Apparition - ‘The Awakening’ (Wormholedeath Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Thursday, 01 February 2018 04:00

Apparition artworkApparition were first formed by David Homer (bass) more than 20 years ago, but are just now coming to my attention with their third all new studio effort. With a mix of orchestral moments, metal, melody, and melancholy, I have mixed emotions on the album, but can see some fans of the genre loving this record. One of the things that has really stood out to me is that I like a lot of the moments in the album but not as many of the songs, as I will try to explain.

 

‘The Awakening’ begins with the title track being a short intro with some building drums, brief classical music, and what sounds like a choir adding some ‘woah’s’ in the distance. This transitions into ‘Hold Back the Night’ with its guitar and drums reminding me of how the ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys’ records by Kiske-era Helloween would spring into life. Fiona Creaby sings the verses with a softer touch that reminds me of Tarja era Nightwish. I should love this combination on paper, but it does not click with me as I am constantly looking for a moment in the song where there would also be more of a Kiske-type vocal from Fiona as well. This sets up a lot of what follows for me and my frustrations. ‘Dames of Darkness’ once again reminds me of ‘Once’ era Nightwish and is a logical choice for a single with a catchy chorus that will stay in your head. My favorite part of the song though is actually the pre-chorus with its beautiful vocal stopping me in my tracks each time I listen to the song. Paul ‘Kull’ Culley (guitar) provides a nice riff in ‘The Other Side’ after its soft first verse that introduces the song.

 

‘Resonance’ begins with the orchestra and transitions to a mid-tempo with some operatic vocals and choir. This middle section of the album has been where my biggest struggle has been as I lose focus and catch my mind drifting. While the production and mix are super clean, I would have loved to hear some more crunch from the guitar at times. I am reminded of ‘The X Factor’ by Iron Maiden, which seemed to be missing that same crunch in the production. ‘The Night An Angel Dies’ and ‘Eternity’ both have a tendency to pass me by on each listen. ‘Home’ recalls ‘Your Turn’ by Helloween in its melody, which is okay with me as that is my favorite Helloween ballad. This song hits all the right notes for me with Fiona causing goosebumps as she hits the notes throughout the song. ‘Break the Chains’ maintains the hot streak for me with some great guitar work by Kull and the quicker tempo. The back and forth from guitar riff to Fiona’s vocal is incredibly well done. The chorus is powerful and once again stays with me after the album is done. These two songs are the highlight of the album for me.

 

 

‘Our Story Lives On’ continues the uptempo pace but leaves me again wanting a more cutting guitar sound throughout the song in the mix where it would pop out more. ‘Twilight’ begins on piano which slows the pace after the last two songs. It seems to close to ‘Home’ on the record in terms of placement but does feature a nice guitar solo that adds some power into the song. ‘As Shadows Play’ begins with Fiona’s vocals having a theatric quality, the song introduces some keyboards and then slowly brings in the drums. By ending the album with two slow songs, they show bravery but largely lose me as the two songs overall don’t grab me.

 

‘The Awakening’ has some moments for me that I really enjoyed, but, as an album, this will likely not be one that generates a lot of plays. If I could have heard this album around the time of ‘Wishmaster,’ I would likely have listened to this a lot more as not many bands were attempting this type of music at the time. I appreciate the fact that there are no ill-conceived male vocals added to the album just for the sake of having them, as I think there is a tendency for that to happen at times in other bands. If you are a big fan of this genre, I think this album will really connect with you for the most part, but, for my taste, it’s more miss than hit.

 

‘The Awakening’ is released tomorrow (2 February). You can get your copy HERE.

 

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