Written by: Kev Rowland
I must confess to not knowing many bands from Belarus, but am pleased that Pride & Joy have picked up on Alcyona from Minsk, as they are quite a find. Formed in 2012, the band originally comprised just Natalia Malei (keyboards) and Evgeniy Malei (guitars), but Olga Terentyeva joined the duo in April 2016 as lead singer, with the line-up finally completed in August 2017 with drummer Anatoly Afanasenok Nikolai Sidorevich also joining on guitars. This is symphonic metal, with incredibly strong melodies and hard riffs, with great vocals. Yes, we have come across plenty of female fronted bands of this ilk in the last 20 years with Nightwish opening the floodgates for others (that Legend were there proving their worth and inspiring Nightwish seems to have conveniently forgotten over the years), and this will immediately strike a chord with fans of Epica, Delain and Without Temptation for example.
But, what makes this so interesting for me is that they have approached the music as symphonic metal from the start, no playing with folk tendencies or the like, just keyboards sounding like strings, two hard riffing guitars, a rhythm section that keep it nailed down, and a great soprano singer who knows when to sing in a more classical bent, and when to hit it like a rocker. The result is one of the more interesting albums to come out of the symphonic area in recent years, as they combine all this with strong songs, all performed in English, and I know that we are going to be hearing quite a lot about these guys. This doesn’t come across as a debut album at all. Well worth investigating.
Enchantment // Dreamroad // The Kingdom of Might // Sacred Fire // Osceola // Memories in the Vessel // The Lost Valley // Circle of Life // The Kings of Show // My Spring (Моя Весна)