Eternal Flight - Under The Sign Of Will
Nightmare Records
Progressive Power Metal
10 songs (56'28)
Release year: 2007
Eternal Flight, Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Marty
Under The Sign Of Will is the second album from this French power metal band and the follow-up to their debut album Positive Rage. Lead vocalist Gerard Fois previously fronted the band Dream Child, releasing two albums before moving on to Eternal Flight. This new album marks Eternal Flight's debut release for the Nightmare Records label. They offer the listener a surprisingly unique brand of progressive power metal with influences from bands like Fates Warning, Queensryche and Symphony X with themes of fate, good vs evil and a somewhat apocalyptic viewpoint of what the future holds.

Unlike many others in the prog metal genre, guitarist Christophe Offredi prefers to use standard tuning on his guitar and not the de-tuned or "drop D" sound that is the preference for many guitarists these days. The result is a piece of work with a classic metal type of guitar sound very reminiscent of older Judas Priest (Stained Class, Hell Bent For Leather) with a little of the speed and double-bass fuelled flurry of the Painkiller album. The overall sound of Eternal Flight can be described as a darker and moodier progressive metal with elements of power metal such as speedy riff driven segments and thundering heavy double-bass driven rhythms, all mixed in with dramatic tempo changes, atmospheric passages and a healthy keyboard presence. The thundering heavy power metal elements to this band's sound can be heard right from the opening track Edge Of Fire. The power metal elements continue on Next Ones On The List with a mix of speedy tempos accented by keyboards and some tasteful lead guitar interludes as well as The Curse and Miracle Man with The Curse having more atmospheric Queensryche qualities. Lead vocalist Gerard Fois sings with a lot of emotion but often tends to be a little too overdramatic and is often straining his voice to keep on key. He combines the spacey Warrel Dane style (Nevermore) with high-pitched King Diamond like falsettos yet rarely delivers the solid all round vocal performance to match the musicianship and quality of this band's music. Dark Society has more of a neo-classical Adagio edge with thundering heaviness yet once again, the Achilles heel is with the substandard vocal melodies. Forgotten Side sees a better vocal performance with it's mid tempo Queensryche style and a much less strained vocal by Gerard. Friends, a track that begins with acoustic guitar and voice before the heavier elements kick in, also features better vocals by Gerard in a track that has an interesting and classic metal arrangement with some Judas Priest style guitar interludes by the capable hands (and fingers) of guitarist Christophe Offredi. Another solid track is the album closer Ghost (With A Different Soul). This one's a heavy atmospheric track with some strong and emotional Geoff Tate like vocals.

I like the classic progressive power metal metal sound of this band and musically, they have created a very diverse album that is strong in almost all areas. Some of the instrumental passages even have more of a Symphony X vibe to them. Overall, they are really hard to compare to other bands, as although there are some influences and similarities, they are a rather unique sounding band. I would easily score this CD much, much higher if it weren't for the vocals. There's a couple of tracks where Gerard Fois nails the right vocal for the track in question but for the rest of the album, his odd melodic sense is the sole weak point of this band's sound. Far too often, he is off key and strains his voice to the point of being irritating. His voice does take a bit of getting used to and after a few listens, I did become more "accustomed" to it yet there's no denying that this band would be so much better if more attention was paid to getting a much better ( and proper) vocal performance for all their songs. Gerard Fois has the range and strength in his voice to pull it off but if this band is going to make any impact, he needs to realize his strengths and weaknesses in order to properly front this otherwise high quality progressive power metal band.

Killing Songs :
Dark Society, Next One On The List and Ghost (With A Different Soul)
Marty quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Eternal Flight that we have reviewed:
Eternal Flight - Diminished Reality, Elegies And Mysteries reviewed by Cory and quoted 83 / 100
Eternal Flight - Positive Rage reviewed by Alex and quoted 65 / 100
Eternal Flight - Eternal Flight (demo) reviewed by Ben and quoted 52 / 100
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