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On disc: Stellar Wind

Mirror Maze - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

Mirror Maze

Mirror Maze
(self-released - 2010)

Stellar Wind is a new Russian band founded in late 2008 in Ekaterinburg. The fivesome is now offering their first EP which can be downloaded from their website for free!
They open with the title track Mirror Maze, a fast melodic metal tune which shows that they are inspired by Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica. They work with breaks as well as some neo-classical elements. Singer Sergey Levin is doing well, but the high notes lack power... Very interesting is the spoken words part, the deep voice creates a special atmosphere. Actually I think that Sergey Levin is doing very well in the mid-range, but has to work on the high notes. The guitar play of Aleksey Zaitsev at the opening part of Illusions is cool and the mid-tempo tune gives Mr. Levin more space - they even use some effects on the vocals. Keyboarder Alekyes Tureskov is mainly supporting the guitar play and the vocals, but here and there it sets accents. Actually this mid-paced tune - incl. a guitar solo - is more convincing, especially as Sergey Levin almost does without high notes. He reminds me a bit of James LaBrie when he uses his mid-range. At Eternal Travel they pick up speed, but Pavel Terentyev's drumming set accents. The keyboard slowly leads you into the balladesque Dream Again where the band can show their craftsmanship even better. The last track is the Russian version of Illusions, I always thought that the Russian language fits well to metal and usually the songs are more intense due to the use of their native tongue. In this case I think the versions are equally good, even if I personally prefer the Russian version.
You might say that Stellar Wind is just another melodic metal band, Sonata Arctica clones, but go, download the tunes and give it a try. The Russian outfit has talent and I guess it's just a question of time til a label signs them. My main criticism is Levin's performance when he hits the high notes, but that's something he can work on. Beside that I have nothing to complain about!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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