FAIRYLAND - Osyrhianta
June 8, 2020, a month ago
Fourth record in a continuing series, from the French operatic/symphonic metal outfit. It is a prequel (supposedly taking place 3000 years before their debut) and introduces yet another singer (fourth in as many albums), Francesco Cavalieri (Wind Rose) and permanent violin player (most prominent usage on instrumental "Mount Mirenor," alongside flute). After a nearly three-minute, echoing/booming voice-over that introduces the premise, it's all hands on deck for the speeding orchestral mélange: think early Rhapsody.
High energy, adrenaline fueled throughout, there's not even a real ballad (medieval minstrel "Alone We Stand, comes closest, in a subdued Alestorm sing-along way), to downshift the ADHD pacing. Like a manic film score, heavy doses of synthesizers and metronomic drumming abound. "The Hidden Kingdom Of Eloran" is delivered without a lot of frills, if one ignores a short keyboard spotlight: otherwise straight ahead metal, albeit the classically influenced, Broadway variety. For "Elandra", former singer Elisa C. Martin (ex-Dark Moor) takes over lead vocals. "Of Hope And Despair" has a "music box moment," the high pitched tinkling similar to many a child's music box, while "The Age Of Light" finale begins/ends with a lone flute, eventually adding lilting female vocals to the mix.
While there's undoubtedly pockets of interest out there (the scene's movers & shakers having already staked their claim, and the majority of the fanbase), just not sure where Fairyland exist in the 2020 landscape, plying a style that's moved on considerably from this dawn of the millennium sound.