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Gales Of Avalon
When The Ravens Return
Released: 2013, Indie
Being a Canadian based site, quite often I’ll get a bunch of Canadian independent stuff and every six months or so I’ll do a quick overview of what’s happening in the underground of the frozen tundra, so check my reviews for new albums by Fatality, Fireign, Gales Of Avalon, Nordheim, Sanktuary and Until Dawn.
It's been a couple of years since Gales of Avalon released their excellent debut album. The band is back with a follow up EP called WHEN THE RAVENS RETURN and it was worth the wait. Not much has changed in the intervening years although the band has stripped down to a quartet following the departure of keyboardist Pam. The EP is very well put together. It boasts nice cover art, and in a move I always appreciate, there is individual art and lyrics for each song on each page of the booklet. I think it feels bring the story to life when you have a picture that matches the theme of the song.
The six-song, 27 minute collection of songs is well-produced with a good mix. Compared to the last album there is a slight lean towards a more Power Metal feel than the slightly blackened sound of the debut, but that suits me just fine. The vocals are still very gruff and not in the higher registers at all. After speaking with the band I'm told that the first album was entirely written by Mark Dillon. This time out the songs were more of a collaborative approach and the album sounds a little more diverse this time. THe album is quick but not overwhelmingly fast, the band mixes it up with some juxtaposition of sounds. A stand out track for my would have to be 'Ocean Ranger' with dark atmosphere, some good tempo changes and some really nice celtic-inspired soloing. The album also ends very strongly with a good track called 'Wintersun' with some good electric acoustic interplay.
Gales of Avalon are one of the brighter lights in an increasingly crowded Alberta Metal scene and WHEN THE RAVENS RETURN will go a long way to establishing their reputation as a world-class Metal act.
1. What Hell Have I?
2. Robert's Lament
3. These Words
4. Ocean Ranger
5. Darkened Mirror
Mark Dillon-Vocals, Guitar
James Neil-Vocals, Bass
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