Released By: Nail Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Noémi Holló – Lead Vocals
Csaba Solymosi – Guitars
Máté Fülöp – Bass, Harsh Vocals
Atilla Király -Keyboards, Vocals
Gábor Kása – Drums
1. Common Enemy
2. Memento Mori
3. My Reality
4. Stay Among Us
5. Die, Live, Forgive – My Reality, Pt. II
6. Tag the Truth
7. Black Rose
8. When Angels Fall
9. Tragedy of Delusion
10. Beautiful Oblivion – My Reality, Pt. III
11. Numb (Linkin Park Cover)
Whenever I see the name “Meteora”, the first thing I think of is the second Linkin Park album, which I was always a fan of at the time, and still enjoy to this day. However, that name is now being used by a promising, up and coming symphonic power metal band from Hungary, who have recently released their second full-length album, Tragedy of Delusion. After hearing the album several times, I can say I am quite impressed. While the band certainly has some room for improvement, they already have their sound, which works quite well for them, and I think many fans of the genre are sure to be pleased with this album.
I’ve seen the band describe themselves as falling somewhere between Nightwish and Fleshgod Apocalypse, in that they blend elements of classic symphonic metal with a more extreme metal side. This is fairly accurate, as the band does have both an operatic female vocalist, as well as a harsh vocalist, and their songs do get pretty intense, at times, though I’d say their style is more similar to Epica, but with an emphasis on that band’s heavier, faster-paced material. Most songs on Tragedy of Delusion tend to mix elements of speedy power metal, with tons of symphonic elements, the occasional slow, more melodic section with either choirs or clean vocals, and some explosive sections with harsh vocals. The band likes to go all out on nearly every track, meaning almost every individual track has a lot going on, and while this does lead to many of the tracks blending, especially around the midway point, I feel the band pulls it off well enough, as they tend to be at their best when mixing different sounds.
Musically, the symphonic elements are very prevalent, along with the keyboards, which are often very atmospheric, and help set the tone of the music, though there are also some very nice keyboard solos, which have a bit of a classic prog feel to them, most notably on the opening track “Common Enemy”.The drums are also very good and can get quite explosive at times, with blast beats used on occasion, during some of the more extreme portions. Guitars are quite heavy but are mostly used more for rhythm, without much of a focus on lead guitar melodies, and while the solos that are there are nice, there aren’t a lot of them. The overall production is very strong, with everything sounding very clear, while also having an authentic live feel to it. Obviously, this doesn’t sound as polished as some of the bigger names in the genre, but the sound quality is still very good.
One of the band’s biggest strengths is their vocals, as they have a three vocalist setup, with each of them filling their role nicely. Lead vocalist Noémi Holló has a very nice, soft voice, and sings with a very smooth operatic style the majority of the time, which works very well. Bassist Máté Fülöp provides some very intense harsh vocals, which range from classic blackened rasps to some higher-pitched, more wild vocals at times. Keyboardist Atilla Király delivers some nice clean vocals, and while he’s used the least of the three, he tends to show up at crucial moments in a song, to help add an extra spark to the music, with his most memorable moment coming towards the end of “Die, Live Forgive”. All three vocalists do a great job, with the former two especially being used frequently throughout every track, and the contrast between the two is used very effectively.
An album like this is a bit hard to do a full song by song review for, just because the majority of the songs have a similar feel to them, and so instead of doing my usual, I’ll simply mention some of the more unique and memorable tracks. First off, opening track “Common Enemy” does an excellent job of introducing the band’s sound, and showcasing everything listeners can expect from the album. It opens with an extended orchestral instrumental sequence, featuring some excellent choir vocals, and then once the drums and guitars kick in, it goes full throttle, with both lead vocalists being used well throughout the verses and chorus, while the second half has an excellent sequence with many layers of vocals, and of course, that excellent, retro prog feeling keyboard solo shows up towards the end.
While most tracks are rather intense, there is a ballad right near the end, that being “Beautiful Oblivion”. It’s a nice track, with very good performances from both clean vocalists, though the best extended soft portion of the album is the opening sequence of “Stay Among Us”, where Király delivers a very dramatic, and emotional performance. The track does get heavier as it goes along, and does feature some harsh vocals, but it remains fairly slow and calm for most of its duration, compared to most other tracks, and serves as a nice change of pace.
On the heavier side of things “When Angels Fall” is perhaps the most explosive track on the album, alternating nicely between some of the speediest, most chaotic portions of the album, as well as the occasional very soft moment. The keys and orchestral elements have a very sinister feel to them, and the track feels both very epic and intense, to help make it one of the more memorable tracks. Of course, the most epic track here is the title track. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, it has a bit of everything, including both of the speediest, most extreme metal inspired sequences, with some very intense drumming and harsh vocals, as well as some calmer sections, with very soft vocals from Holló, as well as an extended sequence of speedy, epic symphonic power metal. While the track has a lot going on, everything comes together nicely, and it’s the best track on the album.
With the band name Meteora, it wouldn’t be at all surprising or unexpected for the band to include a Linkin Park cover, and sure enough, the album ending bonus track is a cover of “Numb”, the closing track from the aforementioned album. I have some very mixed feelings on this one: Musically, it’s very interesting hearing this track with keys and symphonic arrangements instead of electronic elements, and the heavier guitars and more intense drums give it a fresh feel, with some of the speedy sections towards the end being especially great. However, I’ve always considered the original track to be one of Chester Bennington’s all-time best performances, meaning any potential cover would have to be judged against that, and while the band’s vocalists are all very good, I don’t think their performances come close to matching his. It’s an interesting cover, overall, but I think the band’s original material is much more convincing, at least on this album.
Aside from that one little curiosity, Tragedy of Delusion is a very strong album, and I can see many symphonic power metal fans enjoying it, especially those wanting something similar to Epica, but with maybe a slight increase in the use of harsh vocals and extreme metal elements. I do think the band’s songwriting could stand to be a bit more varied, and it would be nice to maybe have one or two tracks where the different vocalists each have more space to shine, but the songs here are all very good, and performances are strong all around. Overall, my first encounter with Meteora has left me very impressed, and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future!
Written by: Travis Green
My Global Mind – Staff Writer
Travis Green is a Canadian based writer for My Global Mind, with a particular passion for power metal, as well as an interest metal in all its forms.