|Review: Twilight Force - At the Heart of Wintervale|
|At the Heart of Wintervale|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2023
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 20, 2023
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:At the Heart of Wintervale
Rated 3.83/5 (76.67%) (6 Votes)
I used to grab all the symphonic power metal I could find back in the early 2000s, but eventually overdosed on the genre and since then I've only been checking out the occasional album. At the Heart of Wintervale took me back to the late '90s with the likes of Rhapsody and Luca Turilli coming to mind here and there. I prefer these bands' output, but Twilight Force have their thing going for them. Fantasy-theme power metal is the name of the game here. This is very upbeat power metal with the mandatory epic vibe and it's often completely over the top, which can be annoying or awesome depending on the mood you're in. The vocals sure remind me of the aforementioned bands, very clean and with lines that just call for a sing-along. Even though my sample of the subgenre has been limited in the past 20 years or so, I can tell that this is quite derivative and not original, but it's well executed and, overall, quite a fun listen. My promo is for the digibook edition, which includes two bonus tracks. The last two tracks are a bit of an annoyance. They're orchestral versions of "Skyknights of Aldaria" and "The Last Crystal Bearer." You know those high-budget fantasy movies with long ending credits that go on for nearly half an hour? They always have some epic-sounding, beautiful music accompanying the credits. Well, here we have almost 16 minutes of that. Ending the album like this just sounds off to me—well, not a problem if you have any of the other editions. There's nothing wrong with the songs musically, and they're really good tracks, but I just find the orchestral versions don't fit here. Your mileage may vary.
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