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Review: Highlord - When the Aurora Falls...
When the Aurora Falls...

Label: Northwind Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 53:15
Tracks: 10
Genre: Symphonic Metal


Review online: May 29, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.36/5 (87.27%) (11 Votes)

If you're a Power Metal fan, it's likely you've come across the sophomore effort from Highlord in the past, and if you haven't, that's something you need to rectify now. It's not like Highlord were as famous or as capable as their contemporaries Labyrinth, but with When The Aurora Falls... they came to wide acclaim as one of the best acts the Italian school ever produced. A well justified assumption in my book, as this album is certainly their most coherent (although Medusa's Coil from a couple of years later is more immediate and original). This here gem is jam-packed with smart, sophisticated keyboard-led Power Metal that is melodic yet mournful, pompous yet regal, like a chapter out of a classy fantasy epic. Bands like Sonata Arctica and Celesty can be heard in the fast double kicked numbers such as "Don't Kill Me Again" and "Frozen Heaven", whereas others like "All I Want" and "Tears Of Darkness" have a touch of Vision Divine and Odyssea in them, being more stylish and progressive.

It's the keyboard work of Alessandro Muscio that has always ruled Highlord's music, and it's no different here; the entire album is over-saturated in his spacey tones and lofty harpsichords. But the vocals of once frontman Vascé are a real treat, being rich and resonant, like a mid-range Rob Tyrant. His technical skill isn't all that hot, but the feeling is there, and it's there in spades. Overall, this is a must-hear for Power Metal fans, especially those who like the style at its synth-drenched best.

More about Highlord...
Review: Breath Of Eternity (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Freakin' Out of Hell (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Heir of Power (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Hic Sunt Leones (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Medusa's Coil (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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