Sound — 10
This could be one of the best debuts you'll hear this year. A band formed by Scottish musicians, with an English guitarist and a Brazilian vocalist. From the opening orchestral widescreen sound of "Omerta" through to the final piano motif of "Here To Heaven" the album is one joyride, characterised by strong melodies, catchy choruses and wonderful playing. Special mention of Ben Randall whose inventive guitar figures infuse all songs with a youthfulness and precision, a guitar hero in the making.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, the subject matter is influenced by the story of the Knights Templar at the time of the Crusades but the album can be enjoyed on different levels. This is an intelligently written and presented album with stunning artwork. The vocals throughout are top-notch thanks to Gus Monsanto who has previously sung with the bands Revolution Renaissance and Adagio. At times tender, but mostly powerful as befitting much of the music. The bonus tracks (European version) include a stripped down version of the title track and an early version of the first single ("Sky Is Falling Down") whilst the Japanese version has early mixes of two songs "Witches Of November" and "Here To Heaven".
Overall Impression — 10
Amongst the highlights, the first single "Sky Is Falling Down" (check out the video below), a super ballad "Dark Skies Over Babylon" - which will have those lighters lifting skywards - and the riff-driven "Tame The Tempest". Musical references? If you like guitar-driven, highly melodic, hard rock fused with metal and you like bands such as Dokken, Iron Maiden, and even Dream Theater you'll find something (everything?) of interest. And to the band's credit they have come up with an album that repays repeated listens. A quite stunning debut.