For those of you who haven’t come across Qantice before this, they are a symphonic power metal band, and this is their third album. Before I go any further I ought to mention the musicians (excluding the numerous guests). They comprise David Åkesson (lead and backing vocals, trumpet), Tony Beaufils (guitars, banjo, bouzouki, synths and orchestration), Alexandra Laya (violin), Christine Lanusse (bass) and Aurélien Joucla (drums). Now let’s just let that sink in for a minute. I understand a violin being in a metal band, given that symphonic bands tend to use synthesised strings I’m a little surprised we don’t see more, but trumpet, and banjo! As is normal for me, I played this album without looking at the press release, so when I heard a banjo making a very prominent entrance during a guitar solo, I was somewhat stunned. That it also made perfect musical sense for what was going on was also something of a surprise.

This is a band who are trying to make their own presence felt, and are not yet another Nightwish clone, and have more than a smidgen of power metal about what they are playing as well. The arrangements are complex and layered, while in David Åkesson (Aldaria, Vivaldi Metal Project, Six Foot Six, ex Moonlight Agony) they have an incredible singer, and with an orchestra and metallic outfit behind him he needs to be. The album itself is a slow grower, as the songs aren’t as immediate as they could be, but those who can imagine Savatage being taken into symphonic extremes will find a great deal in here to enjoy.

Rating: 8/10


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