Released: 2012, Scarlet Records
The amount of really high quality, symphonic, Power Metal coming out of France is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s like Adagio launched a Metal revolution and the starving masses hungry for epic, symphonic Metal broke down the walls of the Bastille and launched a dozen or more great bands in the past few years. Whyzdom in a short time have worked their way up the pile, making the jump from an independent debut (which was really good) in 2009 to getting signed to Scarlet Records and releasing the new album, BLIND? earlier this year.
The band has crafted an epic masterpiece, running at 74 minutes, it’s a big album! The band has not gone without changes since the debut album, they have a new bassist in the form of Xavier Corrientes, but more immediately noticeable is the new lead vocalist, Elvyne Lorient, replacing Teyla Melane. Both are very talented singers but I think Elvyne has a slight edge as she sings just a slightly hint lower and perhaps has a subtle hint more huskiness in her voice, but she can still hit some nice high notes as demonstrated in the song ‘The Spider’. Her powerful delivery is a focal point of every song.
All the necessary components of a good symphonic Metal album are on display for all to see on BLIND? Sweeping and lush arrangements, lots of big choirs and back-up vocals, strings, horns, keyboards and a grandiose feel to each composition. Naturally, the album ends with the obligatory 10 minute + epic song, ‘Cathedral Of The Damned’. Fortunately the Metal never gets left behind in favour of the symphonic elements. They strike a nice balance of crunchy guitars, some very decent soloing and Metallized tempos, from mid-paced to fast. The song ‘The Wolves’ for example is quite Metal to the core but has lots extras audio hints of acoustic piano, and a really sweet vocal melody line, that almost borders into pop territory, and then shifts back into darker heavier territory, with swirling strings and a Stratovarius like keyboard solo.
BLIND? has many, many elements I like in this type of Metal. It has a real soundtrack-like feel, and a big dynamic sound without being too bombastic like Nightwish for example, who just hit you on the head with the classical lines, which can very effective and entertaining but Whyzdom integrate the classical and symphonic instruments into the mix very well. Crystal clear production, a powerful new voice, top-notch performances and some well-arranged and composed songs, make BLIND? one of the strongest Symphonic Metal albums of the year.