Release: October 11, 2019
Denmark's new symphonic metal act, Ethereal Kingdoms, deliver a unique and modern take on theatrical symphonic metal with their debut album "Hollow Mirror". Enter their sonic universe, explore the full range of musical emotions. From nostalgic melodies to haunting dissonances, from soaring high notes to shattering screams, from heartfelt solos to destroyed violins.
‘’Distance’’ opens with an instrumental piece and shortly after the vocals come in. The slower part could have been skipped in my opinion, the vocals are not that great when they are isolated. I do like the chorus, growls and strings. ‘’Ashes Within’’ is up till now the best track, it has a nice mix of all elements I like. I think Sofia should definitely do more growls and a little less forced operatic singing. It would do the album overall good. Operatic vocals do not instantly make it a hit nor symphonic metal. ‘’Heartchamber’’ is also like ‘’Distance’’ and ‘’Beginnings’’ a bit mediocre. I expected more. ‘’Silent Dance’’ however is better. This album is full of ups and downs instead of a steady, linear growing line.
‘’My Kantele’’ and ‘’Apparition’’ are somewhere in between all the previous tracks, not very bad, not very good. ‘’Embrace Me’’ is the best track of the album by far.
I feel torn on this album. Symphonic is a metal subgenre that is very close to my heart, so either it is all hits or misses. This album just comes across as a formula: pretty woman + operatic vocals = good album. The tracks that I liked had a lot of diversity, for example the growls. But this were at most three tracks out of ten. I’m a bit disappointed.
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Sofia Schmidt - Vocals, composition and orchestration
Christian Rasmussen - Guitar, composition
Jakob Holm - Bass
Jon Elmquist - Drums and drum writing