(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Originally from Belarus, In Search For are a six piece band that plays symphonic progressive metal mixed with melodic rock and Faith is the band’s debut album. In Search For is Yann Zhenchak (vocals, keys, violin, viola), Vladimir Ivanov (guitar), Alexey Bogan (guitar), Vladislav Sulazin (growls), Alexey Zolotov (drums) and Tihon Zolotov (bass).
Zhenchak formed the band in 2008 in a country that, according to their MySpace page, is not much into the progressive rock scene and that my friends makes this debut album all the more impressive. This is a very lush sounding disc and has lots of keyboards so fans of symphonic rock should also be kept happy. Guitars, keyboards and other instruments like violin give this album a full sound and although this is not the most complex progressive metal you will ever hear it is some of the most melodic and for that it is definitely an album worth checking out. Another pleasant surprise were the vocals of Zhenchak. As soon as I heard the band was from Belarus I immediately thought ‘heavy accent’. He does have an accent although I wouldn’t call it heavy and in no way does it distract from the music and besides, he has an excellent voice. In fact, the vocals are a highlight throughout the CD.
This is a concept album about an astronaut who wakes up only to find that he is the only person left in the universe. There are aliens and a higher power involved as faith is a major theme here but I will leave the rest for you to explore.
At 72 minutes long there is a lot of music to digest so I will only touch on a few of the highlights. The album opener “In To” is a fine song with moody quiet atmospheres and proggy guitar soloing. Operatic backing vocals can be heard slightly buried in the mix as if from a distance and some growling vocals add a littler intensity. The melodic rock of “Lady of the Night” is another solid effort with an ultra catchy chorus and nice background harmonies and riffs reminding me of the Scorpions. The band changes pace throughout the progressive metal of “Strangers Again” with dramatic riffs contrasted with moody keys and crisp guitar notes. Choral vocals fill the background while violin and flute add some warmth to the sound. “Don’t Fall Asleep” is one of the more dynamic songs with plenty of different styles like shredding guitars, heavy metal riffs, growling vocals and a mellower section with spacious riffs and muted guitar pyrotechnics all wrapped in a symphonic arrangement.
One of my favourite songs is the melodic “10000 Years” with a fantastic Queen-like vocal arrangement and wonderful swells of organ that provides us with one of the CDs most spine chilling moments.
The longest song is the five part epic title track which is very good save for the voice of a computer that talks in a Mickey Mouse voice. It would have worked so much better if a different voice was used. Somehow it just doesn’t fit the song, which by the way has a very Ayreonesque vibe. This is about as cheesy as it gets and yes, I loved every minute of it, except for that damn computer voice!
This is an impressive album and although it may be a little long, a tad cheesy and dare I say slightly derivative, the music is very well done and for me that is what counts the most. Now, if you will excuse me it is time for another slice of camembert.