Reign In Metal
Zodiac : Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell
|Starbreeze - N7 (2013) Album Review|| |
Starbreeze - N7 (2013)
Self-Released -- Running Time 47:28
I found out about the Starbreeze project and 'N7' album through 'Nikita Merzlyakov' (keyboard maestro and principle member of excellent Russian power metal band Hammerforce). As Nikita also sings on this album, as well as arranging much of the music and handling mixing and mastering duties at his home studio, I was very interested to find out all about it and obviously give it a listen!
Starbreeze is the brainchild of St. Petersburg based multi-instrumentalist 'Sergey Fomichev' and the 'N7' album has a rather unique concept in that the lyrics of the songs are based around the plot of the original 'Mass Effect' trilogy of games. Now I'm not a huge gamer, and you don't need to be to listen to this album, but I do have a deep love for science-fiction and fantasy books and films and I also absolutely adore classical music and power metal! Put all of these things together and you have Starbreeze and 'N7' is a complete breath of fresh air!
Firstly Sergey's songs, guitar and bass work are fantastic. Starbreeze is without a doubt metal, although I can hear some Ultravox influences as well, but he fully understands what makes a fantastic and thoroughly listenable classical composition. Couple that with his also fantastic keyboard skills and a sumptuous sound arrives out of your speakers. Nikita also has an excellent singing voice and even though it is of course accented it never overpowers the music. There are six tracks on 'N7' but it has to be listened to as one continuous piece of music to fully appreciate its quality. Having said that I do have a favourite piece and that is the nineteen minute epic 'Spectre Strikes Back'. It's absolutely stunning and takes me through a myriad of emotions. At their heaviest Starbreeze sound a little like Rhapsody ,Orden Ogan or similar but what's important to remember is that this doesn't come across as a Power or Symphonic Metal album with Classical overtones. To my ears it's a Classical album with added Metal, and I think if you were to take away some of the powerful drumming and singing this could easily be listened to as a modern classical piece and it would probably set the classical world alight!
As mentioned, I'm not deeply familiar with the games this album is based on but the lyrics (written by Sergey's brother 'Nikolay Fomichev' and 'Evgeny Zarudnev') flow extremely well with the music. I commented in a another recent review that if an album takes me on a visual journey then it's a winner. Starbreeze take me to that place and more. Sergey has also done all the artwork for the album and it perfectly expresses how I feel when listening to his music.
'N7' is an extremely underrated body of work, in fact I haven't seen one other review of it which is an absolute travesty. I'll now make it even more tempting for you. Go to the Starbreeze Bandcamp link and you can download the entire album for FREE! If you love power, symphonic, progressive or classical music then there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever not to get a copy of this. This has obviously been a labour of love for everyone involved and It's far too good to go unnoticed any longer!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley