Released: 2018, AFM Records
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Every album Borealis puts out brings them another step closer to being my favourite Canadian band. This progressive Power Metal band is so solid, I’m not at all surprised they are getting praise from around the world.
Borealis have just released their second album on AFM records (I guess technically the third, if you count last years re-recording/re-release of the their second album WORLD OF SILENCE from 2008). The wide-spread praise keeps coming, from the gorgeous album art, superb production and great individual performances.
Name-dropping other bands in album reviews is dull, but in case you have not heard Borealis yet you might enjoy them if you are a fan of acts like Evergrey, Symphony X, Kamelot, Eldritch, Pagan’s Mind and other EuroMetal bands of that calibre of heaviness. THE OFFERING is not like the squeaky clean, neo-classical symphonic Italian style but it is very keyboard driven at times, and some great keyboard solos like the one on ‘Second Son’. There are some quieter moments as heard on the first two-thirds of ‘The Devil’s Hand’ with acoustic guitar and some violin and a cleaner vocal line from vocalist Marinelli. It is a very well-constructed and effective song, almost a power ballad in execution, but more sophisticated to my ears, like something Savatage used to do, juxtaposing sounds. The track ‘Scarlet Angel’ is another superb ballad. However, overall THE OFFERING is still pretty damn heavy and a hint more dynamic and atmospheric than PURGATORY from three years back. The tone, tempo and pace are just excellent, never sacrificing heaviness. The album ends on a strong note with the epic piece ‘The Ghosts Of Innocence’ with a multitude of tones, tempos, acoustic sounds and some very appealing guest vocals by Sarah Dee. Her voice really compliments what the band is doing. I believe it is the longest and most ambitious track they have composed. Lastly, it is an ambitious conceptual piece about cults and mind-control with intriguing and above average lyrics.
I stumbled across the band back in the early days and have been a champion of them ever since. But this review is not just about me, it is just a great record. THE OFFERING just reinforces what caught my ear all those years ago and why they keep getting better and better.