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Review: Samandriel - Awakening

Label: Independent
Year released: 2010
Duration: 27:08
Tracks: 6
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: November 14, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 3.43/5 (68.57%) (7 Votes)

I see this getting marketed as 'gothic', but aside from having a female singer there is nothing goth about this band at all. Samandriel are a Canadian act mining the vein of old Nightwish-styled Power Metal. This is melodic, often catchy, and sometimes surprisingly heavy. Vocalist Doneka Reid is a solid performer, with a punchy operatic voice. The band does mix in some growls, but I like how they are mixed very low and used mostly to accent the clean singing. It keeps the music from having that "wait, time for some barking" feel of other bands (like Epica for example), where the interesting part of the music stops so the dude can growl at us. None of these songs are really classic, but they all are listenable and show a sharp songwriting sensibility.

With so many female-fronted bands like Magica and Within Temptation largely abandoning Power Metal and going for more goth/groove sounds, it is actually refreshing to hear a band like this that is unabashed Power Metal with double-bass runs and fantasy lyrics and the whole thing. Samandriel are definitely not original, but they are solid and entertaining.

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