Sometimes you vow stuff. And you wish you better did not. Because vows are there to be broken. This time, the vow was about not covering any new Melodic or Symphonic Metal bands anymore. Or any other newcomer in Power Metal that somehow tries to emerge from an ocean of lookalikes. Dime-a-dozen deliveries, with an ever yesterday’s sound, rehashed all over again. Right?
Well, it did not quite work out that way. Time to be contrite, RMR.
Because here we stumbled across Delfinia from the vast plains of Ukraine. And they just released their new album Deep Elevation. Their tune did sound – promising, if not downright juicy in a geeky kind of way.
So, right out the window flew all those intentions and rulez, because we kinda liked what we heard. And – again – it is not that this band invented the mother of all metal styles. Or that they are different from other bands to any astounding degree.
The band boasts a mix between Melodic Metal and good ol’ Power Metal, with a slight, but – at times – distinct gothic tinge and flavor to it. So much so, that you kinda expect Kiske from Helloween to emerge from the shadows all of a sudden. Or Amanda Somerville to chime in on one of them refrains. Because some of that sounds terribly like the stuff the Kiske/Somerville project produced a few years ago.
And indeed, Deep Elevation got to see the light of day through a well-known formula that made Avantasia famous over time. That means to stuff your offering full of guest contributors, so you can shine on their behalf. Musicians like Tobias Sammet have become masters at that trade, by the way.
Featuring guests on your records is – most of the time – a good idea. But there’s a very fine line that must not be crossed. Bands need to find just the right amount of that kind of spice, or they risk overcooking their stew somewhat bad. A theory that Within Temptation just confirmed with their latest record. The one, where this did not work out too well.
Delfinia are another story.
They were able to find well-known names to partake in their endeavor. Like Roland Grapow (Masterplan, Helloween, Serious Black) or Ross Thompson of Van Canto. So now my soul can rest easy because it became pretty clear where all those similarities in sound and taste come from.
Deep Elevation drinks deeply from this well that Power Metal originates from and makes it thrive. And it indeed drives a style that is imbibed with the essence bands like Helloween or Avantasia project.
But – for sure and foremost – the record exudes the vapors of the likes of Arrayan Path and their partners in crime. Delfinia display that same knack for soaring vocals, speed, and catchy choruses. Island Power Metal from Ukraine, that’s a new one for me. But it’s there, Heaven or The World of Dream really sound as if they originate from the midst of the Med.
And for once, here is a band that did not forget about the importance of solos in a metal production. In all that speedy Power Metal goodness, you will find a plethora of cool riffs and tasty solos that speak to the overall quality of the record. And we talk about some pretty dead-serious shredding right there.
It is also interesting that some albums reveal themselves only towards the end. And – surely – this is where Deep Elevation shows its true colors. Tracks like Call of the Wind with its epic moments and subdued, but still lusty, kind of Overtures-esque chanting come to mind.
Or again, Eyes are Calling with its somewhat progressive airs, speedy and epic moments really got on our good side. This one features some seriously meaty belting that we did not quite have earlier on. This is the kind of substance and variation that we should have had more of much earlier on the tracklist.
True, we already enjoyed some happy singing on The Fate, for instance. You know, the one with Ross Thompson. Only – speedily juicy as it may be and chanting apart – this track really only props itself on structures we already kinda heard before, many times over. Get my drift?
To wrap this up, Delfinia truly is a band with promise. They positioned themselves in a sorely overloaded, difficult, and somewhat stale genre. Yet found a way to hold the attention of the RMR deck crew down in time for a review.
The band still has a lot of room to improve. But, Deep Elevation does project a freshness that you need to go look for today. Nothing of the tired approach of some of the bigger players out there.
To the contrary, they serve boundless energy, meaty riffs, and juicy solos galore. Plus soaring vocals that seem to step straight off a well-known Mediterranean island at times.
This is the magic potion Delfinia hit us with. And it is some tasty potion. Go ahead and try some, too.
Ed’s note: Oh, and if you wish to learn more about other Ukrainian bands out there, try this.
Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Self-Released | Web: Official Site
Release date: 16 January 2019