Powerful with epic emotions, UniverSeasons the new album from Italian power metal/symphonic rock band Solisia is a striking and rousing experience. It is a release which wraps itself around the ear with a grandeur and presence to fully involve the listener in its dramatic heart and concept theme based upon the condition of the human race. Released via Scarlet Records, Solisia has created an album which whether it is rampaging with an intense and cryptic intent or washing the senses in heightened elegance just leaves one immerse in something quite special.
Formed in 2006, the Rome band has found strong and eager responses to their sound starting with their critically acclaimed mini CD The Film Of My Life, followed with equal responses by debut album Ordinary Fate. Now with a new vocalist in the impressive talent of Elie Syrelia adding an unmistakable beauty and strength to their sounds, the accomplished collection of musicians have returned with eleven tracks which are diverse yet connected, and all oozing quality and dynamic craft. Across its stirring length, UniverSeasons is a feast of arguably established ideas to make an instant connection and a fiery enterprise to set the band apart from most similarly driven genre bands. This makes for a record which at times offers recognisable friendship for the ear but with a distinct Solisia breath, and in other moments unleashes a muscular array of invention and genre crossing imagination to ensure predictability and lack of captivation is never an issue.
The title track first pulls us into the rich absorption of the album with rampant energy and a charged flurry of riffs and twisting sinewy guitar play, its technical licks an instant lure before Syrelia unveils her mesmeric charms. The song softens as her stylish voice elevates the warmth along with the keys and symphonic caresses, but all the time the rhythms have an intimidating and forceful presence to give it all a bite. Returning to the initial pulsating energy and electronic stomp the song is in control of the listener and quite irresistible, its skill in merging the intensity soaked charge with the graceful and lush melodic weave of orchestral atmospheres impressive to say the least.
One of the major highlights of the album follows next in the exhilarating shape of The Guns Fall Silent. The track is majestic from start to sizzling end, its initial thumping beats and scything riffs soon joining forces with mesmeric keys and a thunderous adrenaline swagger. Once the carnivalesque teasing of rising melodies joins the story only passion is ensured for the rip roaring piece of metal. The bass of Andrea Arcangeli is exceptional throughout but here snarls with a real intent to its mighty invention to add further depth and shadowed life to a magnificent track. Shifting through textures, moods, and sheer ingenuity, the song leaves the senses exhausted and in bliss, the web of challenging muscle and glorious sonic kisses wrapped in melodic sensation just immense.
UniverSeasons proceeds through song after delicious song to engage fully with the emotions and thoughts, the likes of the more straightforward Kiss The Sky where every note holds its own drama, the enigmatic and thrilling Mindkiller, and the riveting onslaught of Dirty Feeling, all smoking guns delivering adrenaline shots of addiction inciting excellence. The latter two stand as strong challengers for top song on the album, their inventive and unexpected ventures irresistibly compulsive. All tracks but especially here, are impossible to make assumptions upon, the direction a song starts with is invariably not the same as it approaches its final destination and even those which hold a relatively straight forward purpose offers numerous glorious asides to ensure a sonic scenic route to devour with greed.
Before the end Symbiosis adds another pinnacle, the song a bewitching slice of pop rock with a delicious chorus as vital as any sun and the celestial expressive air surrounding the unbridled melodic energy and pulse racing triggers, ensuring a combination which is invigorating and explosive.
Symphonic metal has arguably not had its strongest year though there have been some impressive releases but Solisia and UniverSeasons have ensured it has ended of a towering high. A must listen release without doubt.
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