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Review: Borealis - Purgatory

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 52:20
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 1.5/5

Review online: August 26, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating

Rated 3.11/5 (62.22%) (9 Votes)

Hailing from Ontario, Canada, these guys started out in 2005 making a sound that resembled Progressive/Power Metal with their debut, World of Silence, which I actually liked. By their second effort, Fall from Grace, the band took a different path by adding modern elements to their music and changing their vocal lines, with singer Matt Marinelli becoming sort of that guy from Nickelback on steroids. The band then achieved a greater exposure by signing with German giants AFM Records, and by keeping their modern elements adopted in Fall from Grace, they released Purgatory, their third full-length.

Having clarified that, you will find in this album a tentative to thrill the listener throughout the length of the 12 songs in the album...which fails miserably. The emotional vocals, melancholic keyboards and angry riffing all sound over the top and pretentious, and this approach, combined with the pop vocals and lyrics about relationships, forms a phenomenon I like to call "Emo-Metal", that bands like Evergrey are masters at creating.

The album starts with a good try in "Past the Veil", featuring quality riffs and decent keyboard lines that reminisces the old Evergrey, but loses power as the album goes on, like in the next song "From the Ashes" and follow-up "The Chosen One". Marinelli's pop influences come afloat especially on "My Peace" where his vocal lines are purely melodic, lacking punch and originality. Surprisingly, the best piece of the album lies with the ballad "Rest My Child" where the band seems to have abandoned, even for a brief time, the pretentious aura that surrounds the other songs and attempted to deliver an honest song, even reminding me in some degree of Iced Earth's "Ghost of Freedom".

To sum it up, Purgatory is a horrendous effort by an otherwise talented band. It has great production but poor songwriting, and great musicians but poor ideas. If you are a purist metalhead (you're reading this on The Metal Crypt, so you are) and want to enrich your music library with new bands, stay the hell away from this and stick to acts like Visigoth, Crypt Sermon, Crystal Viper, Skull Fist, etc.

Other related information on the site
Review: Purgatory (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Offering (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: World of Silence (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: World of Silence (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
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