Released: 2009, Napalm Records
I don’t normally review too much back catalogue but this month I felt I had to. I bought the first Fairyland album OF WARS IN OSYRHIA when it came out in 2003 and I loved it. Aryn wrote a great review of it on this site back in January of 2005. I hadn’t picked up the next two Fairyland albums because a) I can’t buy everything I want to and b) those titles were almost $30.00 each every time I saw them in my local record store. I’d look at them every-time and curse the high import prices.
I finally bought the bands second and third records early this year. Coincidentally the very next day, I read a couple of reviews that just absolutely dumped on the band and the albums. The reviewer just hated them and didn’t even talk about the music in the reviews so I decided to write my reviews of THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE (2006) and SCORE TO A NEW BEGINNING (2009) to kind of counter-act or cancel out the other author’s bad reviews. It may sound petty but it is an attempt to bring a tiny bit of journalistic balance, fairness to the band, and to educate fans who may want to try those records.
Let’s clarify an outstanding issue about the bands name. For our European readers, in North America the word ‘fairy’ is also slang for gay or homosexual. Some narrow-minded and ignorant (in the purest sense of the word) Metal fans in North America, joke about the supposed gay reference. They don’t understand that the band is European and the word ‘Fairy’ refers to the mythical creatures, (as in the term fairytale, meaning a story about imaginary lands and magical beasts) not necessarily fairies (the creatures). Fairyland basically means ‘Magical land’ the evolution of the bands former name, ‘Fantasia’. I’m sure that when the band choose their name they had no idea it wouldn’t translate well in North America for some people.
Now that we have established that the bands name is not ‘gay’, I apologize if the long introductions to both of these albums are the same (I also review THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE this month, April 2011) as well, but I wanted to make those points.
By now it has become apparent that Fairyland has become the Phillipe Giordana Project. All original members are gone and now (even in the booklet credits) there is no ‘band’ per se, just the original member and primary composer, lyricist and keyboardist, Phillipe. He has hired a wide number of guest musicians, 16 in total, to help realize his ambitious musical vision. This was actually a clever move because now he has complete creative control and a wider range of talent he can call upon for the various parts. The guest-list at the party reads like a who’s who of French Power Metal, including dudes and babes from, Heavenly, Whyzdom, Hamka and Kerion. The vocals are even more diverse and layered than the previous two albums, more choral-style, ‘gang vocals’ this time around.
Another glorious album cover by greets the eye and it may go without saying this is the third album in the series telling the tale of Osyrhia. Giordana makes the storyline a bit easier to follow with more extensive liner notes about the story of Doryan, which makes it easier to follow the complex plot-line.
Musically, Fairyland are still firmly entrenched in the heart of epic, symphonic Power Metal. Majestic, soaring, glorious etc, all common descriptions of this type of music in general and Fairyland in general. If anything this album is a hint heavier than the past couple due in part to the delivery of lead vocalist, of Marco Sandron of Pathosray. Check out some of those screams at the end of the cut, ‘Godsent’! All the best components are still firmly in place acoustic guitars, acoustic piano, masses of swirling keyboards, (Greg Guiffria would be proud!) orchestration, strings, horns and so on all melding together effortless to paint a brilliant aural picture to accompany to the story.
Fairyland may have been around for ten years already but in just three short albums they are already about to challenge Rhapsody’s throne as one of the best symphonic Metal bands on the planet.