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Album number four from the French philharmonic metal maestros, Whyzdom, is a genuine corker... albeit with a couple of caveats. Let's get the (very minor) negatives out of the way right now. Firstly, some of the vocal phrasing, on occasion, feels a little clumsy, although I think it's simply a matter of a few too many syllables within the lyrics to fit over the rhythms of the instrumentations. Songs lack fluency during such passages. I hasten to add, though, these are but few, so it's never really much of a distraction; rather, lyrics could've done with a little refining here and there. Secondly, the instrumentations themselves (again, only on occasion) can feel a little cluttered, where there's just too much going on in the mix for a comfortable listening experience. Take the bridge to 'Follow Your Heart' (that first appears around the 2 minute mark) as a prime example of the latter. Then again, perhaps that's the intended affect. After all, music shouldn't only ever be about listening within your comfort zone. However, a few parts do sound too "busy" in the mix, comfortable or not.

Right then, minor grumbles aside, it's all gravy from hereon. 'As Time Turns to Dust' is generally a rather magnificent work of musical grandeur. Whyzdom's philharmonic metal synthesis in the instrumentations is sheer bliss and exemplary, once again, of not only guitarist Vynce Leff's fine compositional skills, but his masterful touch at arranging music. The metal and orchestral elements sound at one. A real orchestra once again, too. There's no fakery to be heard here. This is the real deal. It's evident that so much work has gone into this, and so much skill. It's breathtaking stuff, at times. Filmic on a grand scale, with a perfectly fused layer of hard-hitting metal... sheer bliss. And, despite their philharmonic metal synthesis, there are moments where the bias leans towards one or the other. Cue passages with an orchestra in isolation, and sections where the band's modus operandi veers into moshing metal territory, such as during the closing bars of 'Fly Away', or the intro and verse parts of 'Follow Your Heart'.

Vocals are pretty amazing throughout, too. Marie Mac Leod (Rouyer) returns to the mic for her second full-length outing with the band, which marks the first time the same lead vocalist has appeared on consecutive Whyzdom releases. Her delivery is generally all about emotional power, which is ever so important for the grand nature of the instrumentations. She excels throughout, and with a few surprising twists thrown in, such as on the opener, 'Armour of Dust'. My initial listen to this track made me think that she was 'peaking' too early; starting too strong from the off, with nowhere else to go. How wrong was I. Check out the note she hits at the 57 second mark... astonishing!

All in all, 'As Time Turns to Dust' is yet another winner from a supremely talented band who now have four strong albums to their name. And the most refreshing thing about a new Whyzdom record is that it sounds distinctly like a Whyzdom record. There's no regurgitated symphonic metal genericism here. This is philharmonic metal par excellence.
Scarlet Records
Review by Mark Holmes
6th April 2018
1) Armour of Dust
2) Armageddon
3) Fly Away
4) The Page
5) Follow Your Heart
6) Angel of Tears
7) Free as a Bird
8) The Mistchild
9) Dust We Are
"...a rather magnificent work of musical grandeur. Whyzdom's philharmonic metal synthesis in the instrumentations is sheer bliss..."