|Review: Seyminhol - Northern Recital|
Label: Brennus Music
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: July 26, 2002
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)
Immediately with the second track (and first song, the first track being an intro), some parallels can be drawn between this French band and some Italian symphonic metal outfits. The vocal delivery is often quite similar, and the keyboards add to the similarities. The result is however less "pompous" (maybe I should say less pretentious?) than the better-known Italian acts, and therefore may appeal to some people who can't stand the likes of Rhapsody, for example. There are similarities, yes, but Seyminhol do not sound like yet another clone and have their own sound. In fact it would be more appropriate to categorize this as "epic metal", since the symphonic parts are rather discreet in general, kept more in the background to leave the front stage to the guitars and vocals. The whole album is conceptual, revolving around a story that takes place in the years 771-793 and is about Christian countries trying to conquer and convert Viking countries to Christianity- that's the very short version and is much more detailed in the booklet. The story is based in part on real events, but of course part of it is based on legend and imagination.
The vocals are of the same style you usually get with symphonic power metal, generally high pitch (but not overdone), and, worth mentioning, the choirs are actually pretty good and used sparingly, not sounding too pompous or overdone, unlike what so many other bands do. Well I guess I'm just saying that these newcomers are not making the same errors that some of their more popular counterparts have been criticized for. ;)
The booklet deserves a mention here. Very well done, with lyrics, a map, some very nice drawings, and the storyline in both English and French. It is obvious that great care and attention to details were taken for its preparation. Two thumbs up on this one!
I think some fans of bands like Rhapsody, Luca Turilli and Thy Majestie (to name just a few) should find something they like here. As for those who can't stand the aforementioned bands, well Seyminhol may very well address some of your issues with the genre, so why not give it a try?
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