Released: 20 April, 2018
Russian power metal band Estate are back with their sophomore album, “Mirrorland”, released on April 20 via Mighty Music. Formed in 2012, in Krasnodar, Estate released its debut album “Fantasia” in 2014, followed by the EP “Восхождение” in 2015. In time, the band underwent some line-up changes, and it currently consists of founding members Vadim Lalayan (bass) and Dmitriy Efimov (keyboards) and new-comers Iliand Ferro (vocals) and Petr Filevskiy (guitars). Their main goal is to play loud heavy metal music in the vein of classic acts like Helloween, Scorpions, Van Halen or Whitesnake.
It's the guitar, the power, the riffs and especially the melody that makes this Russian band an unstoppable force of heavy metal. The members of Estate are a true unit with the same religious beliefs, traditions, customs, notions of honor, valor, heroism, freedom and love. All of this is reflected in their music, which is best described as melodic power metal with influences from traditional folk music, 80s pop music and the glam of the 70s. The band is already a well-known live act on the metal scene in Russia and has shared stage with acts like Doro, Michael Schenker and Kipelov (ex-Aria).
Storm of the Age
Knight of Hope
Matter of Time
Knight of Hope (feat Mark Boals)
Matter of Time (feat Mats Leven)
There are no great surprises here, as “Mirrorland” is a very typical power metal album with all the power, guitar riffs, soaring choruses, and keyboard soundscapes one would expect from this genre. It’s melodic, catchy and dynamic, with songs that showcase the band’s skills and potential, as the title track and “Lady Wind” clearly prove. One song that caught my attention is “Stolen Heart” because of the subtle folk melodies used here and there. Another highlight of the album is the power-ballad “Winter Kingdom”, where the vocals really shine, and the guitar solo is well executed. “Storm of the Age” and “The Ghoul” put the power in power metal and will get the listener pumping their fists in the air to the beat of the programmed drums. At times the synth lines give off a very SF vibe, like in “Knight of Hope” or “Matter of Time”, and this is quite refreshing. Also, “Knight of Hope” probably has the best chorus on the entire album, being another highlight. Iliand Ferro’s powerful yet velvet smooth vocals are really good throughout the album, though the raspy vocals he used in “Mirrorland”, and the harsh vocals from “Springtime” put me off a bit. Think of a mix between Tobias Sammet and Roy Khan, and you’ll get an idea of his vocal prowess.
The surprises come at the end, in the form of two songs sung by guest vocalists. I am talking about “Knight of Hope”, where the vocals are delivered by Mark Boals (Royal Hunt, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire) and “Matter of Time”, which features Mats Leven (Therion, Treat, Candlemass) on vocals. Truth be told I would have preferred to hear duets on those songs, as the dynamics change the songs and the blend of vocals always adds some extra flavor to an album. But it is what it is. There are also some undeniable classic heavy metal elements and 80s feel, that will make the listener feel a bit nostalgic (case in point is the ballad “Silvery Skies”).
All in all, “Mirrorland” is a power metal album to the bone, and I am sure it will sit perfectly with fans of such bands as Angra, Blind Guardian, or Iced Earth. The only problem is, it doesn’t stand out in this over-crowded market, as the songs, good as they are, seem a bit predictable. But it makes for an enjoyable and engaging listen nonetheless.
Rating: 8 / 10
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Iliand Ferro – Vocals
Petr Filevskiy – Guitars
Vadim Lalayan – Bass
Dmitriy Efimov – Keyboards