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On disc: Harmony

Chapter II: Aftermath - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Chapter II: Aftermath

Chapter II: Aftermath
(Ulterium Records - 2008)

Scandinavia seems to bring new bands out every day, but Harmony was founded back in 2000 in Borås. Somehow it seems to be difficult for them to find the right bassist for them, coz as on their debut Dreaming Awake the new CD Chapter II: Aftermath has a session bassist. The foursome hired ex-Pain Of Salvation Kristoffer Gildenlöw for the recordings.
Opening up with Prevail they start with heavy riffs and some keyboard in background. The vocals of Henrik Båth fit well to the melodic power metal. They focus on melodies in combination with heavy riffs. Keyboarder Magnus Holmberg can show his skills as well as guitarist Markus Sigfridsson at instrumental passages, but they have to step back for the vocals. Pushing down the accelerator they speed of into Aftermath - some progressive parts added -, but the song is much in the vain of melodic speed metal bands. Luckily they aren't Sonata Arctica or Stratovarius clones, thanks to the breaks and progressive elements. Guitarist Markus Sigfridsson starts into a neo-classical solo part, but then 'fights' against the keyboard, but they join force again later. At Rain you even get a short acapella part which shows the class of singer Henrik Båth. A catchy hook has the symphonic melodic metal rocker Don't Turn Away. Part of the powerful sound is the brilliantly played bass, but that's what you expect from Kristoffer Gildenlöw who works perfectly with drummer Tobias Enbert. The dynamic duo delivers a powerful basis for the band. Balladesque kicks off Silently We Fade, later it becomes a powerful balladesque tune with heavy riffs - and back to the opening theme. I think the song would be even stronger, if the guitar would have stayed a bit more in the background and would have given more space to the keyboard... At the quite typical melodic speed metal track Inner Peace Daniel Heiman is taking over the microphone. To be honest here I miss the progressive edge which made the other songs differ from bands like Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. Okay, a break leads into a mid-paced part and some neo-classical guitar part. But again this is a matter of taste, so others might dig it. At Hollow Faces they kinda follow that path, but breaks and the vocals make it differ. The closer is End Of My Road which blends heavy riffs and a symphonic keyboard melody into another. Progressive structures and a catchy hook make this one stick out. Well chosen as a closer, coz this will stay with you for awhile - and it will make you listen again!
The dark cover artwork might mislead you, Harmony deliver no dark sounds. Fans of Nocturnal Rites and mates should check out Harmony! The guys deliver melodic power metal with a progressive edge. In their sound you also find neo-classical influences, melodic metal passages and harmonic vocals. I hope it won't take another 5 years til we hear from the Swedish foursome!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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