Soul's Mirror - Soul's Mirror
Power Metal
5 songs (24:33)
Release year: 2008
Soul's Mirror
Reviewed by Goat

As much as we young-uns may good-heartedly mock the older Metalhead, that class of people that can say they were there for Maiden’s first US tour, can describe their reaction the day that Kill ‘Em All came out, remember a time when it was all new, Kerrang! was worth reading, and when people didn’t giggle if you said you liked Ozzy – secretly, we’re jealous. The first I heard of the Metal world, the first indication I got that there might be music heavier than whatever the radio fluff was at the time, was Evanescence. I know, it’s dreadful. Compared to these people, the likes of me are pathetic. They were there at the start, helped to get the Metal boulder rolling down the music hill – the best we newcomers can do is that we got out of the way! Metal circa 2008 is alive, well, and flourishing, and the ones that planted the seeds deserve more respect from the community than being mocked because they don’t ‘get’ Meshuggah, or because they’re against online piracy, or because they think of a crappy band from Newcastle, England when they hear the words ‘Black’ and ‘Metal’. As many odd looks as we get nowadays when we say we enjoy guitar solos and frantic caterwauling, that’s nothing compared to what these heroes faced in the 80’s when Metal was truly rebellious.

I mention this now, here in the review of a Power Metal demo rather than, say, the new Metallica, because sometimes we’re given a glimpse of what it was like for the elder generation. We’re granted the power to see how they reacted when coming across those early arbiters of the Metal way, and as much of an experience as it is to discover Metal, how much more incredible it must have been to be there when it first happened! Soul’s Mirror, a young Swiss band on their debut release, clearly love the music they make, so much so that it’s possible to imagine that this is happening twenty-five years ago and you’re hearing one of the first ‘proper’ Metal bands, caught up in their love and enthusiasm. Fortunately for Soul’s Mirror they have technical skill as well, and whilst it’s easy to pick out their influences from the usual Power Metal pool – Maiden, Edguy, a touch of Dream Theater – the band has made these sounds their own rather than mimicked them.

After a brief intro (better than most manage) first song proper We Await The Passage kicks off, melodic soloing mixing with a melody so well-written that the song feels familiar from the first listen. This is fairly pure Power Metal, with just enough of a hint of Prog in the songwriting to give Soul’s Mirror an edge. If there’s a weakness, it’s in the form of vocalist Stefano, who audibly struggles at times. Having said that, he does have one of the most individual voices I’ve heard in Power Metal, and it makes for an entertaining listen if nothing else. Following songs Judgement Day and The Legend Of The Sand Castle continue in much the same fashion, with a subtle epic note. Whilst there is room for improvement, there’s little that won’t come automatically, and a full length of this material would be great were the vocalist to improve.

Listening to some of the rubbish that has somehow gained its creators label backing, it’s hard not to foresee Soul’s Mirror going far in a Power Metal scene as stagnant as it currently is. As it stands, there are the big ‘name’ bands, and there are their legions of clones – Soul’s Mirror may not have the big name at the moment, but they are far from being a clone. More, please.

Killing Songs :
We Await The Passage, Judgement Day, The Legend Of The Sand Castle, Soul’s Mirror
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