|Review: ReinXeed - Higher|
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: August 19, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
What have we here? Looks like one of the best European Power Metal albums of the year to me. From another band with an impossible name, no less. Yes sir, we don't get something like this every day, and I'm about to tell you why.
Back in the late 90s, this stuff was all the rage. Fancy neo-classical guitars, pretentious symphonic overtures, ceaseless double bass drumming, and of course, screaming high vocals set the new blueprint for the Power Metal paradigm, and if you're particularly fond of the albums bands like Nocturnal Rites, Dreamtale, and Insania released during that period, be prepared to take a step back in time and slap those wallets on the counter. Sweden's ReinXeed have arrived.
The brainchild of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist/bassist/songwriter/just-about-everything except-the-kitchen-skin main man Tommy Johansson, ReinXeed are already onto their second album here, and what an album it is, too, uniting the full-throttle celerity of mid-period Stratovarius, the celestial symphonics of modern day Dragonland, and the shameless metal cheddar of Timeless Miracle to an incredibly enjoyable formula of old-new-school Melodic Power that just keeps getting more listenable each time you hear it. Production wise, things are a little on the top end, and Johansson's falsetto is at times a little shaky, but minor gripes notwithstanding, Higher is a splendid Power Metal record that certainly won't appeal to anyone ignorant to the genre, but with songs like impossibly fast "Dragonfly", cheesy yet catchy opener "Haunted Mansion", and the best song Edguy never wrote, the wonderfully eternal "Fantasia", Higher has already climbed toward the top of my list for this year's finest metal records, and I'll tell you one thing: album number three has a tough one to beat. Bring it on!
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