Transcendence - _Eternal Stream_
(Gaia Disk, 1997)
by: Paul Schwarz (8 out of 10)
For me this is an unusual occurrence. Usually I don't like albums with "nice" voices, not on principle, just by chance and personal taste. In this respect, _Eternal Stream_, the first in an epic trilogy, is special. To explain this band's musical direction, however, is not as hard as the press release would suggest. They are following similar lines to what music I have heard of other projects also involving female vocalists (e.g. The 3rd and the Mortal, Storm and The Gathering). There is a lot of very talented singing from Sebrina Lipari, and also from male vocalist Philippe Coupal, and like the above mentioned bands the singing meshes with the music and doesn't sound forced. What is more surprising than the mixture of keyboards, acoustics and female vocals is how "metal" Transcendence are. On much of the album the guitars and drums contain themselves, but then they burst out from the background to prove that Transcendence can handle dynamics. "Pawn of Prophecy"'s solo sounds like Iron Maiden, and the use of double bass drumming, which punctuates many parts of the album, is both appropriate and diversifying. This band push the tired gothic/folk metal sound just that bit further, and the result is truly refreshing.

(article published 17/11/1997)

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