Monday, May 2, 2011

Sons Of Seasons - Magnisphyricon (2011)

Kamelot is a very well known symphonic metal band, and I can only imagine how busy they are with writing new songs and touring all of the time. However, their keyboardist, Oliver Palotai, has been making an effort to put together a side project known as Sons Of Seasons. The talented group from Germany has released their second studio album, entitled "Magnisphyricon." The album is packed with fantastic melodies and epic orchestration.

The album opens with a short melodic intro that really sets the image of the album, and prepares the listener for an incredible journey. This leads into the first song on the album entitled "Bubonic Waltz." Now of course this is not your average waltz. This symphonic track is filled with thunderous drumming and magnificent orchestral instruments. The double bass pedaling is sure to have you bobbing your head immediately. Deep strings mixed with incredible synthesizers really catch your ear. The vocals are subtle at first, but become louder as it builds into the refrain. The song even includes an organ during the middle of the breakdown, which is then followed with a beautiful guitar solo. This is an amazing song to start off such an operatic album.

If you are looking for some well balanced tracks that are both heavy and epic, "Soul Symmetry" and "Into The Void" are two songs you will definitely want to check out. They both have unique song structure and go from soft and beautiful to loud, distorted, and heavy as hell. They start out with destructive guitar riffs chugging away from chord to chord. However, as the verses enter, the tempo slows down and light layers of strings and chiming cymbals take over. This, of course, is accompanied by the marvelous vocals of Henning Basse. The chorus's consist of catchy melodies and are layered by multiple instruments, including horns and unique strings. The solos within these two tracks are quite amazing as they go back and forth between the guitar and keyboard. Certain parts being fast and deafening, while other parts are slower with more melody and emotional feeling.

Another unique song that you will want to hear is "Sanctuary." The band features the astonishing Simone Simons, lead singer of Epica, as she adds her gorgeous vocals to the track. She sings the first verse and also joins the chorus, as she and Basse sing together. The mixture of their voices will have you hooked as you'll find yourself playing this song over and over again. As far as the instruments go, violins fill the air during the breakdown as they are layered by lovely piano keys. There is also lots of depth within the bass and drums that adds great texture to the song

As the album comes to an end, it is concluded with a piano ballad entitled "Yesteryears." This is one of the most divine pieces of music, full of feeling and creates breathtaking imagery. Calm, elegant piano keys fade behind Basse's angelic vocals. The ending includes a terrific piano solo that leads to the refrain one last time. This epic masterpiece is the perfect way to complete "Magnisphyricon."

Sons Of Seasons is more than just a side project. This is true symphonic metal at its best. Tons of epic awesomeness surrounded by ripping solos and heavenly vocals. It also includes fantastic use of orchestral instruments to really give it that harmonious sound.


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