FOR ALL BEYOND
Released: April 19, 2018
After a successful debut with the single “Crying of the Sun” in 2015, and the well-received EP “Fallen Angel in the Hell” (2016), Bulgarian symphonic metal band Metalwings have independently released their first full-length album, “For All Beyond” on April 19. Fronted by classically trained vocalist Stela Atanasova, the band’s career has been on a steady rise, being more and more popular on the European metal scene. And this album will definitely help them solidify their status as a solid up-and-coming symphonic metal band.
For those of you who have already checked out the aforementioned single and the EP, or the recently released “There’s no time”, know the band’s sounds pretty well. For the rest, let me paint a picture: imagine an angelic voice comparable to Sharon den Adel, coupled with electronic viola, Irish flutes, powerful guitars, some well-placed male vocals, plus all the charm of the genre, and you’ll get a sense of what Metalwings are all about. And this is a very unique combination that seems to work perfectly for this Bulgarian band, as it creates a mysterious, borderline gothic atmosphere to certain songs, that will definitely set them apart from the rest.
End of the war
Immortal metal wings
When we pray
There’s no time
For all beyond
Realm of dreams
For all beyond (orchestral version)
Fallen angel in the Hell
Fallen angel in the Hell (instrumental version)
As for the album, I feel it’s a step-up from the EP (review here), because the songs are better defined, the vocals and the instrumental are more balanced, and the symphonic elements are more upfront, giving it a classier feel, while still being a very easy and enjoyable listening experience.
“End of the war” sets a very cinematic start to the album, while the next tracks “Secret town” and “Immortal metal wings” bring forth the metal side of the band, with guitar riffs and pounding drums, and as far as I am concerned these are some of the highlights of the album. The gentle ballad “When we pray” and the semi-ballad “For all beyond” showcase the sheer beauty of Stella’s vocals, and I love how there is just a hint of a second (male) voice on the choruses, to give some extra thickness to the vocal melody in both songs. “A wish” is a more up-tempo song where the electric viola and piano add some layers of harmony to the core of the instrumental, while also leaving some room for a great guitar solo in the second part of the song. On the other hand, “There’s no time” puts the electric viola in the spotlight, making it yet another highlight of the album, as well as a great example of the type of metal they bring to the multi-faceted and multi-layered symphonic metal scene. The duet “Realm of Dreams” is reminiscent of “Crying of the Sun”, as the male / female vocals give it a certain dynamism and energy that works very well with the dramatic orchestration and overall theatrical vibe of the song. The album ends on softer notes with the acoustic “Tujni Serza” and the orchestral version of “For all beyond”. As bonus tracks, the band included the studio version as well as the instrumental version of “Fallen Angel in the Hell”.
Bottom line is that, as good as this album is, I fear it won’t make the same impact as Dream Ocean, Elvellon, Frozen Crown, or Hexed have made with their respective debut albums, but I guess time (and fans) will tell. However, “For All Beyond” is a good addition to the symphonic metal catalogue, and Bulgarians should be very proud of Metalwings, as they have put Bulgaria on the metal map, and I really do hope that other bands will join them soon. Until then, enjoy “For All Beyond”!
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Stela Atanasova – Operatic Vocals, Electric Viola, Keyboards
Grigor Kostadinov – Guitars
Krastyo Jordanov – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Irish Flute
Milen Mavrov – Bass
Angel Kitanov – Keyboards
Nikola "Blackie" Ivanov – Drums