Released: 2014, End Of The Light Records
It has been almost ten years since we visited the progress of the Dutch, symphonic Metal band, Stream of Passion. The band has just released their fourth album entitled A WAR OF OUR OWN.
Originally a crowd-funded indie project, the sextet have now found themselves at home on the End Of The Light Records and the lineup seems to have gelled with no changes over the years. What started as an Arjen Lucassen project to showcase the talent of vocalist Marcela Bovio, has developed into fully fledged band. The 55 minute, dozen track album boasts a visually appealing cover. My digital version comes with a bonus track, the acoustic version of the song called, 'The Curse'.
A WAR OF OUR OWN sees the band firmly entrenched in the neo-classical, gothic, symphonic, progressive Power Metal vein. How is that for a long, confusing description? Labels aside, Stream Of Passion are in the middle of a very competitive group of bands not only of a similar style but from the same nation. There are dozens, perhaps even hundreds of bands in this very popular sub genre and it would say Stream Of Passion is one of the better acts.
The voice of Marcela is a major highlight. All the songs feature her magnificent voice, quiet and soft one moment and soaring and graceful the next. She has a soprano style but not too operatic in delivery. She is accentuated by many orchestral arrangements and symphonic sounds, piano, violin and some synthesizer lines. In terms of integrating the Metal into the soundscape, the crunchy guitars are not really upfront but act as a counterpoint to many of the other sounds. The pace of the songs is not exceptionally fast, is the band is not as heavy as Epica, as fast as Mayan or as bombastic as Nightwish. They remind me in many ways of older Xandria. The album is not especially heavy but there are a few heavier spots such as in 'The Curse'. One thing I do appreciate is they don't do the heavy/light, male/female dual,vocal style but that dies detract from the overall aggression of the album. The songs are well-written allowing for good choruses to highlight Bovio's voice.
Stream of Passion seem to have eased back just a little bit from the previous albums, perhaps coming a little less intense. A WAR OF OUR OWN is a beautiful and well constructed album but maybe lacks a little of the fire of previous releases.