This is the most glorious record I have heard yet this year. Super double bass, double picking guitars, this has to be some epic sounding power metal.
On the first track, yes but the later songs bring to mind a more melodic 3 INCHES OF BLOOD. They mercilessly make you want to drink a tankard of ale and ride into battle with swords ablaze! The vocals are a mix of styles with the main focus being on the power metal vocals with other parts done in varying tones of cookie monster. Certain songs layer all of the multiple styles of singing at the same time for a pretty cool effect. I find the lower vocals have more of a black metal influence but occasionally are be a bit too metal core for me.
The track 'Despair', rages out of the black metal gates straight into the arms of the power metal and back again. Canada's U.T.A is mostly on the melodic end of the genre. Maybe a slightly less aggressive DEMONS AND WIZARDS with crazier vocals. 'The Outlander' is a great example of this, being one of the catchier songs on the disc.
These Vancouver natives have a male and female vocalists with super smooth tones and great harmonies that intertwine with each other in every song. It's definitely one of the highlights but I'm still having a problem with the metal core parts. The drumming is flawless, you can tell these guys really have put some time into their production really trying to get the sound of their second effort just right. They employ a number of sounds and eerie parts to create a pretty cool theatrical effect. The guitar and bass is the one thing I wish were just a bit heavier across the board though, just a pinch, man!
The cover by French artist J.P. Fournier is killer. It could be a cover for a sword and sorcery book. It all tells a story of some crazy fantasy that goes to the music perfectly,. A little heavy on the cheese but not too bad at all.