Everdawn – Cleopatra (Sensory)

Wednesday, 17th February 2021
Rating: 8/10

As a journalist its important to remain impartial when bands fracture due to personal, creative, or business decisions. Everdawn is a New Jersey-based symphonic metal band featuring three former members of Midnight Eternal – guitarist/vocalist Richard Fischer, keyboardist Boris Zaks and drummer Dan Prestup. Aligning with Symphony X bassist Mike LePond and Canadian singer Alina Gavrilenko, the quintet signed with Sensory and release a debut album in Cleopatra that keeps their melodic and catchy brand of symphonic metal at the top of their game – the eleven songs containing dynamic versatility, solid hooks, and proper sophistication amidst a catchy template.

An immediate head-turning cut “Your Majesty Sadness” is a duet between Alina and Therion vocalist Thomas Vikström, the alluring melodies between the two forming an ideal emotional symbiosis against the mid-tempo, comforting riffs – a standout much like Nightwish have attained for their career. The rhythm section work of LePond and Prestup often pushes the layers of guitars, keyboards, and orchestration to added heights of excitement – check out some of their nifty transitions during “Infinity Divine” as well as the more propulsive power-infused instrumental “Toledo 712 A.D.” that brings about some Kamelot memories. You can expect some solid guitar mechanics, tasteful leads with the right shred/arpeggio accents, and fluid keyboard execution that isn’t overly bombastic – right away for “Ghost Shadow Requiem” grabbing listener attention through its harmony and energy uplift principles. Alina has that operatic training to soar, but also can deliver the right lower and mid-range passages when necessary. Listen to her solid upper note sustaining abilities during “Heart of a Lion” while running all around her register for the dramatic, semi-progressive title track. What’s also refreshing is the group’s 47-minute run time, trimming all the unnecessary showboat aspects and hone in on the essential components track to track.

Everdawn seems to balance the symphonic and metal sides brilliantly – they are heavier in certain songs than others, while also thinking at all times of retaining listener interest through strong hooks, melodies, and harmony qualities. Cleopatra should gain solid appeal from those who love Nightwish, Kamelot, Delain – it’s a fine introduction to a newer group that hopefully will be a mainstay for the symphonic metal scene to treasure.

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