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Twilightning - Delirium Veil

=Staff's pick

Gone To The Wall*
At The Forge*
Jester Realm*
Delirium Veil*
Return To Innocence
Under Somber Skies
Seventh Dawn*
Enslaved To The Mind
Masked Ball Dalliance

Genre Melodic Power Metal
Heikki Pöyhiä
Tracks 9
Ville Wallenius
Runningtime 48 Min.
Tommi Sartanen
Label Spinefarm Records
Jussi Kalnulainen
Release 10 Oct. 2003
Juha Leskinen
Country Finland
Mikko Naukkarinen
Similar artists Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Edguy

It's time to get introduced to another Finnish metal constellation of talanted youngsters. Last year marked the debut of promising bands like Thunderstone and Celesty and now Twilightning also enters the scene. This band was formed in 1998 and their first demo was released one year later. A second (Affection Seeker) and a third (Return to Innocence) demo were released during the following years and the latter finally gave them a record deal with Spinefarm Records. Twilightning's also managed to get two metal icons involved in the recordings of this studio debut, Delirium Veil. The king of Finnish metal himself, Timo Tolkki, executed the mixing at Finnvox Studios (of course) where Mika Jussila was in charge of the mastering. Two proffesionals like this at the job working hand in hand can simply not fail and haven't done so either. The sound is exactly as you can expect and even if you should be completely oblivious and totally lack these background data, it doesn't take many seconds to figure out that this is a 100% unmistakable Finnish production.

And continuing on that subject, Twilightning's roots are definitely in the power metal realm along the Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica lines but this band also differs quite much from these still, since they also incorporate a large portion of classic 80's hard rock/melodic metal in their sound frame. And it never seizes to amaze me how mature and technical the musical skills seem to be from so young musicians from this country. Just as the afore mentioned younger bands the sound and musical performance of Twilightning speaks of a band with years and years of experience and it's still "just" a debut that's being scrutinized here.

So over to the Twilightning sound and music. Singer Heikki Pöyiä hasn't exactly got a voice that can be said to be a band trademark since so many other metal vocalists sound very similar but that doesn't mean it's bad either. Actually it's quite far from it. Pöyiä's got a very wide register, feels very reliable and never misses a tone, delivers a strong and mature overall performance and taken together he definitely belongs in the upper levels among the other high/mid tone metal vocalists out there!

The use of keyboards is as usual a main element in Finnish metal and Twilightning provides no exception. There's some really great keyboard work going on on many of the tracks and for me one of these highlights is the intro of At the Forge. If you've heard for instance The Final Countdown with Europe or Vain Glory Opera with Edguy you've got a pretty good idea of what these Finns are capapble of. Overall the keys stay nicely in the background for support when the guitars dominate the sound and also the other way round. Exactly as it's supposed to be! Naukkarinen's efforts are a feast for your ears on many occasions and it's especially his handling of the keys that contributes to the 80's melodic metal/hard rock feeling the most. The twin guitaring then is of course also something to mention. The above all Maiden concept of both guitars playing the same melody is well nursed by Wallenius and Sartanen but they also do much more than just that. Intros, leads, and especially solos are deilivered in a splendid way and the two axemen keep their act together without getting too eager to overdo things or get too technichal. If you haven't got your hands on an album with some great solos lately, turn to Twilightning for help in this matter. And like I already written, it all feels very mature and solid and well... Finnish, but still with individuality.

That was pretty much the praise. The downsides, I think, are that the best tracks have all ended up among the first five and with the somewhat paler second half the overall impression is ruined a little. Another thing that I don't really seem to come to full terms with is that there could have been at least one more up tempo tune instead of just the two (Gone to the Wall & Delirium Veil) among the 48 minutes. The more mid tempo ones aren't at all bad but a little more speed and especially towards the end wouldn't be totally out of place. These somewhat slower tunes have a pace that mainly follows Stratovarius latest singles, Hunting High and Low, Eagleheart and Walk to My Own Song and many of you perhaps feel that that is speed enough, but I don't quite settle for this and instead demand a little more double bass drum and swirling twin guitar action. The number of ballads finish at the acceptable number of just one but I (as usual...) very much would have liked to replace it with a speed of light neck breaker.

The sum of the better and the less such remarks is that Delirium Veil isn't the album of the year or a roaring metal monster and I don't think it reaches the grounds of Celesty and Thunderstone for that part either, but it's still a solid and mature debut that speaks of way greater things for Twilightning in the years to come. There's lots of talent here and huge amounts of potential and we can only wait and see what will happen. Followers of the Finnish melodic metal stable should be in for quite a treat with Twilightning and if the thought of a modern metal mixed with some classic 80's sounding one in the veins of Journey, Kansas, Europe and Pink Cream 69 appeals to you, this disc got much to offer. Twilightning is a strong newcomer on the metal scene and Delirium Veil is a good album to check out on, but listen before you reach a decision though and pay extra attention to the four final tracks!






7 chalices of 10 - Mat

Sorry, but I couldn't stand the low rate Mat gave Delirium Veil. A really good review, but the rating should have been 9/10 or at least 8.5/10. The guys could have rearranged the songs so that Gone To The Wall of perhaps Jester Realm ended this 48 minutes of brilliant metal album, but that would make it too perfect ;) I can't find any track that I would tag with "filler", and at least four tracks that could have been released as singles. The guitars are absolutely breathtaking, cool catchy riffs, even cooler solos and intros and a really good storyboard with well written songs. As a debut album, they crush their opponents like Celesty and Thunderstone and even challenge Sonata Arctica. They play a little less melodic than Sonata Arctica, but much heavier. This album will eat you like a starving monster and you will never know what hit you ;) //Farshad (9 of 10)

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