Sascha Paeth’s Masters of Ceremony – Signs of Wings (Frontiers Music)

Monday, 9th September 2019
Rating: 8.5/10

Years in the making behind the scenes, renowned producer, guitarist and songwriter Sascha Paeth decides the time is now to launch a new band in Masters of Ceremony. Assembling a seasoned mix of veterans with Felix Bohnke and André Neygenfind from Avantasia on drums and bass, plus newer musicians such as Corvin Bahn on keyboards and Adrienne Cowan of Seven Spires on vocals, its evident that Sascha wanted to showcase all facets of his melodic hard rock and symphonic to aggressive metal songwriting abilities.

Those aware of Adrienne’s three-pronged vocal prowess between death growls, melodic/clean strains and blackened screams will find all facets intertwined depending on the song’s atmosphere and needs. The pirate/folkish-themed “Radar” starts out very clean but deepens into specific low bellows from the grave as Sascha keeps his lead break in line to the folk/cultural music hook that is the centerpiece of the arrangement. At other times the heavier, jumpy riffs and equally transfixing tempos swirl in this symphonic/power mind meld, “Where Would It Be” shining like an older Kamelot beacon from the sky. Those familiar with Sascha’s work in Heavens Gate will delight in specific power runs and emotive textures through cuts like “My Anarchy” and “Weight of the World”, while his more primitive hard rock and dynamic piano ballad skills come into focus during “Bound in Vertigo” and “Sick” respectively. The former song contains some latter-day Sinner/Thin Lizzy-like harmonies between the keyboards and guitars, the vocal melodies also channeling that atmosphere in key chorus moments. There’s no question Sascha as a songwriter knows when to inject symphonic tension or layers of sonic push in the song – and when to let things breathe, as the final title track with acoustic guitars and a lounge-like /airy vocal performance to start before injecting the electric power charge illustrates to end the record in dramatic fashion.

Time will tell if this has legs to be an active, continuous entity given the musicians many other bands/projects currently ongoing, but for now Signs of Wings has all the right elements to fly into the hearts of melodic hard rock, heavy metal, and symphonic-oriented patrons easily.

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