Here I am with the weekly time-travel in “Throwback Thursday”! Today’s subject is the second album by the Japanese power metal band MinstreliX, named Reflections and released on 3rd March 2009. This release has a fundamental role, since it encloses the true nature of this band and it is the last work made with the American singer Lola. And now… let’s review!
-Spiritus Mundi: a powerful guitar opens the album in a riding rhythm and hard vocals, with a peculiar lyrical touch, for a track mainly driven by the guitar playing, building up a strong and virtuous metal theme, with more solemn vocals throughout the way. —> 9/10
-Lost Sanctuary: a gothic melody opens this song, with the powerful guitar which suddenly joins the fast and beating theme, once again characterized by a strong virtuosism; Lola’s voice is vigorous and shows a charismatic attitude in herself, with some extreme hints here and there. —> 9/10
-Thirst For: released in the first single, this song goes on with an energetic guitar with limpid tones, in a well balanced and great rhythm; the virtuosism is still present in the sound and vocals are clear, in an articulated and convincing track. —> 9/10
-Farewell: a slower and warmer guitar introduces the song, with a rustic and fascinating introductive melody; then the sound becomes stronger and more solemn, with the virtuous formula which never fails and decise vocals. —> 9.5/10
-Maria: a sumptuous violin introduces the song, alternating with the fierce guitar, creating a suggestive harmony between light and heavy; the guitar literally domains the theme, with powerful and charismatic vocals which sustain perfectly the whole song. —> 9.5/10
-Prelude: a short interlude, introduced by a soft gothic melody, which surely links to the next song.
-Sky Flame: this song is opened by a guitar with fast and incisive touches; the vocals are standard (apart from the acutes and vocalisms in the finale), surrounded by a metal sound well driven by drums and the guitar, with powerful turns and a balanced structure, for a well done song. —> 9/10
-Light Casts a Shadow (2009 ver.): the album ends with a new take of the song released in the second single three years earlier, started by a fast drumming and unexpected aggressive screamos, kicking off a pounding and untypical sound for the band itself, starting from a melodic death metal style and arriving to their formular power metal sound, a change represented above all by the vocals, really adaptable, for an unpredictable ending track. —> 9/10
Final Vote —> 9/10
When we have to talk about the power metal scene in Japan, the only relevant names that comes in mind are Galneryus and before them Concerto Moon, which created the pillars of the scene itself in the country. But few people recognize the existence of more and more bands of the genre, as only few of them could really catch some attention. MinstreliX achieved to be relevant, especially for the presence of a Western singer, and with Reflections they showed that they are not a conventional metal band, even thanks to an unique unpredictability and a fascinating experimentation, making each song different. The band continued to develop and to reinvent itself in the following years, with the arrival of the famous Japanese singer Leo Figaro, who brought more relevance to their sound, as we got to listen so far. And after three years, they come back with a new release, the single Eternal Zero, come out last Wednesday, continuing to be awesome. An album for who needs to know the origins of MinstreliX or simply is looking for a great Japanese power metal band.
That’s all folks! See you on Sunday for the week-end special in “Focusing on”!