I happened to be in the mood for some power metal!
Despite forming in 1998, Final Chapter only has one previous album to this to their credit, 2004’s THE WIZARDQUEEN. The band’s only changed one member since then (guitarist Michael Brettner joined the ranks), so I’m not sure why there was a 12-year delay in releasing their second album, but nonetheless, I’m ecstatic that they finally did! Why? Because, simply put, LEGIONS OF THE SUN is one of the absolute best symphonic power metal albums that I’ve ever heard. The music is fast, heavy, features the guitar & keyboard in equal measure, and is topped by some excellent vocals by Oliver Strasser and Ulrike Esch, who are backed up nicely by a bevy of choir singers. Fans of the various permutations of Rhapsody (of Fire) will fee instantly at home with Final Chapter, but rest assured, this is no mere copycat band.
Every single one of the eight songs that comprise the album is excellent and there’s no a ballad among them. A couple of tracks contain some ballad-like moments, but for the most part, the music is full-speed ahead from beginning to end. In fact, the album ends with one of the fastest songs in the band’s arsenal, “The Battle” being an appropriately powerful finish.
All I can say is: get this album. Now. It’s far and away the best power metal album I’ve heard up to this point in 2016 (writing this in April). We’ve got a long way yet to go, but I have no doubt that Final Chapter will feature VERY highly in my year end list.
1. Trace of Fate
2. Sail Away
3. Garden of Fear
4. Legions of the Sun
5. Eternal Deep
6. The Key
7. The Journey
8. The Battle
Oliver Strasser: Lead Vocals
Michael Brettner: Guitar
Andreas Wimmer: Guitar, Keyboards, Bass
Michael Stein: Drums
Ulrike Esch: Vocals
Stefan Ferrara: Vocals
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