Impetus (BLOW OUT PRICE!)
"Impetus is the debut offering from Austrian melodic metal band Ecliptica. The band plays a fairly straightforward melodic metal that incorporates elements of both progressive and power metal. Imagine Axel Rudi Pell with traces of Edguy, Sonata Arctica, and perhaps Ayreon (lyrics weren't provided, but this feels like a rock opera or at least a concept album at times) and you'll get a basic idea of Ecliptica's sound.
It's a little surprising to find an album like this on the Frontiers label. Frontiers is no stranger to melodic metal, of course, but their releases tend to be of much higher profile and much higher quality. The musicianship on Impetus is high caliber, approaching progressive metal technicality at times, and there are some great melodies, but the songwriting is a bit uneven. When the band is doing a full-on rocker, it's easy to get into the music and melodies; likewise with their more melodic, sing-along power metal tracks (see "Carry On" and "Land of Silence"). The rock opera type songs ("Turn Away" in particular) just seem a bit too melodramatic, and are marred by some less than stellar vocal performances.
Making use of both male and female vocalists is a shrewd move, and one that would pay off if the vocalists in question further develop their talents. Elisabeth Fangmeyer and Thomas Tiebur have decent enough voices, but they both have a definite accent and seem to lack the kind of power that could really draw listeners into the music. It sounds like the vocals are buried in the mix as well. This would be a drawback for any release, but on an album like Impetus where Fangmeyer and Tiebur often appear to be playing characters in a rock opera, their weakness is a major distraction from the otherwise impressive music.
Impetus is a perfectly solid but not particularly remarkable offering from a band that definitely shows potential. Future releases from Ecliptica bear watching, but Impetus is unlikely to satisfy most fans of Frontiers' melodic metal roster." - Hardrock Haven