Bare Infinity - The Butterfly Raiser
Symphonic Goth Power Metal
12 songs (64' 42")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Symphonic power metal comes in many shapes and sizes. Bare Infinity's sophomore release, The Butterfly Raiser, is a pop affair that partakes neither of bombastic guitar nor goth opera. Its strongest asset is vocalist Ida Elena, and if it weren't for the rather forgettable songwriting, she'd have no trouble knocking The Butterfly Raiser out of the park. As it is, she saves it from the mediocrity that it would otherwise deserve.

The power metal presented is restrained and radio-friendly, more like listening to Delain or the ill-starred Olzon-era Nightwish than anything else, but Elena, who uses nothing but clean vocals, has a prettier voice than the leading ladies from either of those bands and a good vocal range, normally singing a little lower than is usual for female-fronted power metal. Race of Destiny, a chugging mid-tempo piece, gets things started off on the right track with a good melody and plenty of spots for Elena to hit the high notes, which she does effortlessly. The band tries a little of everything on the ensuing tracks: real folk flutes done by a guest, 80s-style AOR, Eastern minor keys, whatever else they can come up with. The melodies will never send a chill down anyone's spine, but they're decent to listen to, and they come close at times to being truly great; the title track and Hear Me Out, especially the latter, are two of the most powerful on the album.

Weaknesses in the album are split between the lack of melodic hooks and the uninteresting guitar sound. The guitars are always present, but they don't do much more than chug away at the lower end most of the time; the keyboards have the commanding position in The Butterfly Raiser, and like many keyboard-driven bands, that means that we get a minimalist approach to guitar heaviness in favor of lots of keyboard accents over chugging, leading to a paucity of riffs that would otherwise be able to back up the vocals. The male vocals, which show up on a few of the songs, are alright except for the times they try to do metalcore-style vocals such as on Ashes, which doesn't even slightly fit the band. The last track, The Sword the Stone and the Wolf, is fairly enjoyable, however; to souped-up keyboard symphonic effects and another load of guitar chugging, Elena's voice soars up over a chorus that, even with an unambitious melody, provides the necessary bombast for this kind of song.

If it weren't for Ida Elena's singing, which raises it above the average, The Butterfly Raiser would be acceptable goth-symphonic power metal and nothing more, though serious connoisseurs of the genre might like it better than I did. For my part, I liked some of the songs, but find myself hoping that Bare Infinity can come up with some better tunes next time around.


Killing Songs :
Race of Destiny, The Butterfly Raiser, Hear Me Out
Andy quoted 76 / 100
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