Released: 2001, AFM Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The album starts off with the title track, "Golden Signs" which is done in a true Fantasy/Power Metal fashion with brilliantly arranged choirs, catchy choruses - great, mind-wrapping guitar riffs and everything else you could possibly demand from a great opener. You catch yourself humming the song afterwards and that's a really good sign when thinking of what else this album may have on offer later.
"Days of Trust" follows next, having a truly powerful guitar riffs in the beginning of the song that are seasoned with Tilo Rockstroh's (who works as a guest musician on the album; taking care of all the keyboard parts on GOLDEN SIGNS) progressive keyboards and strangely brings Finland's own TAROT in my mind first in some peculiar way - and keeps on developing into some of those spheres where bands like DREAM THEATER and WATCHTOWER are doing magic tricks with their instruments. A very good tune, too.
"On My Way", another great progressive Power Metal outburst that keeps on challenging a listener with a wide range of different influences - now only this time reminding me of a defunct Swedish ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA a little bit mostly due to the way how they have arranged the vocals and especially the guitars in this tune. Nonetheless, even this song continues to tickle your ears incessantly.
Next up, "Doubtful Times", a mid-tempo song that almost turns out to be a ballad, but luckily a strong chorus part "stole the show" eventually which goes like: "Destinyyy.... destinyyy... follow meee... follow meee...", so tell me 'bout "doubtful times", -eh?! A good song as well, even if nothing too surprising is going on in this song.
"Deadly Embrace" is a more traditional Power Metal song again. Lots of sing-along parts, a fast, KING DIAMOND-ish guitar rhythm dominating the song most of the time and yet again reaching its powerful edge rather easily. One of my personal favorites on the album.
"Without Compulsion" has a strongly, gloomily promising start, but towards the end, it starts to lack in catchiness a bit and offers hardly any surprises and becomes just slightly repetitive for my own, "picky (oh, sure!)" taste.
"The Old Brightness" is more like a traditional Heavy Metal tune; a mid-tempo song where the guys have obviously been determined enough to make it the heaviest song on GOLDEN SIGNS. Lotsa powerful, well-arranged choirs and some great, well-structured guitar parts in it.
"The Last Dance"? I'm falling asleep... just skip it! Next song... (I just have wished this song could had been the last song on the album, so you wouldn't need to skip over any songs and make yourself frustrated due to that reason...)
"The Prediction (2001) has lots of feeling and power in itself. Towards the end, it's actually getting a bit more progressive here and there which is a good thing 'coz the song is over 8 minutes long and I think it could have been a bit more catchier if it had been a bit shorter.
"The Visitor", being the last attempt to bring the album to the ultimate top 20 list of all fine Power Metal (whatever!) albums, unfortunately it kind of not made it up to on that level although there's some good moments going on in it. It's a totally different tune compared to the rest of the material here; I would say this song has born when the guys have just jammed and eased up their tension a little after an intense rehearsal session. It's a Hard Rock-ish song all the way and luckily it's only made available on a limited edition of GOLDEN SIGNS with that bonus song.
Summa summarum: VOICE are one of the better Power/traditional Metal acts I have witnessed lately and I believe we will be hearing a lot of more from them in the future if they just can maintain the same, high standard musically and are able to challenge themselves on their next outputs as well 'coz GOLDEN SIGNS was more than just "a promising album" from the fellas already.