Holy Knights - Between Daylight And Pain (2012) - Easy entertainment for European power metal fans - 73% (23/01/13)
Holy Knights is a symphonic power metal band hailing from Palermo, Sicily in Italy. After the band’s debut release, they’ve split up just to reunite recently and release this follow-up ten years after the band’s last sign of life. If one thinks about Italian power metal, bands such as Domine, Labyrinth, Rhapsody of Fire and Vision Divine may come to your mind. This band hits exactly the same nerve with a neoclassical songwriting and a mixture of melodic up tempo tracks and more mid tempo paced pieces with some progressive approaches.
The band certainly doesn't reinvent the genre but that isn't their goal. The record is a little bit too short with only about forty minutes of running time but they do what they can do best. The album is nothing less and nothing more than a diverting and refreshing dose of typical Italian power metal.
As only truly negative point, I must though cite the band’s vocabulary skills. At first contact, it’s not that evident but a look on the booklet reveals many spelling and grammar mistakes in almost each song which is mildly amusing and especially not professional at all. Maybe these guys should think about singing in their mother’s tongue or even in Japanese like they do in the exclusive bonus track “Resolution” which is a cover of the now split up Japanese pop band ROMANTIC MODE. While the song itself is rather ordinary, the Japanese lyrics have their flaws but sound good enough to me to be a better alternative to English texts in general.
In comparison to their genre colleagues, the band doesn’t sound too overloaded. Though there are emotional piano passages and balladesque moments on one side and more progressive passages with a few surprisng moments in form of electronic music, the band never forgets what the crowd likes and expects. The melodic guitar play with a few well done solos, the really fast but perfectly fitting drums and some energizing high pitched vocals domiate all eigth songs. Fortunately, the band put no overlong ballad or senseless instrumental tracks on the record. Each one of the eight songs is actually quite appealing to me. As highlights I would cite the opener and the closer. “Mistery” (sic!) is a fast feel good song with a very catchy chorus and great melodies. “The Turning To The Madness” has some well done classical orchestrations and builds up an epic cinematic atmosphere for a great ending.
Any fan of Italian Power Metal in the key of Thy Majestie for example should grab this entertaining release. Symphonic Metal fans should also like this but would probably prefer more courageous bands such as Therion. Progressive metal maniacs might find this record too commercial after all and would rather head for Dream Theater and similar bands. This release might feel okay for many metal fans but only stunning to a handful of them. This record offers nothing new at all but it's fairly better than many recently released overambitious projects from similar bands. If I had the choice between the last records of DragonForce, Edguy, Gamma Ray and this one, my vote would go out for Holy Knights. Anyway, the best European power metal release of the year 2012 is probably the debut release of Unisonic even if it is more rock than metal at some points. From time to time, I really enjoy this fun ride of an album in between my many more progressive and avant-garde records I usually listen to and if you feel for something light-hearted but entertaining, don't miss this release out.« Holy Knights - Between Daylight And Pain (2012) (7,5/10)44. Une chronique en deux parties sur ce qui a touché notre monde en 2012 (2) »
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