When it comes to symphonic metal, there’s orchestral, and there’s orchestral. Using strings or synth-strings is one thing, and can be very effective in creating the splendour of classical instruments. It’s another thing to create intricate choral work with multiple lines and counterpointing lead female vocals, woodwind, piano and strings all atop guitar, bass and drums. That’s what you get with the second album, “Blind?” from French metallers Whyzdom. Unfortunately, you get nothing else.
Composed by guitarist and founder Vynce Leff, “Blind?” combines guitar bass and drums with a range of classical instruments and more. Many elements are sampled from good old East West stock which saves the expense of getting an actual oboist and flautist in for a few minutes of sound, although the vocals are actual singers as are the rock instruments and keys.
The layers are all well assembled and instruments played with skill. There are occasional dramatic and uplifting cinematic moments and even the odd riff and bass line that suggests this is actually metal. But this is a long record at around 80 minutes – far too long because it’s just not engaging enough given the real lack of variety. There are dynamics, but they are not vast, nor are the moods, and nothing very interesting or unpredictable happens.
It promises to become impressive at various points but in the end it’s not brilliant neo-classical and not awesome metal, and I’ll shake the hand of anyone who can stay awake long enough to make it to the end in one go.