Aina - Days Of Rising Doom
Days Of Rising Doom is a massive piece to chunk ones teeth
in, it is an album filled with power-metal extravaganza that can easily
be summoned with one single word: perfection.
If you want to simplify things you can say that the music
is power-metal but that wouldn't do the album justice, even if the foundations
comes from that genre this one holds so much more.
The second mastermind is Amanda Somerville that has created the whole story that takes place in the land of Aina. The story is basically a classic theme based around the battle between good and bad that takes place in a fantasy world newly created. But what makes this one more truthful and believable than many other fantasy stories is that in likeness with Tolkien, Amanda Somerville has create a new language in order to bring more depth to her new born world, the language Ainae. And this actually adds another dimension to this already great album.
To mention all of the artists on this album would take up way too much space so I leave that up to you to find out for yourselves and satisfies with those that gets mentioned here. Most of the those appearing are vocalists but there are also many artists that contributes with some great performances with their instruments as well, Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) and Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot) just to mention a few.
For me the return of Thomas Rettke (Heavens Gate) is the happiest moments on this album, he has a really great voice and the tracks Naschtok Is Born and The Beast Within brings me back more than ten years in time, to when Heavens Gate where one of the best bands around for me. Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Supared), another great vocalist that is always a pleasure to hear, even if he only appears in slower ballad-like songs his voice is by far one of the best in metal history according to me. Glenn Hughes (ex-Deep Purple, ex-Black Sabbath, Phenomena, John Norum) is perhaps not what you could expect to show up here in this type of music, but damn can that man sing. When he is lashing out in Rebellion I cant help but to think back on Phenomena, and that is another thing that the minds behind Aina has succeeded extremely well with, the parts that the different vocalist sings seems to be perfectly written specifically for them, it just comes out so naturally.
There is not a weak track to find here, all fills it purpose from the slow ones like Rape Of Oria with the angelic voice of Candice Knight (Blackmore's Night) to the faster ones like Flight Of Torek with Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia). With different reoccurring themes in the music it all holds together as it feels well balanced between fast and aggressive as well as those with a slower pace with really tasteful orchestral arrangements that surrounds the music. One of the highlights is the mighty and powerful Oriana's Wrath where Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot), Sass Jordan and Thomas Rettke all clashes together into a dramatic episode of the story just before it all is about to come to an end, the chorus in this one just makes the adrenaline to start to rush.
I would have been happy and completely satisfied with just the first disc, but now I get two discs more to go through. Disc II contains single and alternative versions of songs from the first album, perhaps not that exciting but it gives the whole thing a sense of completion. There is also two versions of The Story Of Aina where one is simply a beautiful orchestrated version with classical music whilst the other version contains the story about Aina narrated so it is just to close ones eyes, lean back and listen to the saga of a land in another world far away.
The third disc is a DVD that besides a computer animated video of The Beast Within holds a small documentary with The Making Of Aina and that one is what is interesting with this disc. Not only do you get two discs with music you also get an short in-depth look on how the recordings were done, this is like Christmas for a metal-maniac like me.
Altogether Days Of Rising Doom comes in a booklet that is more like a book that gives you real value for your money. Beautifully illustrated complete with the story, lyrics, info around the project, this one has it all. The only thing one could hold against this album is that all of its guest doesn't get enough of room, there are some I would have liked to hear more from, Andre Matos (ex-Angra, Shaman) for instance, but then they would have to make another three albums with music for this to happen and you cant get always get all you want.
Aina came in late of 2003 but just in time to become my choice for album of the year, this is nothing but a masterpiece.