I have heard the name METALWINGS pop up over the past few years but never actually sat down to listen to them until their latest release A Whole New Land. It is most certainly one of the more intriguing albums I have come across and it makes me curious to find out more. Let me explain.
It gets off to a promising start with the title track. When listening to this, Arabian Nights from Disney’s Aladdin comes to mind in terms of melodies and the epic atmosphere it gives off. If you add a pinch of NIGHTWISH’s Decades In The Sun, this should give you a rough idea on what the song sounds like
One of the most notable things about A Whole New Land is you never know what’s coming around the corner. There is the perfect balance of keeping us on our toes and not including too much so we’re not left feeling baffled. Even in the tracks where you think you know what you’re getting, you are still caught off guard by subtle changes that change things up completely.
Like A Willow Without Tears has a beautiful melody and makes me think of a willow tree in the middle of a lake. This track wouldn’t be out of place on one of WITHIN TEMPTATION’s earlier albums, The Silent Force comes to mind. The contrast between the delicate verses to the powerful choruses work really well here.
I See Your Power and Silence were interesting tracks to me as you weren’t quite sure what was coming around the corner. I wonder if these tracks was placed here to make sure the listener was still paying attention and letting them to stay vigilant. Well, it worked here. Each of these tracks contained parts that would fit perfectly in a Tim Burton film, the gothic yet whimsical feel is emulated beautifully.
Still Believe In Us is a beautiful ballad that allows to put our guards down for a few minutes. Given how the album is for the majority of the time, you still stay vigilant as you feel something could pounce on you at any moment. This would be the part of the quest where the band of warriors are sitting around a campfire reflecting on the adventure so far. Often it’s the smallest things that can have the biggest impact; in the case of this track, there is a small change in the sound towards the end that turns the tone from calm to sinister within seconds.
Given what the track is called, the unexpected twists and turns in Passengers Between The Rails Of Life work really well here. Like life, the track is full of unforeseen events that either appear abruptly or we know something is coming but we don’t know for sure what it is. The lyric “Like this game of chess, it’s your turn to play ahead” sums it up perfectly.
Even until album closer Milo Mo Libe, METALWINGS keep the listeners on their toes. Logically you know it’s one last ballad but you are still on your guard waiting for that unexpected twist.
It took me a little while to see the appeal of the album, it didn’t grab my attention straight away, but I am glad I gave it another try. For me, A Whole New Land is a grower and it’s an interesting piece of art that can be admired from every angle. It also shows METALWINGS are ones to look out for. Recommended if you like WITHIN TEMPATION, LEAVES’ EYES and NIGHTWISH.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
A Whole New Land is out now.
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