Ask someone to make a top 10 of Female fronted symphonic metal bands and you get a list with bands based in Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and other European countries. Strangely enough there are not a lot hailing from the U.S.A., at least not as I know. Things are going to change with this debut of Midnight Eternal.
With Raine Hilai they have the perfect singer for this style, not only does she sing well, she also is good looking. What is more important is that the songs are very variable, good arranged and with nice melodies. The cd opens with a song in Within Temptation/Delain style. Not a very heavy track, but one in which immediately Raine shows that her angelic singing can compete with the known singers in the genre. Another strong point are the guitar solos of Richard Fischer and the bombastic sounding keyboards of Boris Zaks. “Repentance” is a lot faster and is more a power metal song in Kamelot style, but also reminds me a bit of early Edenbridge. The next song I have to mention is “Shadow Falls”, the most heavy and fast track, with some harsh vocals and battering drums. I’m not enthusiastic about the harsh singing, it sounds a bit weak and needs some improvement. I already said that there is enough variety, “The Lantern” underlines that. A soft track with acoustic parts, bombastic arrangements and Raine’s singing alternated by clean male vocals. “Believe in Love” has a certain groove that reminds me of Delain.
After that the journey continues in songs with multi layered vocals, beautiful melodies, emotional singing, bombastic orchestral keyboard parts, nice guitar solos and crushing riffs. The variety in heaviness and tempo keeps the album interesting until the last note. One of the most beautiful and enchanting songs of this year is “Silence”, it opens so strong that I’m immediately ravished.
What works positive for me also, are the rather short songs on this album. They do not repeat parts on and on, just to make a song longer, they just stop at the right moment. The only exception to that is the over 9 minute closing track. This starts after the short instrumental in which Richard Fischer shows that he is a very good guitar player. The final track starts the same style as the rest of the material and I wonder if this song will keep interesting the entire length. Well, it does because virtuose guitar solos, tempo changes and Raine her voice see to that.
Final conclusion is that this debut album of Midnight Eternal is one that can compete with all the European competitors. No, it is not original, but it is done so sophisticated and in well written songs with gorgious melodies that every fan of female fronted symphonic metal has to dive in.
01. ‘Till the Bitter End
03. Signs Of Fire
04. Shadow Falls
05. The Lantern
06. Believe In Forever
07. Midnight Eternal
08. When Love and Faith Collide
09. Like An Eternity
11. Pilgrim and the Last Voyage
12. First Time Thrill
Playing time: 51:00
Release date: 29 April 2016
Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Style: Symphonic Metal