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Voices of Destiny - Crisis Cult

Voices of Destiny - CD Review
Crisis Cult

Crisis Cult


CD Info
Massacre Records
10 Tracks
English Lyrics

Voices of Destiny, the young Symphonic Metal Band from Southern Germany, have released Crisis Cult, their third album. The listener is grabbed by the throat and taken on a journey from beginning to end, without a letup in the intensity of music. True Symphonic Metal Fans will not want to miss this album and Voices of Destiny Fans should add this album as soon as they can. The abundance of energy exhibited by this band is apparent both in this album and in their live performances. This release has their classic trademarks, even with a new singer, and a darker twist thematically. The quality of the music from Voices of Destiny rises with the new singer and a guest soloist also enhances its musicality. The classic symphonic sound, with heavy guitars, and driving beat is still there with this new album.

The band, which formed in 2004, from the town of Tamm, near Ludwigsburg, has undergone some changes before arriving at the current lineup. The band, Voices of Destiny, is the dream of Christopher Gutjahr (Guitars) and Jens Hartwig (Bass). They were able to add Lukas Palme (Keyboards), Eric Seitz (Drums), and Patricia Reigraf (Vocalist). Two years later, Patricia was replaced by Maike Holzmann who remained until 2013. Another interesting twist, which started in 2008, was the addition of growls by Lukas as a counter to Maike’s and now Ada’s vocals. In 2012, Eric left and Jan (ex-Revealing Dawn) briefly filled in for live shows until replaced by current drummer Klaus Ackermann. The last change, current vocalist Ada Flechtner (ex-Coronatus) joined in late 2013 and announced by the band in January 2014. Before Crisis Cult, the band released a Demo Red Winter’s Snow (2007), an EP Dare to Reach (2009), and two full length albums, From the Ashes (2010), and Power Drive (2012). Additionally, in 2012, the band provided support for Epica and Xandria during their tours.

Crisis Cult, a concept album, shows Voices of Destiny’s ability to push the boundaries of their music. It is, besides being aural, to include a visual segment for the audience. While they maintain their trademark, symphonic sound with keys, heavy guitars, and driving drums; this latest album, stretches those trademarks with a darker sound and theme. Again, the band uses the services of Andy Horn (Edenbridge, Lanfear, Rob Rock, Liv Kristine, Mortal Love), who produced, mixed, and mastered it at the Red Room. The addition of Ada’s vocals is a definite positive to the overall sound of the band. While her voice is not as operatic as their previous vocalist, it is what the band needed for this album. Her angelic voice cuts across the power of the band, semi Wagnerian, without of the operatic sound. The adding of a guest vocalist also is a plus for the band. The songs are pulsating, driving, and keep the listener riveted.

The opening part called “Intro” prepares the listener for the conflict that will unfold lyrically and musically through this album. A light sustained string chord opens. This gives way to synthesized strings playing a repeated pattern that constantly builds. The drums enter at different times and leads up to the first song with vocals.

That string patterns lead seamlessly into the heavy guitar, bass, drums, and continued strings in “Wolfpack.” This song gives us our first glimpse of Ada’s voice and vocals. Her voice is nice and strong and she complements the instrumental parts nicely. There are multiple parts to this song as it morphs back and forth between Ada and some growls from Lukas possibly representing a group on the prowl for victims. In addition, there are multiple chordal changes with a choral background providing a blanket between the instruments and the vocals. In the middle, a driving guitar and drum pattern leads up to the recurring string pattern from the opening song. Then there is a back and forth vocal exercise between the chorus and Ada. The song ends with an interesting staccato-like beat with the guitars, keys, and drums. You can find a video of the band performing this song in the studio here: Voices of Destiny Wolfpack

It is difficult to not mention every song in the album, because they play an important part together. The song “To the Slaughter,” is a heavy rock/metal song. It opens with a myriad of synthesized sounds, this leads up to the pounding heavy guitar and drums. Then over this, there is a duel vocally between Ada and Luke. Thrown in are nicely done guitar hooks and riffs. A chant of “nowhere to run” occurs between the two vocalists before Ada comes in with an angelic-like vocal part. This song reminds me, in a way, that this band did spend part of a year touring with Epica and Xandria. They aren’t on the same level yet, but they are definitely working their way there.

