Stream of Passion - Darker Days

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Now on their second album without founder Arjen Lucassen, and third over all, Stream of Passion continue to feel like a band that are incredibly talented and unique, and yet still feel like they're holding back a little. Now an entirely Dutch group (with the exception of singer Marcela Bovio), Darker Days is a fine album – but the underlying feeling is that the band are capable of more. Everything here is expertly played, and Joost van den Broek (ex-After Forever/Ayreon) gives the album a strong production just as he did with the band's last album. The band still retain their unique progressive metal sound – accessible and gentle, but at the same time different and not devoid of heaviness. Of particular note is Marcela's voice – she truly is one of the most underrated talents within the female fronted metal scene, being one of the few singers who can really shine when compared side-by-side to the likes of Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering). Sadly, Stream of Passion don't offer the strength of material to really make the band's talents glow. There are some high points, such as ballad Spark, closer The World Is Ours and the album's opening song Lost. However, when compared to the works of similar bands (such as the aforementioned The Gathering), the material feels only okay, rather than excellent. The performances do make the album though, and whilst the band should be producing better material, one can't deny that this is a good record regardless.

Written by James Donovan
More: 2011, Albums, Female-fronted, Progressive, Quick.Play Reviews,

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