Reviewed by Christian Cunningham
Finland's DivineFire seem to have discovered a powerful symphonic metal elixir, with each new concoction of soaring, wobbly-noted power metal vocals, massive orchestral arrangements, dark, metal guitar riffing and death metal growls inducing complete surrender in all listeners. 'Eye Of The Storm' is rich and involving with a massive sound and production to match. Jani Stefanovich's compositions include elements of sound akin to Nightwish, though this three-piece delve into the much more extreme side of things, with death metal growls that give some serious low-end grunt, turning songs from soaring power metal to dark, classic "Gothenburg" sound metal in one rasp-throated roar. There are a great many standout moments in this excellent LP; from the delectable guitar break in "Bright Morning Star" to the full on metal assault of "Unchain My Soul"'s beginning. "Hold On"', the second track of the album, has an incredibly catchy chorus that will encourage a jaunty sing along in that oh-so-power-metal manner. The orchestral elements stand out from the snarl of the guitars a little more on this release, which lends more of an epic air to the feel of 'Eye Of The Storm', but ultimately this effort is what we have come to expect from DivineFire. There is the odd curveball in there with some tracks hinting of other bands such as Masters And Slaves' Dimmu Borgir-esque black symphonic metal or the lovely Celtic/folk metal influence of "To Love And Forgive", reminiscent of Eluveitie, complete with traditional instrumentation. Once again, the guitar work is phenomenal and Jani Stefanovich's undeniable gifting is evident in just about every track of this offering with a plethora of memorable breaks that will have guitar aficionados nodding in approval. The only track that disappoints is the final instrumental effort that sounds rather like it is trying too hard. Also, the lyrics, in-keeping with the power metal vein, are bold, unashamed and yes, on occasion, a little cheesy. But DivineFire continue to up the ante for all symphonic power metal bands out there.
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