STREAM OF PASSION – Beautiful Warrior (2023)
Out of all the modern progressive sympho / metal bands that have called it quits over the years, STREAM OF PASSION is one we’ve missed the most, simply because their music was fresh, innovative. The group made the bittersweet announcement in 2016 they would be parting ways. It was quite a welcome surprise when, six years later, they announced another chapter for STREAM OF PASSION, not only in the form of a live reunion, but new music as well.
Shows announced sold out quickly, and now here we have STREAM OF PASSION’s new music, a work titled “Beautiful Warrior” to grace our ears.
Among the vast sea of bands that get lumped into the sympho prog metal genre, STREAM OF PASSION has always stood out with its incorporation of elaborated elements, the warm, inviting voice of Marcela Bovio and the more intimate rather than bombastic approach to the sound, utilizing piano and strings to create melody.
It is apparent immediately from opening song and lead single “The Hunter” that the magic is not lost. It’s a stunning, dynamic track that tells the tale of breaking free from a toxic relationship. It succeeds in both feeling fresh while still familiar to fans who have missed the band in the years they have been apart.
If anything, those years have given the band time to reinvigorate and come back stronger than ever.
The sound production of “Beautiful Warrior” is impeccable, giving each instrument a chance to shine. Joost van den Broek, a long-time collaborator of the band who has also worked with EPICA and AYREON to name a few, it’s at the helm of the sound desk.
The lyrics, written by Marcela, also stand out across the entire new recording. Each song tells a unique story, but themes of learning to be vulnerable, finding inner strength and overcoming challenges recur throughout. These concepts are most clear on “The End Is The Beginning”, the track in which the title of the EP can be found in the lyrics.
Even at the lyrically darkest point of the EP with “Chasing A Ghost”, a part-English, part-Spanish song that describes fear and doubt, Marcela chants about perseverance towards the track’s end: “Hold on, my dear / Our time will come / Our wounds will heal / Our time will come”. This song is perhaps the most technically interesting, with an eerie intro, proggy rhythms and a striking guitar solo. The repetition of the words “I know” create a catchy hook for the chorus.
Closer “The Promise” is absolutely beautiful, starting out only with piano and Marcela’s voice. The track gradually builds, adding strings and light percussion before the full band joins in after the second chorus. The backing vocals of the final chorus seem to reference one of the previous songs, which is a nice touch. I’d call this track a standout, but really all five songs here are top-notch.
“Beautiful Warrior” is an excellent new addition to the STREAM OF PASSION discography that should please fans, both old and new alike. It is unclear exactly what the future holds for the band, but whether they choose to continue as STREAM OF PASSION or focus on their own individual projects, I am sure they have more in store either way.
01 – The Hunter
02 – Tonight
03 – Chasing a Ghost
04 – The End is the Beginning
05 – The Promise
Marcela Bovio – Vocals, Songwriting
Johan van Stratum – Bass, Songwriting
Eric Hazebroek – Guitars
Stephan Schultz – Guitars
Jeffrey Revet – Keyboards
Martijn Peters – Drums