Glasya wish to be a Soundtrack Metal Band1). Storytellers that will try to sway the merciless audience outside of their direct sphere of influence with snazzy shreds of cinematic sounds. All of that fueled by inspiration found in the long-gone realms of movie soundtracks of the ’60s and ’70s. That’s a truly funky idea.
The band made its first real mark with Heaven’s Demise back in 2019. One of those ‘typical’ Power and Symphonic Metal pieces out there. Although, the production and flow were pretty powerful and – yes- near to flawless. Only, the tracks rolled in on a pretty even keel that unfortunately created that dreaded feeling of much of the same muchness. You see, the genre has been and still is saturated to a point with soundalikes. And it’s thus pretty difficult to succeed in this particular shark-infested pool.
So, in 2022, Attarghan offers itself as that sophomore piece that hopefully will blow everything that came before out of the water. And true to their credo, the band pretty much outdid themselves on a sturdy storyline. A tale of a rebel hero who will bravely face the empire. Queens, generals, and blood-thirsty armies to march against their enemies. Grimy stuff that will serve as a backdrop against which the record will play out. In short, more themes for juicy gaming and fantastical movies going forward.
And indeed, the gruff narration by the son of the rebel that’ll pop up time and again throughout the massive airtime perfectly fits the theme of epic bloody battles, intrigue, success, and failure. The monologues and other diatribes integrate pretty well into the overall structure of the record which, again, lead to a pretty snazzy flow. In short, this record sports yet again a pretty impressive production. Albeit that it won’t beat the one found on Heaven’s Demise.
For long stretches of Attarghan, Eduarda Soeiro‘s trademark sound feels like some mix of Xandria of the Giersbergen era2) and Tarja Turunen on a Power Metal trip. And true to that stereotype, the record often sounds more like a hopeful Nightwish sibling in waiting than it would ever favor other big players in the Power Metal universe. One with a pretty big gothic itch to scratch on top of everything.
And once again, we found a massive wall of sound facing our earphones that could easily find its place on any equally massive computer game. Yet, as the record goes, the lack of great hooks again made Attarghan fade into the background time and again. It’s never a good sign if suddenly yer mind wanders away to other chores you would much rather do.
That said, the record takes off to a great start with From Enemy to Hero. That track is just tasty Power Metal and Marco Pastorino‘s (Temperance) contribution added some true and much-needed juice. In other words, Soeiro‘s lead alone may just not be powerful enough to carry the battle. And that’s kinda the fate of many classically trained metal fronts. Often, they’re not screamers but refined interpreters. And that leads to some sort of an uneasy hybrid of classical wishes and metal stereotypes that just won’t satisfy hardened metalheads. And – unfortunately – Glasya is no different. That said, with a powerful copilot, things would indeed improve.
The massive length of Attarghan ain’t too helpful either. Between all that storytelling and sudden bursts of metal, the wall of sound often feels stale. To the point that the songwriting seems to borrow on known melodies from the past. Or how would I explain this offshoot of the Gladiator theme on The Legend Lives On. So, we start to see fillers’ creep that dilutes that vital energy important to a crisp record.
Same as its predecessor, Attarghan delivers a lot to like for the adept of the epic and bombastic metal flavors. A solid production that enables smooth sailing on a sturdy storyline to the victory of those rebels. In fact, the setting truly makes me want to go see them live to watch the sumptuous show this record calls for. True Soundtrack Metal needs moving pictures. Because the album here does not stand alone too well and risks losing the listener by about midpoint. And that’s a true pity.
Record Rating: 6/10 | Label: Scarlet Records | Web: Official Band Site
Release Date: 18 February 2021