For their second album and label debut on Lion Music, Canada's Borealis has left nothing to chance and pulled out all the stops. Fall From Grace is uncompromising, dare I say, old school, power metal. Heavy and intense, Borealis is relentless from the gate, but in a very good way. They're forceful yet still maintain developed melodic lines and some compositional intrigue.
Initially, I was more than a little skeptical of Fall From Grace. The first three songs seem like mere exercises in blistering, and ordinary, power metal. Borealis has fire in their belly, but little to persuade you that the have something more to offer. At least that's what you could say, and power metal's nagging detractors would agree, if it where not for the nuances. Simple mellow segues in Words I Failed to Say or the bombastic finish to Finest Hour.
These nuances continue in the two of the best tracks, Where We Started and Breaking the Curse. Both are power metal numbers but twisted with quite heavy melodic metal. The former offers those segues once more, often acoustic with vocals, sometimes guitar. The power metal of Breaking the Curse is enriched by greater variation in the arrangement. I hesitate to call this progressive metal but, again, it's those nuances that make Fall From Grace more than mere power metal. Later, on Watch the World Collapse, Borealis tones things down with a slower piece built upon acoustic guitar and symphonic foundation, only to end in metal crescendo. Again, it's those subtleties that persuade you. Yet, Regeneration, Take You Over, and Forgotten Forever seem to still follow that predictable path of average power metal that you sense at the start.
Nevertheless, even with those reservations, for pure power metal, both intense and melodic, Borealis' Fall From Grace is hard to beat. Diehard power metal fans should not miss this one.