Reviewed: June 2020
Released: 2020, Novus Records
Reviewer: Kira Levine
Formed only two years ago, Northern Irish symphonic power metallers Ravenlight are set to release their debut Project Genesis at the end of June. It will be the follow up to their four-track EP End Of The World (2018). The positive reception that release received made way for the band to support Swedish prog metal outfit Evergrey while they played a number of shows across Ireland.
One of the first highlights during Project Genesis is the good use of operatic vocals, which are featured in album opener ‘The Circle’, and towards the end of ‘Sanctuary’. There are some moments of great guitar-work from John Connor on the record (‘The End Of The World’, ‘Echoes’, ‘The Spell’), including a quite impressive solo towards the end of the second track.
The catchy keyboard melodies throughout songs such as ‘End Of The World’ and ‘Wild Hunt’ are another highlight, suiting Feeney’s voice well. Her angelic singing brings much emotion to poignant lyrics, especially during more down-tempo numbers ‘Where The Stars Grow’ and ‘Strong Enough To Fall’.
Sometimes the guitar sounds a little out of sync from the other instruments (for example during the beginning of ‘Words Unspoken’). Intentional or not, it distracts from the rest of song.
‘Edenfall’ utilises all the successful elements from its predecessors, like fast-paced sections in a similar vein to tracks two and three. The choir backing vocals on ‘Call Of The Wild’ do not carry the desired epic effect, particularly when delivered over the drums at the end of the song.
Project Genesis gives off a Oceanborn/Wishmaster-era Nightwish vibe, a band Ravenlight have clearly been inspired by. Rebecca has a great voice that needs to be complemented with better choral vocals. While John and Mike are talented musicians, tighter instrumentation would be a vast improvement to the band’s overall sound.