REQUIEM: The Arrival CD 2002. True Heavy Metal. Check audio


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REQUIEM are despite the distinct kin not a clone of STRATOVARIUS for they add a nice own style. On the one hand we get of course the usual elements of modern Power Metal, many melodies, epic, sometimes real fast paces but still REQUIEM have the ability to sound different. They didn’t choose the super catchy way yet you don’t have to call them progressive. The common spinet keyboards also don’t disturb you at all because they are worked into the sound very well and not exaggeratedly. The best thing about it is without any doubt the singer, Jouni Nikula, who does sound a little strange in the beginning but

stands out from his colleagues with his tenor voice and brings an own style to the sound which fits it excellently, you should especially pay great attention to the fantastic “Whispers”. Musically they’re very various, take the fast “Revival” or the powerful “Liquid Hours” or the more than eight-minute-long and rather quiet “Masquerade” as an example. The two slightly complicated songs “Forgotten Path” and “Halls Of Eternity” that don’t
come as easily at all show that its not all about Power. Supported by the great production and the interesting cover artwork, I can’t deny that REQUIEM seems to be a hopeful newcomer in an overloaded sub-genre, we surely may expect more!

Label: Sound Riot Records
Country: France
Released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
1 Arrival 0:58
2 Revival 4:29
3 Broken Alliance 4:16
4 Whispers 4:46
5 The Invisible Touch 4:25
6 Forgotten Path 7:44
7 Halls Of Eternity 5:30
8 Liquid Hours 6:12
9 Masquerade 8:26

Bass Pasi Kauppinen
Drums Jari Huttunen
Keyboards Henrik Klingenberg
Lyrics By Nikula*
Mastered By Mika Jussila
Mixed By, Engineer Arttu Sarvanne
Music By Räisälä* (tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 8), Hänninen* (tracks: 3 to 5, 8)
Photography [Band Photos] Jani Ylikangas, Juho P. A. Kuosmanen
Producer, Guitar Arto Räisälä, Teemu Hänninen
Vocals Jouni Nikula

Finnish power metal with some ties to more esteemed fare like Sonata Arctica along with a pretty intense release schedule. Three full-length albums in four years to be precise, with The Arrival being the band’s proper studio debut. The flashy sleight-of-hand and riffless wonder that makes Europower so stylistically inert to these ears is only somewhat present here. Just like Dreamtale, Requiem play a more back-to-basics and through that, engaging epithet of melodic power metal. Henrik Klingenberg and Pasi Kauppinen are the two names I recognize most in this lineup, but collective pedigree aside, Requiem were a solid power metal act.

Yes, melody is extensively accentuated, but it rarely devolves into syrupy vapidity. Klingenberg’s keyboards are atmospheric and introspective as opposed to rude and up front. Take “Halls of Eternity” for example, which ties that neat little piano ditty into the roiling velocity of the ascending riff structure; a damn fine and honest-sounding fraternization of extremes. Then in comes Nikula’s emotive, mid-range tenor with that smooth, agreeable asthetic and fine upper-register control. I hear a little Geoff Tate in his melodic warbling and intonation, but strong/distracting accent aside, the vocals are workmanlike and very consistent. The songs themselves are rarely complex or intricate in terms of their composition, with some grimy, rocky riffs forming a foundation supplemented by the symphonic gait of the keyboards. Longer tunes like the aforementioned “Halls of Eternity” and “Masquerade” have their looser, more jammy-sounding deviations, but it doesn’t necessarily come off as a collective lapse in concentration on the band’s part.

Requiem’s more subdued, brooding temperament yields an engaging power metal product, and despite earlier numbers like “Revival” ripping up and down those classically-inspired scales with gusto, the album plateaus around the mid-way points and drifts into more introspective yarn-spinning instead of galloping away at the expense of the rhythm section’s efficacy. Some sections of “Broken Alliance” sound downright upbeat and triumphant, riding that simple guitar/synth melody into oblivion; and for damn good reason. Nikula croons away as the guitarists crank out functional rollicking licks. In many ways it reminds me of Dark Moor, Revoltons, and other Italian power metal bands of that ilk.

The Arrival is more than decent for a debut, and the band did indeed build upon the bedrock set here. For whatever reason it wasn’t meant to last, but Requiem has three albums worth their weight in measured power metal bombast. A few classical scale runs, ambient keys with some acoustic piano padding, and a bevy of fast-paced thrusting riffs; that’s a pretty dependable formula if not overstretched, and this band is a testament to that statement. A solid output by respected musicians.

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