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  STREAM OF PASSION
'A War Of Our Own'
(Self released)
Release Date: 18/04/14


Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland



stream of passion

Stream Of Passion have been one of my favourite bands for years, ever since their initial incarnation as a side project from Arjen Lucassen through the multiple line up changes when Lucassen left and on now to this, their fourth studio release.

Having parted company with their label this release was financed by a crowdfunding campaign and just to make things clear, it was an album I really wanted to hear so I contributed to the funding along with other fans from around the world.

This band of Dutch musicians fronted by their amazing Mexican import of a singer are lumped in with the host of female fronted symphonic metal bands around these days but I think that is unfair. They have a unique sound of metal, symphonic and progressive influences mixed with a latin twist and each album has sounded different to the previous one.

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In a recent interview with MetalTalk (see link below) Ms Bovio who is the main songwriter said they wanted to be ambitious with the songs on this album and that they certainly have been. From the opening bars of the first track 'Monster' it is clear that a major step has been taken towards the band's progressive leanings. Multiple time changes and huge swathes of keyboards are prevalent and in addition the latin flavours have been turned up several notches, both in rhythms and feel.

The guitars still crunch out riffs in fine style and the moment where the riff kicks in in the superb 'Delirio' is just monstrous! One of my favourite tracks on the album it manages to combine latin and even jazzy touches with Spanish lyrics and some full on metal too.

A point of emphasis for the band on previous releases has been the wild and wonderful solos of guitarist Stephan Schultz but these have been pared down here and are really only apparent on rare occasions such as in the emotional 'Secrets', partly inspired by a seriously ill child the band played a charity show to help.

The guitars on this album are all about riffs and atmosphere, Eric Hazebroek getting to show off his melancholy hook lines to great effect in songs like 'Out Of The Darkness' which is all subtle rhythms, swirling riffs and delicate keyboard flourishes.

stream of passion

The backbone of the band Johan Van Stratum on bass and Martijn Peters on drums handle all the challenging rhythms and time changes with aplomb, keeping a solid foundation for everything else to be built on. This is never more evident than on the epic 'Earthquake' which reverberates gently and then builds into building shaking grooves, all with some fantastic vocals from the feisty redhead up front. This is another great song.

This album is a definite group effort and as a band all the musicians are on top form, but I think there are two star turns on this album. The first is keyboard player Jeffrey Revet whose playing is simply astounding! I knew he was good but this album shows him doing sweet delicate piano or huge symphonic swathes of sound seemingly effortlessly switching between them. On the Muse-like parts of the title track (now christened AWOOO by the band!) he creates a beautiful, shimmering hook line to hang the song on yet on the big chorus moments of the otherwise subdued, reflective 'Exile' he brings sweeping orchestral grandeur in to back up the guitars.

The other star turn is inevitably the Mexican songstress herself Marcela Bovio. She has one of those voices, if she sings you will listen. Whether it's the breathy emotion of melancholy ballad 'For You', the irresistable beauty of listening to her sing in her native Spanish in 'Delirio' and 'Exile' or the quite frankly astonishing notes she hits in places on 'Monster', 'Earthquake' or bonus track 'The Distance Between Us' she is quite simply a tour de force and one of the best in the business, no question.

There are many highlights here but where it all comes together in epic fashion is on the album's longest song 'Don't Let Go'. From the atmospheric piano intro and gently building rhythm, the haunting vocals echo of longing and loss and the chorus is epic and memorable. There is a spoken Spanish section and a superb guitar solo, this song is full of invention and emotion. Six minutes just isn't long enough; you're left wanting more.

stream of passion

Of course while I love this band I have to be honest and there are some things which don't quite work for me. Sometimes on the chorus' of some songs you have multiple guitars and layers of keyboards and layers of vocals and it can be a bit overwhelming to my (admittedly old) ears. The track 'Burning Star' I just can't get to grips with, it's not bad but it comes over to me as a few time changes too far and doesn't really hang together as a memorable song. Finally some of the songs here are immediate and brilliant and some of the others take a while to grow on you which is a sign of depth, but I wonder how they will fare with any casual listeners checking the band out.

Verdict: I have stated a few reservations about this album and it has taken a direction I wasn't totally expecting from the band but there is no escaping that this is a quality, quality album made by a superb bunch of musicians and I love most of it. I think they are capable of even better though so I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Track listing:
Monster
A War Of Our Own
The Curse
Autophobia
Burning Star
For You
Exile
Delirio
Earthquake
Secrets
Don't Let Go
Out Of The Darkness
The Distance Between Us (digipack bonus track)

Line up:
Marcela Bovio-vocals, violin
Johan Van Stratum-bass
Stephan Schultz-guitars
Eric Hazebroek-guitars
Martijn Peters-drums
Jeffrey Revet-keyboards
Interview:
http://metaltalk.net/columns/20106641.php

Online:
http://www.streamofpassion.com/
https://www.facebook.com/StreamOfPassion
http://www.youtube.com/user/streamofpassionband


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4.4.14







WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

wacken

MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

wacken

Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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