|Review: Wingdom - Reality|
Label: Dockyard 1
Year released: 2005
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: May 12, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 5/5 (100%) (8 Votes)
I remember the day, way back in 2005, when after a small circle of media interest I bought this on the fly, knowing that anything featuring ex-KenZiner/Sonata Arctica keyboard maestro Mikko Harkin and ex-Rhapsody bassist Alessandro Lotta wouldn't disappoint. At the time I had no idea how much of an impact this album would have on my life, and even now, as I sit here and write this, I'm struggling to put into words just powerful this record actually is. But here it goes.
After slipping in an out of bands for most of his career up until this point, Mikko Harkin finally developed a unit that could handle the vistas of his prodigious intellect, bringing together a set of musicians so refined and so universal that what eventually came out, the magnificent Reality, can't be described as anything but a work of art. Their sound lying somewhere between Finnish Prog Metal and Italian Power Metal, Wingdom take a refreshingly melodic and spiritual approach toward the genre, with Harkin's heavenly keys and Sami Asp's earth-shatteringly sublime vocals taking the fore against a wall of crushing guitars, jagged percussion, and, well, just about anything else you can imagine.
Without spiraling off into Pain of Salvation curveball-territory, Wingdom manage to keep their music constantly moving, always evolving into something challenging and exciting within every song, yet they retain the highly infectious vocal melodies and deeply devout Christian lyrics, which unlike many religious metal acts, fail to uplift the listeners, and instead plunge them into dark moral dilemmas, an effect which is at once both sad and touching, but always deeply poignant. From a synth-drenched endeavor in "The Essence" to the poly-rhythmic "Tomorrow"; from the crushing "A Sigh of Despair" to the absolute pinnacle of perfection in "Where Do We Go?", there isn't a moment during Reality where you aren't brought to your knees at its sheer majesty, and even though Harkin has departed to continue his spiritual quest with the equally as affecting Mehida, Wingdom will always have a special place in my heart as the creators of one of my favorite records of all time, and a true innovator of the genre.
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