The Gothic and Symphonic Metal universe out there did not necessarily thrill me in 2016 (or even before, for that matter). After the general salivating on these genres stopped, many of them bands have not quite gone where no man went before and developed their tune further. Instead most like to take the lighted safe road and just produce the same thing in a different robe all over again. Now, some have seen the light (no pun intended) and started to put refreshing energy back into what never was. For instance, Diabulus in Musica and Epica both issued pretty sturdy new records that got my hopes up again. It is also fair to say that the many copy-cat soundalikes that pour in from the East are not necessarily helping to revive the genre neither.
So, it is a good thing that one comes across bands willing to be the flamebearers and step beyond the trivia trying to flood us. We are speaking about Mercy Isle and their 2016 début album Undying Fire. You could easily dismiss them as just another one of THEM. But only at first sight. Because once you start to listen to this pretty varied metal pizza, you just might start to think otherwise. [...]