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(Scarlet Records)

Phil Kane

phil kane

whyzdom blind

If you are into outfits like Within Temptation, Nightwish and Operatika then you are going to love this French beasty. Yep, it's another slab of female fronted Gothic symphonic Metal with a 'we-are-at-one-with-the-gods' complex.

'Blind?' sounds good with a production job that has just about got it right being not so polished that it nips the album's bollocks but sharp enough to let the album sparkle. The songs are pretty dramatic and heavy, managing to maintain a strong focus.

While some have complained that Elvyne Lorient's vocal is a tad too prominent, the quality of her singing is such that it is more than able to hold its own whether it is too far forward in the mix or not. It has a rich texture that softens the blows from her Metal band mates.

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As a whole the album has a very Nightwish thing going on yet there are passages that nod to the whimsical noodlings of its more pagan contemporaries. There are other places where the twee arrangements come close to being engulfed by the surrounding Gothic pomp and a subtle new age vibe runs through this album's Metal that is quite refreshing. However, the whimsy and the rich beauty of the vocals only marginally soften the edges of the surprisingly ugly philharmonic Metal.

There are infusions of influences throughout 'Blind?' that are quite subtle and take time to draw out. Aside from the obvious classic bent, especially Wagner's choruses, there are hints of medieval folk and Celtic airs on the one hand and melodic and power Metal, even hints of black Metal on the other with the electronic symphonics filling the void in the middle.

The last track, 'Cathedral Of The Damned', is the perfect summation of 'Blind?'. In fact you could say that everything that has been used throughout the album crops up in a concentrated form during this final epic track making it so outrageously overblow and pompous it is a mystery why it does not fall through your CD deck with the weight of its own self importance. Brilliance incarnate!

The overall sound has a big epic cinematic scope to it that has depths that could descend thousands of feet or it soars and swoops, having a full presence that really could only be improved by swapping the occasionally puny synths for a full blown orchestra. Now that would take this album from the very good to the absolutely stupendous.

Band boss Vynce Leff is an able orchestral mechanic who knows his way around classical arrangements and where they fit with heavy Metal. He has spent a lot of time tweaking and manipulating things into shape electronically. Luckily, 'Blind?' retains its soul where it could have quite easily fallen prey to technical wizardry turning it into just another soulless lump though it does suffer from being a tad too busy at times. His style seems to underlined with the use of a lot of call and response melodies between the band, the orchestral arrangements and the vox. Interesting stuff.

Of course, the same old problem applies here as with any of the hundreds of other Gothic symphonic outfits that currently assail our senses and wallets. They are all on the whole very good to the point that they all sound very similar. So whilst 'Blind?' is very, very good it remains no exception thayt it still lacks that certain something to set it apart from the rest of the herd so it's your money, your choice.

Check out the albums opening track 'The Lighthouse', one of the heavier tracks on the album, here:

or the album's completely bewildering trailer here...





Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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