|Review: Ekzistencia - The Storm Master|
|The Storm Master|
Label: Metalism Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 1, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:The Storm Master
Here we have another entry into the Power Metal field. This one meanders off the path blazed by so many bands before them a bit. Ukraine's Ekzistencia play in a style VERY similar to Conquest on their debut, The Storm Master: expertly played, equal parts guitars and keyboards, with a cold, almost surgical sting to the production. The bass is way back in the mix, sapping some of the heaviness. They change things up with both male and female clean vocals (à la Almora) and they add some unusual instrumentation.
Sung entirely in Russian, Metalism Records translated all the song titles and lyrics into English in the booklet, so while I can't understand them when they sing, I do know they are covering much of the same ground as bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Kaledon, etc... Kings, Queens, wizards and dragons run rampant throughout The Storm Master. Most of the songs are fairly typical and unremarkable, featuring speedy riffing, double kicks and majestic keyboards (you expected something else?), but there are some standouts. "Land of the Dead Warriors," one of two ballads and sung by female vocalist Olga Avdeeva, makes use of bells, flutes and a pipe organ to change the mood from somber to uplifting and back quite effectively. "Necropolis" sticks in my mind because it features the only word on the whole album I understand (the title, natch). The closing track, "The Last Battle," is a crusher, full of the sounds of battle. It starts out slow with acoustic guitars and gradually builds into a blazing riff-fest.
The main gripe I have with The Storm Master is the singing. Male vocalist Roman Lukianchuk, who handles about 70% of the singing, is not that great. His voice is kind of thin without much power. Olga is better, but both seem to struggle to get the words to fit the music. Still, despite its faults, The Storm Master is a good first effort and a fun listen.
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