Eynomia – Break Free (Pure Legend Records)Tuesday, 6th February 2018
It’s natural that symphonic rock/metal has established itself worldwide thanks to the success of European bands like Nightwish, Epica, Within Temptation, and Delain – enough so that American artists are taking a creative crack at their shot to establish themselves. Eynomia for instance is a Minnesota based project that came together through the power of Facebook (who says social media is evil?) – vocalist Phyllis Rutter connecting with Symphony X bassist Mike LePond, Eternity’s End keyboardist Jimmy Pitts, plus guitarist Chris Bickley and drummer Gaetano Nicolosi to create this debut album Break Free.
Because of the expertise on the music front, these tracks fluctuate between more metal-oriented offerings with darker power textures a la Savatage for “Till We Meet Again” or the conventional symphonic material that contains a bevy of piano/keyboard driven tricks against a theatrical atmosphere – evident right away for “Cleansing”. Phyllis’ sterling voice isn’t of the conventional operatic nature – you can tell she has some classic rock training under her belt, more along the lines of what you would expect from Ann Wilson of Heart. Her best work comes up on the exotic, seductive undertones for “Let It Go” where Chris’ guitar playing and the supportive rhythm section work reminds me of classic Kamelot if put through possibly a 70’s Rainbow context. The listener can also expect softer numbers that not only provide a breather, but also engage in a deeper emotional connection to Eynomia – “Through Your Eyes” an 80’s style ballad that contains stunning piano lines and acoustic strumming that sets up Phyllis beautifully for plenty of note holding/ multi-part harmony wow moments. Chris even injects bit of Neal Schon-ish / Journey flair during the lead break for the closing “When Its Over” – a fitting ending to a very satisfying listening experience.
Keeping the album at a reasonable nine song, 42-minute effort deserves hearty applause – as often a struggle in the symphonic metal genre is the need for musicians to go full-force in setting mood and atmosphere with extra intros and outros beyond extending instrumental sections when the focus should be on quality material top to bottom. Eynomia differ from their European counterparts because Break Free maintains its metal stance throughout – almost in a middle 80’s Queensrÿche-oriented way, that along with solid chops and songwriting mechanics makes for possible long-lasting appeal.