“21 Heroes,” an epic sounding song, showcases Ada’s voice the most, besides the two ballads, which I will mention later. Her vocals soar over the hard rock guitar and power drumming. Besides the keys, there are some nice orchestral violins. In addition, we are treated to a mixture of growling thrown in to offset Ada’s clean vocals. This song has all the ingredients of a symphonic metal song.

The opening of the song, “Stormcrow,” reminds me of a metal sounding jail break with what sound like a siren wailing. Featured prominently instrument wise in this song are the keys and the guitar. Midway through the song is a tastefully done guitar solo. The keys are quite obvious whether they are supporting under the vocals or playing the interludes. This song also features a different side of Ada’s voice, a less symphonic and instead a catchier lilt to her voice. The drum and bass are still there even though they aren’t as prominent.

The final song, not counting the bonus track, is “The Great Hunt.” Besides being the longest song of the album, it is like a summary of the album. It opens with the epic sounding strings, (think Epica), similar to the opening of the album and several songs. Soon the hard driving guitar, bass, and drums enter and the saga begins. The vocal duel between Luke and Ada continue before leading into an anthem-like sound with the chorus and the female singer. The opening string phrase shows up continually and in the middle of the song, there is a much softer ballad sound with light instrumentation and her lighter voice. The chorus and the female vocalist continue the anthem sound and Ada’s voice gets stronger as the song progresses until the string pattern reappears and gets softer as we hear the spoken part end the song. As the narrator states, the hunt comes down to “fight or flight,” and “lamb or wolf.” This song is super energetic and her many vocal talents are on display throughout this song.

It was really difficult for me to choose a favorite song because of how good all the songs are. It finally came down to a choice between the only two songs on the album which would be considered ballads. The one song is a mixture of classical and rock genres and the other is a very simple ballad. In addition, both songs feature duets with Manuela Kraller. After much internal debate over “At the Edge,” and “Your Creation,” which is a digipack bonus track, and fits in with the theme as an afterthought, my favorite is “At the Edge.” This song begins with a somber keyboard (piano) chord pattern before Ada enters with the haunting vocals. The song then changes into a classic rock ballad with the heavy guitar and drum beat joining the piano part. Besides the voice gliding over the instruments there are some light synthesized strings playing straight beats leading up to the first chorus. Besides the chorus, Manuela also sings a part back and forth with Ada in the second verse. The vocals between the two ladies are very nice, tastefully done, and complement each other. With a light keyboard interlude, there is a large choral ensemble, which sings the last part over the instruments, with multiple crescendos and decrescendos, before fading to Ada’s lone “to me.” The song ends with the opening piano broken chords. Some of the lyrics include the following:

So open your eyes
The sun’s too bright
And we are not there yet
Just go back to sleep
You just been asleep

My ship has begun to sink
And you’re tied to the mast
Darkness did descend on me
This will not be the last

The fact that Voices of Destiny, a fairly young Symphonic Metal Band, is willing to forge ahead with a concept album, and a new female vocalist, raises their stature in my eyes. Crisis Cult, an excellent album, has all the ingredients for the genre. This album is put together in a very good manner, with the instrumental parts being “tight” in the jazz jargon. The songs are true to the classical song form and done exceptionally well. Having listened to their previous albums, this one is a big leap both in maturity and concept. Having Andy Horn produce the album is a most definite plus and guest artist Manuela Kraller only adds to overall quality. Crisis Cult is a definite must for any true Symphonic Metal Fan and for those who enjoy expanding their metal libraries. Fans of Voices of Destiny will definitely not be disappointed. For additional information on the band, please check out the following links: