|Review: ReinXeed - Welcome to the Theater|
|Welcome to the Theater|
Label: Liljegren Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 16, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Welcome to the Theater
I hadn't given this band the time of the day since being massively underwhelmed with their debut release, but I have certainly noticed their popularity increasing over the last few years. Welcome to the Theater is the fifth full-length from ReinXeed and the station I decided to jump back on the train, and I've got to say the ride is far smoother and enjoyable.
Thematically I think this album will divide opinions, and I'm sure the power metal naysayers will be lining up to call this pink, or gay, or whatever. The album's theme, for those who haven't been paying attention (or simply are uninterested), is that of blockbuster movies. ReinXeed achieve this theme through their lyrics and their orchestral elements. If you've seen the films Tommy and the gang are singing about (which you should have as these range from Terminator to Jurassic Park, and from Braveheart to Star Wars) I'm sure you'll notice some particularly familiar melodies throughout. Now having grown up with a vast majority of these films and still enjoying them today, I think the theme is just great and I had a lot of fun on my first two listens figuring out which song was about what (it really wasn't too hard).
Okay, so enough about theme, let's get to the power metal. This is undoubtedly the strongest I've heard ReinXeed sound, feeling proud and professional. The overall style of power metal is largely of the symphonic variety and fortunately the band doesn't forget to keep the riffs interesting and surprisingly quite heavy in places. Tommy's vocals are well done here too, boasting a certain endearing quality that really cemented my enjoyment of Welcome to the Theater.
There isn't a lot bad to say about Welcome to the Theater, I guess the drums could do with sounding a little better, with the snare having a particularly synthetic feel. A few of the tracks don't hit the mark as well as they could either: "Save Us" is overly long, and is definitely one of the less interesting cuts. The female vocals sadly make me want to cringe. The same can be said of "Freedom" which would definitely benefit from being cut by a few minutes, although the alternating vocals definitely keep things interesting. The title track itself could have been a phenomenal power metal cut but it looks like the theme got to Tommy's head a little too much, just about all of the lyrics reference a different film and whilst it starts off fun "spotting the film reference", the song is a little too much.
However these niggles are relatively minor and for the most part Welcome to the Theater is a tour-de-force in symphonic power metal and knocks spots off the latest Pathfinder release. Tracks such as "Life Will Find a Way" and "Somewhere In Time" are really some of the coolest songs I've heard in the genre this year. I think I'll be keeping a closer eye on ReinXeed from now on. In the meantime I think I'll go for the matinee. Recommended!
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