Orion Riders - A New Dawn
Lion Music
Neoclassical Power Metal
9 songs (42'00)
Release year: 2004
Lion Music
Reviewed by Ben

Here we go with another Power Metal band from Italy, Orion Riders. Their music on the debut album A New Dawn, is standard fare neoclassical Power Metal with some symphonic elements thrown in for good measure. These guys apparently have several years of playing under their belts because from what I have gathered Orion Riders has existed in one form or another since 1997, and this is evident because they do have their style down tight, even if it is nothing original.

The brevity of this album is surprising, if you take out the obligatory intro track and two other interlude type songs then you’re left with only six full songs. Of the remaining six songs, one is a ballad and the other is extremely weak, so after all that you are left with four tracks of competent metal fare, not a good sign. It is especially not a good sign when after the intro track the first song to hit your ears is also the weakest on the album. Whispers has nothing memorable about it, it just comes off as a second rate Stratovarius knock off. Seeing as I wasn’t too thrilled by my first listening impression, when the next song, the title track, rolled around I was pleasantly surprised. A bouncy neoclassical lick mixed in with keyboards comes out of the speakers before going into a similar bassline with vocals laid on top. Finally, something with hooks, something catchy, something with substance! Being just shy of the seven minute mark the band also has time to explore musically throughout the song with many time changes, and solos that range from the slow and emotional to the fast and soaring with soft spoken piano interludes here and there as well. The singing is also taken up a notch with great high notes that don’t sound forced or strained like they did on Whispers. Leave the Shades Behind is another strong cut. Starting off with some atmospheric keyboards this goes right into a mellowed out acoustic guitar solo that really brings up the mood and feeling of the track. Not the neoclassical speed fest that the title track was, this is more mid paced with a catchy bridge and a well played guitar solo. Light and Dark is a song that reminds me of Angra with the trumpety keyboard sounds in the first thirty seconds and the piano interludes also really remind me of the Brazillian band. More fast guitar solos and speedy runs, this is a typical Power Metal song.

There are some killer moments and shining segments on A New Dawn, but the majority of the songs seem to fall into a “been there, heard it before” category. There isn’t anything really bad about Orion Riders but at the same time there isn’t anything all that unique about them either, they are just one of those bands that are “there”. If you happen to have every other must have release so far of 2004 then you might want to check these guys out.

Killing Songs :
A New Dawn, Leave the Shades Behind
Ben quoted 64 / 100
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