BOREALIS – Purgatory (2015)
Canada is not really the first country you think of when it comes to high-class modern melodic metal. This could possibly change a bit now with BOREALIS, from Orangeville, Ontario.
So far this young and talented band may mostly be known to insiders and a smaller but devoted fanbase, but their new (3rd) album “Purgatory” proves that BOREALIS belong to the best bands from the genre to emerge in recent years.
Third time is the charm, they said… I listened Borealis previous albums (2008 and 2011) but although interesting, both did not impress me too much, correct stuff, that’s all.
However, “Purgatory” is a giant step ahead for these guys.
Well, yes… after a few minutes with the blistering opening cut “Past The Veil” it seems obvious that Borealis and it’s prodigy frontman Matt Marinelli are doing a dense impression, high class melodic metal with a broad range soaring vocals under a sharpened sonic design, quite balanced between the virulence of the guitar / drums staccato-alliance and the subtle symphonic motifs in the arrangements.
And now there’s something that makes the difference to me; the keyboards are more prominent than before, adding a large portion of layered orchestration to make Borealis’ naturally bombastic sound even more grandiose.
Also, Mike Briguglio’s guitar lines are phenomenal. The twin attack riffs (with Marinelli) are big and the leads are killer, climbing to the wow factor.
Additionally, the arrangements are more dynamic; the progressive metal has gotten a bump here over the last album. Yet, this is not a hyper-technical leap. There’s more changes in tempo, breakdowns and imaginative twists like in “Place Of Darkness” or “Welcome To Eternity”, but all very natural.
“From The Ashes” contains a duet with female guest vocalist Sarah Dee… yes it’s another glorious step to demonstrate the majesty in the expressive voice of Matt Marinelli, also particularly jaw-dropping in “Rest My Child” and the sublime (and catchy) “Destiny” in a style very similar to Allen / Lande.
Also worth to mention is “The Chosen One”, a pumping rocking number that mixes Jorn solo with Lucassen’s Star One.
Borealis’ rewarding composing method is based on the elegance of the instrumentation but also on the intensity put on the edge of each song, as an example the complementary sequence of the emotive ballad “Darkest Sin” that leads to the optimistic pace of “My Peace” is another clever signal concerning the superiority of Borealis in this overcrowded scene.
“Purgatory” is a killer album from BOREALIS. It’s heavy, yet extremely melodic, and the absolutely monster, pristine & clear production is a golden plus, launching this album to the stratosphere.
If Allen / Lande, Arjen Lucassen projects, Jorn solo, Balance Of Power and all that melodic metal (modern & dynamic) is your thing, you can’t miss “Purgatory”.
Very, Highly Recommended.
01 – Past The Veil
02 – From The Ashes
03 – The Chosen One
04 – Destiny
05 – Darkest Sin
06 – My Peace
07 – Place Of Darkness
08 – Welcome To Eternity
09 – Sacrifice
10 – Rest My Child
11 – Purgatory
12 – Revelation
Matt Marinelli – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Mike Briguglio – Guitars
Sean Werlick – Keyboards
Jamie Smith – Bass
Sean Dowell – Drums
Sarah Dee – Guest Vocals
BUY IT !