Sound — 8
Euphoreon are melodic death metal band, with some symphonic influences and consists of just two musicians. The music is highly melodic, and includes some serious riffing along with numerous melodic leads and a decent amount of piano along with some synth to provide background support to the songs. As was mentioned before the band consists of just two members - Matt Summerville and Eugen Dodenhoeft - and I could be incorrect about this but there is no record label attached to the band, and I believe they are currently unsigned. This is important to keep in mind when listening to the album as the production is good, but certainly not up to par with what a major recording company could do. Not saying it sounds like it was recorded in a garage but the overall sound could be a bit tighter.
As I mentioned before Euphoreon is a melodic death metal band with some fairly heavy symphonic influences. None the less the band maintains a pretty aggressive sound throughout with a sound more like Mors Principium Est than Insomnium. If you don’t know either of those bands then... go forth and listen to them. The guitar playing is very well done, as I said before there are riffs galore on this album with numerous melodic leads intertwined to maintain a seriously entertaining sound. While they do not reinvent the wheel by any means Euphoreon has certainly made an undeniable signature sound on just their first album.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are actually quite impressive, especially given that this was just a solo project. Often times the lyrics are very philosophical and often deal with perseverance and pushing through struggles. "From the Netherworld" tells the tale of a traveler pushing on through various hardships on the way to his ultimate goal of the "Netherworld." While "Road to Redemption" tells a tale of, just what you would expect, redemption, and the struggles of dealing with the guilt of committing a terrible deed. Generally speaking the albums lyrics deal more with inner struggle and pushing through hardships, which is a welcome change from the standard metal lyrics of demons and war.
When it comes to vocals I was fairly impressed by the singer's skills, especially when you consider the band consists of just 2 multi-instrument musicians and no full time singer. While I was impressed I will say that his voice is not anything above and beyond what you would normally find in a melodic death metal band. I suppose Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom would be a decent comparison in terms of vocal range, sort of blending a black metal shriek with a death metal growl - while maintain some level of melody. I would also highlight Mors Principium Est as having relatively similar vocal skills. Long story short, the singing is very well done for the type of music, but ultimately nothing revolutionary.
Overall Impression — 9
So now the final verdict, plain and simple, this is an excellent album start to finish. This is the type of album you will want to listen to in its entirety; given that this was self-produced and recorded you are left with little room for filler songs. Eupohreon come out full force with a multi-layered complex melodic assault, impressive lyrics and decent vocals to create a profound sounding melodic death metal album. Now for the best news of all... this album is available for download, completely free and legally off of Euphoreon's website. If you read my review and gave a few songs a listen on YouTube, the album is 100% worth it. I will add the caveat that these are struggling musicians, and the album is also available on major retailers such as iTunes and Amazon for sale. If you can I would say to buy it to support the band and so that we can hopefully see a follow up album in the near future (fingers crossed). Speaking of the future I will be very excited to see where Euphoreon goes next, hopefully both musicians will continue to pursue this project and release another album. If you enjoy one or two songs I can guarantee you are going to want the entire album as the overall sound and feel of the music stays fairly constant throughout the 45 minute journey. All in all, a terrific album for especially for fans of melodic death metal with some impressive progressive and symphonic influences.