Nima : In 2008 the Canadian quintet Borealis released the reasonable debut, ‘World Of Silence’, which showed a lot of potential but unfortunately didn’t really impress due to the lack of self-identity, and the music’s simple and predictable character. On the second LP, ‘Fall From Grace’, however the band fully convinced. There the debut sounded a bit careful and held-back, ‘Fall From Grace’ showed a confident band, and the songs sounded a lot more spontaneous, more sincere and therefore more convincing.
On the third album, ‘Purgatory’, Borealis continues in the same style, and comes with a dozen modern, melodic, progressive power metallers. There where the band showed a sturdier side of itself on the predecessor, the pace is a bit lower here in general. Don’t get me wrong though, because in times the band accelerates quite a lot, but in general the keywords on this album are melody, feel and most of all atmosphere. But the sturdy mid-tempo pieces aren’t forgotten, and so the songs sound delightfully versatile, without losing the focus. The whole thing sounds well balanced, and all the pieces of the puzzle fall in place immediately. The gentlemen again deliver powerful riffs, catchy melodies and ditto vocal lines, and although the keyboards play a major role in the music, they are not dominant, and so the music remains powerful at all times. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Marinelli still reminds me a lot of Jeff Scott Soto and shines again with his fantastic voice and performance.
The music is still not at all original or innovative, and the comparison with the likes of Labyrinth, Lanfear, Edguy, Evergrey and co. is obvious. But that is definitely not disturbing, there the men convince on all fronts. And besides, despite the modern approach the music contains a lot of AOR-influences and along with that a delightful old-school charm. The self-production and the mastering again done by Thomas „Plec“ Johansson (Panic Room Studios – Scar Symmetry, Warrior Soul a.o.) also leaves no room for discussion on sound-technical level, and all put together make ‘Purgatory’ a solid album that will definitely apply to the fans of melodic progressive power metal.