Norwegian power-metallers Highland Glory took six years for a follow up to their 2005 release Forever Endeavour. But with Twist Of Faith number three has finally seen the light. The album is the first that boosts new vocalist Trine Elise Johansen since founding vocalist Jan Thore Grefstad left the band a few years ago. It's not often a male singer is replaced by a female, but the idea behind the change was to pursue a more mid tempo and melodic direction.
After a few listens the albums indeed registers as a melodic, even symphonic effort that holds the middle between gothic metal and melodic rock. The album strongly reminds me of Within Temptations latest release The Unforgiven. Yes, Twist Of Faith is that good. Having said that, new singer Trine Elise Johansen does a satisfactory job here, but is not yet in the same league as her Dutch WT collegue Sharon den Andel. However, that should be taken as incitement, on tracks such as Limitiation Of Life, with it's blend of power and melody and the ballad Without You she shows her undeniable skills. But I find her voice fit's the more melodic parts better than the heavy ones.
Songwise Twist Of Faith leaves no reason to complain and musically the bands shows lots of skill and quality. There's a beautiful sense of melody woven in all tracks, there is lots of room for the keyboards to shine and the rhytmn section follows rather then take the lead. Interesting are the Iron Maiden influences that appear on Earthbound Spirit and the stunning epic closer Blood Of The Innocent. They could have escaped from Maidens Final Frontier but are very convincing and add a few nice progressive parts. My guess is that fans of Power Quest might want to check this out, Twist Of Faith shows a pleasant resemblance with the sound of these British melodic metallers.
Highland Glory's third release is a confident ride on the road of melodic and symphonic metal. It may disturb the current fanbase and will disappoint real power metal fans, as only Holocauster Ride and Far Cry From Freedom are considered such. But the more melodic oriented rockers will welcome this old newcomer with open arms. The only letdown is the cover of Heart's eighties cracker Alone. These misplaced copycats are usually well done, but are like an uninvited guest on a great party. Is there anyone who can say, 'Okay all you bands out there, please stop this useless recycling of music?' Certainly Twist Of Faith doesn't need covers.