1. Aurora Borealis
2. Cut ‘Em Down
3. Immortal Love
4. The Eastway
5. In the Silence
8. Your Blood Is My Wine
Release Date: 20 October 2008 – Scarlet Records
Tears of Magdalena is the band of Magdalena Lee, who has a strong background as classic opera singer, and Vasstago Archipelagus, vocalist and lyricist. After both met for the first time in 2005 this is their first full length output called Myths and Legends. Together with guitar and bass player Tomessey they describe their music as the beauty and the beast. That means the beauty in classic orchestral music and the beast in black metal vibes. So is this Gothic? Or Symphonic metal? Let’s find out.
Keyboard intro starts “Aurora Borealis”, the openening track. Together with an elegian guitar hookline this part leads to the first vocal duel of Magdalena and Vasstago. Means that opera vocals change to death metal grunts and back. The song is held in midtempo. In the middle of the song a classic violin part appears. The vocal duels remember me a bit to older Theater of Tragedy. The production is powerful and clear, their sound engineer worked with Nightwish before and I think you can hear that. “Cut’em down” starts with a speed guitar lead. Soon the keyboards wants to talk too. Vasstago’s dark growls are supported from Magdalena in the back. Magdalena has her appearance in a female vocal midpart before the two different voices perform together. A first real guitar solo of this album appears and the vocalists together end the track. Bells open “Immortal love”. A keyboard sequence changes to background piano as the vocals set it. Again in change of Magdalena and Vasstago, so that we can say that this vocal duels are the bands trademark. For me the keyboard sequence don’t fit very good in that song. It sounds too happy…..so it stands against the tragic elements in this song. Anyway, the bells appear from time to time again and a violin solo bring them to their own one in the end. Folklore violins in the beginning of “The Eastway”. With Vasstago’s grunts this could be a song from the amount of new viking humppa bands like Finntroll or Korpiklaani. But Magdalenas parts stay against it. So this is a symphonic, epic folk metal song. Very classic influenced in the instrumentation. An orchestral part with Magdalena leans that song a medieval touch and the violin ends it. Wow…the opening of “In the silence “even remembers me to Dimmu Borgir. But only as long as Magdalenas voice sets in. The song is faster played and Magdalena has the main vocal parts here. So, cause of that, this song is very near to Nightwish or similar. “Nightmare” has a real melodic metal start, with guitars, keys and straight vocals. Ok….the vocal duels again give the song it’s own note but for me this is the straightest song so far. No guitar solo break only a short interruption with some bells out of the darkness, that’s all. Maybe I would try to say that also listeners can sing that song, cause of it’s ear catching vibes. A dark piano part starts “Mermaid”. Also the guitars are partly deeper played. Everytime the vocals appear the song takes speed and moves to a symphonic metal track. Short elegian Magdalena part breaks in followed by tempo again. Following is the last song of Myths and Legends called “Your blood is my wine“. Vasstago is more in front again. So he is the blood, Magdalena is the wine. The grunts bring the song near to Black Metal, but Magdalena takes it out of this area. A short guitar solo together with keys does his part against the dark metal vibes that end the song.
Tears of Magdalena is a band that mixes different styles of metal music in one. Symphonic, black, progressive and gothic. Also some pure melodic and heavy metal parts find their way into their music. Only the voice of Magdalena brings the band near to bands like Nightwish or Epica.
The band knows how to compose and play. What I am missing a little bit is that there are only less guitar solos, It seems more as a project than a real band. Hope we can hear more from this band in the future and that they will be not packed in one box with all that Nightwish and Epica clones of the world. This band has definetely more to say.
Review by Kerb