Coming across REVONTULET has actually been the first time in a while since I had last taken an interested listening to most of the Symphonic Metal I know and love. Officially a two-piece band from Russia, coming out of shaky line-up changes, the core members have pounded out an elegant piece of art; it transcends the term Metal and, like a Symphonic band should, they are proud to bring their symphonic influences to the forefront of the band's sound. Many a band may be happy with making an album with a series of rock and metal riffs with a symphonic track laid over it and call it Symphonic Metal. Listen to those, and then take a look at REVONTULET, whom are obviously influenced by predecessors such as EPICA and XANDRIA and NIGHTWISH, who are essentially cornerstones for the genre.

"Blizzard" begins with a lengthy introduction consisting of a spacious string suite that introduces the marvelous voice of Alexandra who is able to effortlessly shift between operatic soprano and powerful mid-range belts. Her voice, and the sound of the symphonic arrangements strongly remind me of EPICA, while the style and construction of the riffs are more reminiscent of SERENITY, bringing a strong, Power Metal vibe to the music. "Suomi" is the album's token acoustic track, but sets itself apart from the stereotype as "that one acoustic song on the album" with a much more complex timbre and creative instrumentation. Never in a very long time had I felt so much sheer power in an acoustic track; easily one of my favorite tracks on the record.

"Hear Me" is the end track of the album and is also a whopping 15 minutes long, and is expertly crafted. The first 5 minutes of the track builds a foundation with a combination of folk themes, soaring and beautiful symphonic passages with authentic-sounding string sections and heavy, metal riffage. The track then takes on a much stronger NIGHTWISH tone, shifting away from the more fantastical SERENITY sound; however at this point I am unable to compare the band to anything else I know, because it simply escapes my expectations and cascades into a playing field of its own, with more complex orchestral arrangements than I believe I have ever heard. It is as if the electric instruments are there to remind me that I'm still listening to a metal band; regardless, both realms of sound adequately complement each other.

To put it bluntly, I had essentially stopped listening to symphonic metal because I had grown tired of bands sounding like NIGHTWISH and EPICA, whom have already been thrashed on my audio mediums for a long time. But then I come across an extraordinary, new band like REVONTULET and my interest in the genre is properly reignited.


10/10 - Daniel Fox, Metal Temple