The Fall of an Empire

Release date: November 24th 2006
Napalm Records

Target (Denmark)
Melodic Power Metal

Rating: 62/100
Reviewed by: Claus Melsen
 December 30th 2006

So this is what French melodic power metal sounds like, or rather what they picked out from their two obvious great sources of inspiration: Rhapsody Of Fire (former Rhapsody) and Blind Guardian. Let it be said from the start: I’ve had my BG-period, and Rhapsody never really turned me on. Having said that, I must admit that Fairyland does quite a good job being some sort of clone of the before mentioned, and not just a cheap rip off version of them. 

This must be called something like “epic adventure-metal”…from the very intro the band want to get the listeners to imagine themselves in some sort of fairytale, in an imaginary land with kings, brave knights and monsters …and that’s okay if you don’t mind clichés in themes and choice of words in the lyrics. 

The production is clear and clean, especially in the keyboard and guitar sound, maybe the drums sound a bit flat to me. There are lots of male choir, and the singer sounds like most others in this genre, without contributing with anything new. The sixth track “Eldanie Uelle” made me wake up a bit: a female vocal is added, and for a while it gives the atmosphere I miss in a lot of the other numbers. 

It’s all very nice, but it all gets a bit too nice, I miss an edge somewhere, and the music is too predictable in my opinion – the drums tends to be generally galloping away where possible, there are capable solos and melody pieces from guitars and keyboard all right, but with more than 60 minutes playing time on very much the same composing scheme and style of playing, my general impression is that the album gets a bit (too) long, and doesn’t move any borders within the genre.
If you’re a really great fan of Blind Guardian and Rhapsody you might want to check this out. 

Something I don’t understand at all is the choice of cover art, a painting that looks like a cover of a Dungeons & Dragons game with a battle scene between knights and armour plated monsters, technically ok, but from my point of view way too aggressive for melodically based music like this.