Upon Wings – “Afterlife” EP (2013)

Label : Sword of the Spirit LLC

Review by Tony Cannella

“Afterlife” is the debut EP from the Detroit based operatic metal band Upon Wings. The EP features only 4-songs and 15-minutes worth of material but from the very beginning it made a positive impression on me. Musically there is a lot to like about this band, but it was the enthralling vocals of Anne Autumn Erickson along with the thoughtful, introspective lyrics that drew me in.

Anne Autumn Erickson does have an operatic vocal style but it is not over-the-top. She knows exactly when to rein it in and be a little more subdued. Some singers are so enamored with the fact they have this immense vocal ability that sometimes they go a little overboard. Sometimes less is more, as Anne Erickson demonstrates. The opening song “Afterlife” is a perfect example of this. The vocals are breathtaking and filled with heartfelt passion. The song is also quite melodic and immediately enjoyable. Male background vocals are handled by Brett Hesla (ex-Creed and Dark New Day) which adds a lot to the song. “You Are My Weapon” opens with a straight-forward rock riff before evolving into a dramatic, mid-tempo song. “Take Away” is a heavier, haunting track and the whole thing is completed by the beautiful ballad “The Dream (I’m Only Happy When I’m Sleeping)”. This became my favorite song. It is stunning track – both musically and lyrically – and a perfect way to end things.

I listened to this EP front-to-back, back-to-front and came away with a very positive impression of Upon Wings. Fans of Epica and Nightwish should devour this band. I am only using those two bands as a point of reference; the truth is Upon Wings are good enough to stand on their own. Don’t believe me? Just give “Afterlife” a listen.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Afterlife
  2. You Are My Weapon
  3. Take Away
  4. The Dream (I’m Only Happy When I’m Sleeping)

 

Line Up

  • Anne Autumn Erickson – Lead Vocals
  • Kevin Jardine – Guitars (Contributor)
  • Brett Hestla – Guitars, Drums & Guest Vocals (Contributor)
  • Glenn Brown – Keyboards (Contributor)
  • Peter Tzaferis – Drums (Contributor)

 

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