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Sain Arden
A Tear From The Conquered Realm
January 2015
Released: 2014, Indie
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Sain Arden is a very interesting band that came to my attention through industry connections last year. The band is self-described a symphonic Rock/Metal project with heavy celtic and symphonic influences. That is a pretty accurate description! They have independently released their debut album A TEAR FROM THE CONQUERED REALM in 2014.

The band is actually the brainchild of a Russian, Alexy, who moved to Vancouver BC and recruited lots of local talent for the recording. He has no less than a dozen guest musicians from the classical music realm and his main partner, his lead vocalist, Laura Kelsey. He has written and blended all these styles into a very interesting and dynamic set of compositions, not unlike what Nightwish or TSO are doing but perhaps a bit less bombastic.

The CD is nice, a decent booklet with lyrics, credits, notes and a few photos. The production is good, perhaps a little quiet but that may just be the quiet nature of many of the orchestral, and acoustic passages. The pace of the album is largely relaxing, certainly on the slower side. The songs are interesting with some strong choruses and lots of little spotlights on individual players. There are a few strictly classic music interludes as well, the album is 14 songs long but several of them are short instrumentals spread across the album. Kelsey has a very nice voice and delivers a top-notch vocal performance every time. I especially like her performance on the ballad ‘One Who Is Still Far Away’. She is backed up as well with some other guest singers. Overall, the lyrics they sing are positive, ethereal and a little bit metaphysical.

My only hesitation to give this album a higher grade, is that it is pretty mellow. I’d like to see much more integration of Metal guitar into the excellent performances and song-writing. When he does play, Alexy shreds nicely, as heard on the song ‘Ocean Secret’, but I’d like to hear more. With a bit more intensity and energy San Arden will be able to easily complete with the many bands in this style, if they so choose.
Track Listing

1. Intro
2. Carried Away
3. Falling Into Regret
4. A Tear From The Conquered Realm (Part I)
5.Ocean Secret
6. Piano Etude
7. One Who Is Still Far Away
8. Interlude
9. Never Obey The Silence
10. A Tear From The Conquered Realm (Part II)
11. Bring You Around
12. Where The Dreams Lie
13. Final


Laura Kelsey-Vocals
Alexy Kononenko-Guitar
Tony Kerr-Bass
Kelly Stodola-Drums

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