I’m going to be brutally honest here; this has been a particularly tricky album to review because even by stereotypes of Power Metal, it’s impossible to stash it into a particular style. This goes to the credit of this Finnish band though; unlike some Power metal bands from Finland they haven’t tried to copy an already coined style like that of CoB (except in the keyboards). With that being said this is undoubtedly a piece of work, which screams a lot of experimentation, but breeds just above average results.
Now on with the music; and the first thing you might perhaps notice is the excellent production quality and that’s an important aspect considering the fast pace with which some of the tracks are played, particularly Shadowhunt and Possessed by Power. The next impression, which I got, was the one that made me dock a point off this album and that came through the vocals. The vocalist is not bad but there seemed to be something a bit lacking in the vocals, variation of the notes and specially the screams, which perplexed me to several degrees. The lyrics are also sometimes borderline cheesy but at times come off as meaningful. Whatever is the case, they do justice to the songs though.
Which brings me to the instrumental aspect of this album, and this is where the album redeems itself greatly. From the artistic melodies of the keyboards to the fast paced drumming everything is executed well with minimal flaws (I use the word minimal for the faults of the guitarist). The bassist also deserves some credit here because he carries the pace of the songs very well along with the drums, in fact at times the bassist adds more colour to the vocals themselves. Onto the lead guitarist Arto, and this is where I end up being puzzled, I have no qualms about his riffs for most part of the songs because they are excellently executed but he tends to fall short for solos (which is why he hasn’t done too many on this album), he does a short solos extremely quickly almost half heartedly it seems and then lets Jukka, the keyboardist, take over.
Jukka seems to be the most skillful of the band members here. Not only does he create a mystical atmosphere with his keys in the songs but also does speedy melodic solos to please the ear. The style is very reminiscent of Wirman from Bodom, this can be ignored however when you’re enjoying his melodic solos. All in all he blends in perfectly with the guitars, taking over when needed and relegating himself to the background to provide atmosphere with low keys.
On a final note, I definitely do recommend everyone to listen to this album, it may take perhaps several listens to get used to it but once you get the hang of it, especially the vocals, you start to enjoy yourself more and more to this speedy power metal.
Despite their faults you cannot argue that Requiem produced some very solid power metal and their third album Requiem Forever was a mark of their consistency. The style they played was a very experimental one and it still could have been perfected. It’s a shame the band decided to split-up instead of continuing to advance their work.
Highlights: Shadowhunt,Tower,Vindictive Heart