Evening Star - Evening Star (demo)
Self Financed
Dark Power Metal
4 songs (21'21)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Ben
Surprise of the month

You know, this is two weeks in a row where I have received self-financed demos from upcoming bands and have been blown away by them. Part of this is because lately, this week especially, I have grown a bit tired listening to regular standard Power Metal and have been busting out with some cool Progressive discs and A LOT of Virgin Steele. When I received Evening Star it was like a breath of fresh air and this demo dominated my stereo for the better part of five days, it was all I listened to.

Evening Star are a Dark Power Metal band based out of Costa Rica and they play a style in the vein of Enlighten the Darkness / Bleed era Angel Dust, and mix it with a touch of Evergrey and throw in some refreshing sounding Power Metal riffs. As is obvious by the above mentioned band references these guys don’t play a “happy” style of Power Metal yet songs like Labyrinth of Fears still have a very positive aggression to them. There are many dark sounding passages as well with some beautiful piano work that is just incredible. In fact, it seems that there are several moments where the keys are in the forefront more than the guitars on a regular basis but that’s fine by me.

While I was listening to this I had to keep telling myself that this was a demo not a finished album. The production is crystal clear, its about three times better than some bands that put out albums on established labels today so that right there is a good indication of their professionalism. The first song here, Labyrinth of Fears, is the one that got me and has the highest probability of getting others hooked as well. Starting off with a great intro riff that is then laced by keys it proceeds to segue into a fast, uptempo, positive sounding song. What about the vocals you ask? Well, Suandher Marin delivers a passionate performance with an impressive rich timbre without delving into stratospheric high-note land and at times does a rough and aggressive style as well to accentuate certain phrases. The use of layered vocals in the chorus’ also help to create atmosphere throughout the songs. The dark overtones are in full effect on the second track, The Calling. A more midpaced, driving heavy song there is a sense of foreboding throughout it until the great chorus. The “touch of Evergrey” comparisons come into place here especially with the keyboard solo, it just reminds me of them somehow. A killer guitar solo is also performed by Francisco Aguiliar who is also the main songwriter. Well placed piano notes in the final bridge bring to mind The One You Are because of the fact that both songs use sparse piano notes but they are placed so perfectly that to take them away would lessen the songs greatness. Turn of the Tide is a piano driven ballad with only the keys and Saundher’s voice. For a simple song like this, Turn of the Tide is rightfully awesome because it is dripping with feeling, with emotion, and the last couple of minutes where it is just Pablo in the piano I am in awe, just beautiful. The final track is also the band moniker, Evening Star and is surprisingly an instrumental. At first it is a midtempo type of song before another cool piano scale gives way to Francisco shredding away on his guitar. While I prefer vocals in songs this is still a very competent instrumental that doesn’t get skipped over.

I can honestly say that I find nothing wrong or anything that is in dire need of improvement on Evening Star at all. The musicians involved are highly professional, talented, and have a flair for great song arrangement which makes all the difference in the world. Guitars are exciting without being too show-offy, the rhythm section is tight and concise, no slip ups or boring predictable drum patterns over and over, the keyboards are some of the best I’ve heard this side of Sonata Arctica (not in the same style just the level of talent and quality) and a vocalist that delivers exactly what you want to hear. Evening Star has an extremely bright and rewarding future ahead of them and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Killing Songs :
Labyrinth of Fears, The Calling, and Turn of the Tide
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