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For the past few years Canada has been giving us amazing music in different metal sub-genres; I was surprised to finally have some symphonic metal, a sub-genre mostly seen in Europe. After ‘Of Earth & Angels’ (2012) and ‘Otherworld’ (an EP released in 2013), Leah, from the big British Columbia presents herself alongside some big names in the scene: Timo Somers (Delain), Sander Zoer (ex. Delain) and Barend Courbois (Blind Guardian, Vengeance). This album brings us a clear influence on Western European metal bands as Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil and Delain. You can also relate strongly to well-known musicians such as Enya and the American band, Evanescence. ‘Kings & Queens’ starts off really well, with a Gregorian style sound with clear symphonic metal singing. A very interesting chorus where catchy doesn’t present itself as obvious. This album couldn’t have been presented in a better way as it is with ‘Arcadia’.

Followed by something that will be explored further in the album, a Middle Eastern vibe is given to us in ‘Save the World’. Heavier riffs combined with excellent violin and keys. Very well composed and attractively arranged with an old Within Temptation-y guitar and keyboard arrangement style, you almost want this to be released by the massive Dutch band. The formula keeps working across the album with songs like ‘Angel Fell’ and ‘Enter The Highlands’ where the vocal lines seem to be performed by Christina Scabbia with Sharon den Adel’s voice. ‘In the Palms of Your Hands’ is where the Evanescence influence really starts kicking in, and what are Evanescence well known for? Great ballads and heartfelt melodies. At this point, I’m surprised about how this talented singer has the power of catching so many different signature sounds and making them her own. ‘Alpha et Omega’ is the perfect example of this; the guitar riffs dance around and are followed by an extremely relaxing vocal melody along with the typical Middle Eastern vocalising.

Unfortunately, this album has a big downside. It is way too long; which makes me wonder why the previous mentioned bands changed so much along the years and fell almost in disgrace within their older fan base; it is not easy to keep this style without repeating yourself. There is so much you can do to innovate and, after six songs, it starts sounding like we are just repeating what was done in the first part of the album. Don’t get me wrong, you can still find great songs like ‘Palace of Dreams’, the ninth song on this album, with varied tempos and one of my favorite passages in a long time, but why bury really good material in the middle of what sounds like nothing more but fillers? It is a good album, and gives me hope for the symphonic metal scene, but let’s just hope that the inspiration stays in the right place and doesn’t get spread around in a 14 track album next time.
Inner Wound
Review by Salomé Sequeira
30th January 2015
1) Arcadia; 2) Save the World
3) Angel Fell
4) Enter the Highlands
5) In the Palm of Your Hands
6) Alpha et Omega
7 Heart of Poison; 8) Hourglass
9) Palace of Dreams
10) This Present Darkness
11) The Crown; 12) Remnant
13) There Is No Farewell
14) Siúil a Rún (Acoustic Version)
"...this talented singer has the power of catching so many different signature sounds and making them her own."