Sleeping Romance - Enlighten
Ulterium Records
Symphonic Metal
10 songs (41:41)
Release year: 2013
Ulterium Records
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month

Hailing from Modena, Italy we have the debut album for Sleeping Romance. They perform a very by-the-books brand of Symphonic Metal, while still adding their own personal touches to the music. Front and center are the enchanting vocals of Federica Lanna who at various points reminds me of Charlotte Wessels of Delain. Guitarist and principal songwriter Federico Truzzi produced the disc. That must explain why the guitars are not lost in the mix, like other female fronted Symphonic bands.

Hybrid Overture opens the disc up, with your typical orchestral number you associate with Symphonic Metal. At just over a minute and a half, it seems long for what segues into the song Enlighten. Lanna's vocals are met with keyboard effects, before the rest of the band joins. At times the song also has a somewhat progressive feel to as well, which draws similarities to the Swiss band, Lunatica. Orchestral arrangements followed by layers of guitar build up the opening verse of The Promise Inside. This is the song that really drew comparisons for me to Delain. Free Me features Lanna, going into a more soprano vocal range, without trying to emulate or impersonate Tarja, Simone Simmons, or any other female symphonic singer you like. This song truly shows her range, and sense of melody. December Flower is a beautiful piano ballad(for three-quarters before the rest of the band joins in), that again puts Lanna front and center. This song finds her singing in a more melancholic alto tone. At nearly five minutes, it seems a bit long for this song. Finding My Way, like Enlighten starts with piano and Lanna's vocals, before the rest of the band join. The song like most on the disc features a chorus and/or melody that will get stuck in your head after a few listens. Aeternum closes out the disc like Hybrid Overture began, with an instrumental, not much else can be said about this track.

While the first and last tracks are more or less a prologue and epilogue to the disc, they are mostly filler tracks, that surround a very good debut disc. I don't believe Sleeping Romance is breaking any new ground, but they are not treading familiar waters either. When I started to make various comparisons to other bands, I heard something different, that made Sleeping Romance who they are. Is this the greatest Symphonic disc ever created? No far from it, but it is also not the worst, in a sub-genre with a lot of pretenders.

Sleeping Romance is highly recommended to those who enjoy Symphonic Metal with strong female vocals. The disc came out in Europe on November 1st, here in America the disc will be available on December 3rd.

Killing Songs :
Enlighten, The Promise Inside, December Flower, Passion Lost, Devil's Cave
Joel quoted 85 / 100
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