2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
+More Symphonic, +More Epic, -Less Metal,
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This review is from: A New Dawn Ending (Audio CD)
Beware! This third album is not as good as previous releases "Alliance of the Kings" and "Soulless Child". A lot of effort has gone into the arrangements, both the instruments and the vocals are more layered, but this has the effect of muting the sharpness of the metallic edge. Sara Squadrani sings her heart out, but is frequently drowned in the choirs. She has a great voice and is far better when heard on her own. The band seem to have lost a guitarist between this and the last release and he seems to have taken all the solos with him - well there are a couple, but they are notable because they are so rare on "A New Dawn Ending". You won't find any of that back-and-forth solo swapping as on "Lode el Padre", for example. (I did wonder if my copy, ordered in advance, was unfinished, but the songs are too slick and accomplished for that to be likely.) I am puzzled than no other review I've seen has mentioned this gaping hole in the songs. Some bands don't use guitar solos, of course, and that may suit their style, but Ancient Bards were a power metal band that did them well, and in abundance, and I mourn their loss. The rapidly-played bass interludes of Martino Garattoni, are as enjoyable as ever, though.
This album was written by the keyboard player Daniel Mazza and it is clearly a labour of love, but this time he has focused too much on the progression of the story arc and the outpouring of emotions associated with its exposition and not enough on making a genuinely EXCITING album, like the preceding two. This makes an album that is more of a soundtrack than a metal CD. The Black Crystal Sword seems to have lost its edge.