They say our world has become smaller, that we're all more connected then we know, thanks to worldwide telecommunications and, of course, the Internet. Collaboration and cooperation beyond national and cultural boundaries in many avenues is simply normal, and with the music industry, it's natural. Suncrown, created by songwriter and keyboardist Oleg Biblyi (Ukraine) and vocalist Darren Crisp (USA), is true example of an international band. They have additional members from Brazil, Turkey, Norway, and the Netherlands. On the song Just Like You they have additional guest musicians from India, Israel, Jamaica, and Canada. If only world's nations could get along so well.
Suncrown's chosen genre is symphonic and melodic power, leaning heavily to the European tradition. Obviously, one great strength of the band is the aforementioned depth musicianship, but also some strong songwriting and solid production. (Vocalist Darren Crisp owns a studio in Arkansas.)
The obvious elements of symphonic orchestration combined with melodic power metal are self-evident throughout. Like their peers they try to balance the symphonic with the other attributes. Yet that doesn't mean that there isn't some of that natural bombastic character that avails the genre. The Beginning is Near, which starts the album, Who Are You, Open the Winds, and Victory Inside You are propelled by the mighty synths, walls of riffage, and vocal arrangements, which range from operatic to choral. The dual lead vocals of Crisp and Brazilian Juliana Furlani are clearly at the forefront. He has a traditional melodic metal style; hers more towards the operatic side, not unlike Tarja, but always. Unfortunately, sometimes this duet format works against itself. On songs like The Beginning is Near and Who Are You, when singing together, it sounds like the vocalists are competing, rather than cooperating, in the performance. It's a fine line, as alternatively, within You Are Not Alone, in the latter half, there's a moment when Furlani's voice comes forward, with Crisp supporting, and this seems to make for a better sound.
Some final observations. It's not all bombastic power metal. Just Like You (listen below) tempers things with a lighter ballad, driven by piano, violins, and vocals. Another song, Grandfather's Song has this nearly creepy voice over at the beginning and end of what's supposed to be an elderly grandfather speaking, but it sounds fake. Finally, Suncrown covers the Rainbow song Gates of Babylon from Long Live Rock 'n' Roll with good results, pumping up the synths and giving the lead vocals to Crisp alone. In the end, You're Not Alone is rather impressive and entertaining, from the depth and breadth of international musical cooperation to the well-crafted symphonic power metal. Easily recommended.
Suncrown's You're Not Alone is rather impressive and entertaining, from the depth and breadth of international musical cooperation to the well-crafted symphonic power metal.
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