Review By Anthony Nicastro
Straight out of the Netherlands, comes the heavy and Celtic EP, Ethereal Storms from the band Solarcycles. This band showcases a blend of Celtic, symphonic, and orchestrate songs which feel as if they are telling a story of a journey.
Opening track, “Hold Onto The Sun” is an instrumental piece, with an accompanying haunting voice by singer, Sascha van der Meer. This calm feel gives the listener a false sense of security (in a good way) as to what is about to come for the rest of the EP.
“Setting Sun” starts out with a brief violin melody over a finger picking guitar before all hell breaks loose with dueling guitars kicking in. A heavy and chugging riff backs and supports a vocal line that brings back memories of the band, Lacuna Coil.
“Seven Spheres” has a beautiful intro, as if laying down in a garden and watching the movie, ‘Braveheart’ or ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ before kicking into full gear. A melodically tight rhythm interweaves and underlines the haunting voice. Approximately two thirds through the song, it takes an even heavier direction with the drums taking the forefront with clear and concise heavy double bass pumping through, while a blazing guitar solo rips through the ears of the listener before coming back into the last verse.
“Blood Moon,” right out of the gate, feels as if I’m stepping back in time, to a time of “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi, more specifically, “Spring.” This song is the first on the EP to features galloping triplets, which only broadens their technical skill. The chorus is extremely catchy (as the river…..), technically proficient guitar solo, with accompanying dive bombs and harmonies, before settling back into a calm, serene outro.
“Clouded Stars” is the closing track and in my opinion, is the standout track. Feeling as if it enters where “Blood Moon” leaves off, the calm gives way to a polyphonic driving guitar and drum line that could give anyone within earshot heart palpitations. This song features a growling vocal line during the chorus that feels inspired by bands such as Opeth and Children of Bodem. The song bookends with the intro and the journey is over.
In conclusion, this album feels as if belongs on a movie soundtrack and overlooking the top of a mountain and gazing down below. This was quite the journey and I can’t wait for the next one to begin.
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