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Ring Of Fire - Battle Of Leningrad

Published January 20 2014

=Staff's pick

Mother Russia
They're Calling Your Name
Land Of Frozen Tears
Where Angels Play
Battle Of Leningrad
No Way Out*
Our World

Genre Neoclassic Melodic Metal
Mark Boals
Tracks 10
Tony MacAlpine
Running time 52 Min.
Label Frontiers Records
Timo Tolkki
Release 24 January 2014
Jami Huovinen
Country USA
Vitalij Kuprij
Producer ---
Similar artists ---

Mark Boals, Tony MacAlpine and Vitalij Kuprij have teamed up again after nine years for a fourth Ring Of Fire release, which lyrically covers an episode in Russia during World War II. Helping out to complete the recording line-up this time are none other than Finnish bass player and one of neoclassical metal's founders Timo Tolkki, who runs several projects nowadays, and also his fellow countryman Jami Huovinen, placed behind the kit.

I can't say that I set my joy free and grow fond of this new release and this is decidedly not my thing. As an entirety, I don't find great peace to what's offered. In my opinion, there's a lack of beautiful rhythms too many times and a lot of the instrument's sounds eject in a tapping tempo. The proper melodies are constantly disrupted by things that don't match and there are too much and too loud keyboards that make it feel somewhat artificial. The guitar play is absolutely no way near poor, yet the actual tones occasionally bother me somehow as well.

This is a little disappointing, because the band leaves a wide range of openings where they weave ways to completion with delightful pieces. The total production is in my ears somewhat vapid. The dynamics are present, yet the lack of power is distinct and I miss determined strength. Most songs through the record land in a place of nothingness and no matter how many times I listen to it, I am stuck all the time thinking of the plays I don't find enjoyable.

The record is varied and well played and Boal's voice stands the test of time, but it helps very little when I don't find the song material appealing and strong enough. There are of course better stuff existing as well. Firewind is a pleasant semi-ballad and the speedier No Way Out has specific moments with its more direct appearance. My first choice is however the final song, Rain, where the up-tempo parts are stunning and I wish there were more things similar to this. This triple helps Battle Of Leningrad to find its way to 4 chalices, but keep in mind, that's also after I've listened to it numerous times.








4 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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