|Review: Merging Flare - Reverence|
Year released: 2011
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: November 21, 2015
Reviewed by: Edward T. Head
Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)
It's a rare occurrence that an album inspires me to hit the repeat button, and then write about it on the second spin. However, Reverence, the debut of Finland's Merging Flare, did just that. Even better, less than 24 hours prior, I wasn't even aware of the band's existence. Then, like an act from the Metal Gods, the album arrived unannounced in my mailbox. A listen later, and I was hooked.
The band themselves make no qualms over the fact that they think – no, they know – they're good, with their bio calling Reverence "the best piece of Finnish Heavy Metal...in this millennium". It's easy to get a big head when your debut is mastered by Dan Swanö, and features Power Metal pioneer Kai Hansen on four tracks, but those claims must be backed up with quality music. Luckily, Merging Flare does just that.
While "best" is certainly arguable/subjective, Reverence is a damn fine album, full of immediately memorable Power Metal anthems. Much of the album brings to mind Silent Force, no doubt due to vocalist Matias Palm having a similar delivery to DC Cooper, but many other influences are mixed throughout. "Terrordome" in particular shows the band's inspirations, with the bulk sounding like a Gamma Ray/Primal Fear mash-up, when suddenly a bridge torn from Queen's repertoire shows up. And you know what? They make it work flawlessly.
Whenever it seems that Power Metal as a genre has gotten completely lost in its own excesses (Rhapsody of Fire), is trying its damndest to avoid itself (Edguy), or has simply gone stale (Hammerfall), a band like Merging Flare comes along to give us fans a glimmer of hope. If Reverence is any indication, the future of Power Metal is in good hands.
(Originally written in 2011)
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