|Review: Arwen - Memories of a Dream|
|Memories of a Dream|
Label: Arise Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: January 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Memories of a Dream
Spain's Arwen were always going to have a hard time living up to countrymen Dark Moor. One of the more remarkable points of interest with Arwen is the fact that the band has eight members. Symphonic Power Metal is the name of the game here, ultra happy, ultra flowery and ultimately nothing to wet the bed over. Fans of acts such as Rhapsody (of Fire). early Angra, Dark Moor and Visions of Atlantis will definitely find some enjoyment though.
Predictable opener "Transcendence" is an expected throwaway intro. First proper track "Dreamland" soars, with keyboard arpeggios and some fantastic vocals, the sole strongpoint of this album. Nacho Ruiz is a very talented singer, reminding me in particular of André Matos. "Between Love And Pain" is surprisingly the best track on offer here; despite being flowery as hell it's just so well done. The guitars are great in this song although I still don't fully understand why these folks needed two keyboardists. Other standouts include "So High" with some stomping riffage which really surprised me, and if we found more of the heavier elements we'd be on to a winner. "Eternally" has a feel of the classic mid-paced Power Metal semi-ballads, however female vocalist (deep breath) María del Carmen "Mamen" Castaño slightly lets the side down. Memories of a Dream isn't a bad album, but it will be forever destined to obscurity, as will Arwen unless they manage to step up their game. If you're thinking about buying this one I'd certainly suggest checking a couple of tracks out beforehand. There is worse in the genre and this album is not without its own merits.
Standout Tracks: "Dreamland", "Between Love and Pain", "So High", and "At The End".
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