Borealis - World Of Silence
Melodic Progressive Power Metal
10 songs (58'18)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Borealis is an Orangeville, Ontario, Canada based band that started in 2005 as a female fronted operatic style metal band. A shift in musical direction to more of a progressive power metal sound found the band in search of a new vocalist. Eventually, guitarist Matt Marinelli stepped up to the mic and seemed to be the perfect fit for the new style of the material they were writing. Borealis has been busy in the last couple of years with some very high profile gigs in and around the Toronto area opening for such heavyweights as Edguy, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Epica and more recently Stratovarius. This band is a slightly heavier yet very impressive mix of the musical styles of Kamelot, Evergrey, Vanishing Point and Vanden Plas with a passing nod to Dream Theater. They have a maturity, professionalism and confidence that despite their relatively young ages, gives them the sound of seasoned veterans. World Of Silence is the band's very first full-length album and since recording the album, they have added Kenny Forbert to the band as a second guitarist; taking some of the load off of guitarist/vocalist Matt Marinelli.

The overall sound of Borealis can be described as very theatrical, chunky heavy progressive power metal that makes great use of chugging guitars layered very nicely with the richly melodic keyboard sounds of Sean Werlick. Matt Marinelli has a powerful Zak Stevens style of voice and really comes off well in a live situation with its clarity and tone. The album begins with a very strong track entitled Lost Voices. Rich keyboard sounds are blended very well with booming guitar riffs; creating an almost perfect balance between heaviness and melody. The chorus is great as well and this track, as well as many others, features some very impressive shredding lead guiar work by Matt Marinelli. Many tracks feature very solid guitar/keyboard trade-offs and an exciting progressive power metal sound employing abrupt tempo changes and complex song arrangements yet not loosing focus of how to write very strong songs that keeps the listener's attention. More epic arrangements are found with From The Fading Screams which slowly builds from a piano/voice based opening into an emotionally charged and haunting track that sees one of the best vocal performances by Matt on the album. The intensity slowly builds as does the heaviness, which culminates in orchestrated galloping power metal. Eyes of a Dream makes great use of thundering riffs with layered guitar/keyboard arpeggios in true Blind Guardian fashion. Power metal is also a staple of this band's sound as can be heard with the title track World of Silence and The Dawning Light; both featuring speedy, double bass fuelled galloping tempos. Another album highlight is The Afterlife, another hugely epic track that fuses orchestrated power metal with a thundering heavy sound and some very exciting changes in arrangements and tempos. Matt's lead work once again really shines on this one. Borealis has also mastered the art of power-balladry with Divine Answer; a track that features a soaring and highly emotionally charged vocal by Matt and a strong, heavily orchestrated arrangement.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this band; not only by their performance opening for Stratovarius in Toronto a couple of months back but also by the very high quality of sound, song writing and production of World of Silence seeing that this is a self-financed debut album. This album ranks right up there with some of the best self-financed releases that I have reviewed in my over 7 years of "service" here at Power metal and progressive power metal is a very saturated genre and one that is hard to make an impact in especially for a new band. On World of Silence, Borealis offers us a glimpse of potential brilliance in the progressive power metal genre with a surprisingly tight and very professional sound. They have a firm grasp of how to write exciting songs with strong melodies and great choruses yet still keeping with a prominent "guitar heavy" sound. Musically, everything is awesome with the only real faults coming with some of Matt's vocals. Despite his strong and powerful voice, he tends to sing many tracks in the same way with a few lacking the strong choruses of some of the better material here. I sense a "tentative" nature in his singing as well which was not evident when I saw them a couple of months back. Seeing that the album is over a year old, I can safely say that any lack of confidence in his singing that might be perceived on this album has all but disappeared. The band has recently landed a major label deal with the idea being to record a new album that is a mix of new material and some re-recordings of the best material from this album. I can't wait for that. If you're a fan of exciting and heavy keyboard infused melodic progressive power metal, you really need to check this band out. If they keep up the hard work, I see great things in store for them. Very well done and excellent album guys - good luck!

Also check out their MySpace Page

Killing Songs :
Lost Voices, From The Fading Screams, The Afterlife and The Dawning Light
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Borealis that we have reviewed:
Borealis - The Offering reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
Borealis - Purgatory reviewed by Joel and quoted 89 / 100
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