Requiem - The Arrival
Sound Riot Records
Progressive / Neo-Classical Power Metal
9 songs (46:48)
Release year: 2002
Requiem, Sound Riot Records
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month

A few of our readers have been really raving about this band over the last couple of months. The enthusiasm expressed by some of the comments we have gotten prompted us to try to get this CD. It took a while, but we finally got it! Since we appreciate and value the views and opinions our readership, here is our review:

Requiem hail from Finland and originally began as a more Melodic Death/Power Metal type of band. Musical differences lead to the recruitment of new members and a move to a more Progressive Power Metal sound. They entered the studio in mid 2001 to record their first full length album for Soundriot Records after having released 2 separate demo recordings independently in 1999 and 2000. The result is a stunning mix of Progressive Rock, Power Metal, Neo-Classical Metal and even some True Metal elements.

The title track, The Arrival opens the album and is a short orchestrated power metal riff which then rips into Revival, consisting of speedy Helloween style riffs, Dream Theater - like technical wizardry, a mix of bombastic choruses along the likes of Rhapsody, and even some Children Of Bodom Death Metal style vocals. An unusual thing about this track is the fact that there are no vocals until about 2 minutes into it. Vocals are used intermittently throughout and it ends with another 2 minutes of instrumental passages. The arrangements for a lot of the tracks on this album follow a more Progressive Rock style rather than a Heavy Metal style and reminds me of some 70's bands (Saga for one). Broken Alliance, contains some speedy guitar and double bass riffs with lots of vocal layering and has an older Kamelot (Siege Perilous) type of feel to it. Whispers, a more abstract song uses choppy organ sounds and some cool guitar and harpsichord arpeggios and has killer shredding lead guitar. This track and many others show similarities to bands like Symphony X and Shadow Gallery as far as the arrangements and the overall keyboard/guitar blend. The Invisible Touch and Liquid Hours are two of the more classic Power Metal style tracks on this release. The Invisible Touch is a very speedy track with very fast Walls Of Jericho era Helloween style speed riffing and has the big bombastic choruses typical of such bands as Freedom Call or Heavenly with sprinkles of keyboard passages throughout. Liquid Hours has a more True Metal feel to it than most of the other tracks and the deeper vocal style reminds me of Zak Stevens formerly of Savatage. This is certainly one of the heavier tracks on this release and again uses a mix of Power Metal and Death Metal style vocals. Two of the more progressive tracks on this release, Forgotten Path and Halls Of Eternity feature a heavier use of keyboards over other tracks and lots of dramatic and abrupt changes in tempo. Halls Of Eternity also contains some very fast Power Metal parts with a Sonata Arctica - like speed and some excellent harmonized guitar passages. The final track, Masquerade, has a more epic feel to it than others on this release. Nice harmonic and anthemic leads are sprinkled throughout and also contains some overdubbed multi-guitar harmonies much like Brian May used throughout the glory days of Queen in the 70's. The lead guitar phrasing has a Michael Schenker style to it and really adds drama to the overall feel of the song. Vocalist/guitarist Juoni Nikula sings in a much higher range on this track and delivers a great overall performance.

The production is solid on this release with the exception of some of the lead guitar being a bit buried in the mix on a couple of tracks. Overall though, this is a great sounding band and also a very exciting one to listen to. Track after track, you never know what's coming next. Someone could put on 2 different tracks from this album and it would be hard to tell it's the same band. This may be good or bad depending on how you look at it. As a good thing, it shows diversity and that this band is not going to be content to stick to one particular style. On the downside, it also may indicate that this band is still trying to find a unique sound to call their own. I like the dramatic style of the songs and Juoni Nikula has a very versatile voice. He nails the Power Metal style and also does well with a more dark and abstract style. He really knows how to use his voice to suit the overall mood and atmosphere of each track. Most tracks feature a big fat rhythm guitar sound which is very up front in the mix and I absolutely love!! the lead guitar playing throughout this whole album. I can't help but think that this band is destined to someday do a killer concept album all based around a fantasy-like theme. They have the style and talent to pull it off.

All the elements are there for this band to be big someday. They have a great sound, a good versatile vocalist and very talented and technical players. The one thing that will put this band into the big leagues would be another album of this quality but with a little more attention to songwriting and overall arrangements. I'm sure this will come with time and experience. Fans of Power, Progressive, Neo-Classical and True Metal will all find something they'll like on this release. How this band will sound on their next album.......we'll have to wait and see!!

Killing Songs :
Revival, The Invisible Touch, Halls Of Eternity, Liquid Hours and Masquerade
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Requiem that we have reviewed:
Requiem - Requiem Forever reviewed by Ian and quoted 67 / 100
Requiem - Mask Of Damnation reviewed by Marty and quoted 69 / 100
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