Whyzdom - From The Brink Of Infinity
Ascendance Records
Symphonic Metal
12 songs (69:00)
Release year: 2009
Whyzdom, Ascendance Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Hailing from France, Whyzdom has seemingly accumulated a good amount of exposure in its short existence. “Best French Band”-titles and festival appearances from around France to the 2009 Metal Female Voices Festival have culminated in the release of their debut album, From The Brink Of Infinity.

For those expecting grandiose sympho-metal with gothic and classical influences will not be surprised but quite possibly pleased. The choirs are impressive, the orchestrations not too cheesy and the band inside the maelstrom of bombastic sounds plays tightly with the quality production backing everything up. Main vocalist Telya Melane pulls off the higher-tone operatic style very well (I’m not well-versed in these Italian terms but I’m guessing she’s a mezzosoprano) and can pull off the more “down-to-earth” voices too. Whenever she goes for a tougher “rock”-type voice there’s some force missing but it isn’t too bad, especially when compared to the occasional male growls, which really aren’t good. Let’s call them hoarse whispers/snarls instead of growls.

The song material, as some may expect, is going all over the place. The Witness opens the album very nicely with an epic metal swinger, but the momentum is lost somewhat with the more straight-forward The Train. At this admittedly early point there’s a vibe that scaling down the symphonics aren’t doing the album favours. Everlasting Child throws in middle-eastern melodies and ups the grandiose layers again. The Power And The Glory starts off with some awkward chugging riffage that really doesn’t sit well on this album, but the song is saved in the end by some great vocal melodies. For once a short “interlude song” impresses me, as the instrumental-with-choirs -slice that is Freedom pleases the ear very much.

Escaping The Ghosts Of Reality brings back the groove element but is promptly squashed by Atlantis, probably my favourite on this album. The fast guitar riffs and double bass-runs make this the best cut for some head-spinning, unless the slight tempo-change-jabs throw you off your game. The Old Man In The Park does quite well as a ballad driven by piano and very subtle orchestrations. The two-part Daughter Of The Night-suite reaches into metallic movie score-territory very nicely but then the subpar male vocals bring it down a notch. The record closes with On The Wings Of Time, a melancholic mid-tempo chugger that mainly showcases Melane’s voice. The bagpipes at the end of the song made me hope for more of such Celtic flavours.

Overall, From The Brink Of Infinity is a highly ambitious offering that is in need of a more unified musical vision. Although the performers do a good technical job throughout, the different elements don’t always gel seamlessly. For those looking into the abundant crowd of similar bombastic bands for comparisons, I guess Whyzdom is a lot like Epica, just with a slightly less skilled female vocalist, a considerably less skilled male grunter. Time should reveal interesting things because this band has definite potential and more devoted fans of this style of metal should find plenty to enjoy on this album already.

Killing Songs :
The Witness, Freedom, Atlantis & Daughter Of The Night Parts I and II
Aleksie quoted 70 / 100
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