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Review: Seraphim - The Soul That Never Dies
The Soul That Never Dies

Label: Magnum Music Taiwan
Year released: 2001
Duration: 64:27
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: May 30, 2002
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (12 Votes)

When a member of Seraphim contacted me, I almost went into shock upon learning that they were a power metal band from, of all places, Taiwan. This is definitely a part of the world that I don't really associate with power metal. Another shock when I received the album, the whole album is sung in Chinese and the whole booklet is also in Chinese, except for a few English words in the credits. Thankfully their web site has the English translation for the album and tracks titles!

Musically this is mainly a blend of the typical German and Italian power metal, in other words a bit "happy" and fast with some parts that are more on the symphonic side. The ensemble is well-played but there aren't really many surprises, the band adhering to most power metal "standards". This is more a remark than a criticism, since when it's well done, it's enjoyable as is the case here. Still, there are a few passages that stray away from the nest a little bit, mostly the more relaxing ballad-like songs that borrow more from classical music and melodic rock.

There are a couple of surprises on the vocals side however, the vocals being shared by a female and male member (with lead vocals duties handled by the female). She uses operatic vocals that are not without reminding one of Nightwish, but still different enough from Tarja's vocals - here the vocals are a bit more high pitched (and since we're on the comparisons, Seraphim's music is guitar-driven, rather than keyboard-driven like Nightwish.) She handles the vocal duties very well and there's quite a bit of variety in her singing. Worth noting is that sometimes the vocal melodies adopt of more folkish sound, something that I haven't heard much (or not at all) in other power metal bands. The male vocals, while not nearly as present, are difficult to ignore since the vocalist actually growls. Now THAT I did not expect. There is very little of that however, so even if you can't stand growling vocals but are likely to like the rest, you may want to give this a try anyway. Final note, the Chinese language actually sounds very good here. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised.

A very good debut album for this Taiwanese outfit and something that fans of power metal should check out.

More about Seraphim...
Review: Ai (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Equal Spirit (Chinese version) (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Kessier (guitar) on August 13, 2002 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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