Review by Tony Cannella
The Canadian symphonic metal band Märchenbilder (German translation: Images of Fairy Tales) were formed in 2009 by James Slainmann (guitar, keyboards, etc.) and vocalist Julie Belanger Roy (she also plays violin and viola). The band has just issued their debut album “Flickering Truth”. With a playing time of 48 ½ minutes over 12-songs Märchenbilder has created an album that is far from your average run-of-the-mill symphonic metal. The songs have a very ominous, cinematic vibe to them and the vocals and the music go hand-in-hand. It all adds up to an enjoyable debut.
The intro track “Prelude” kicks things off and has a huge cinematic flavor to it. The bands namesake song “Märchenbilder” is next and lead vocalist Julie Belanger Roy displays her impressive range. Throughout “Flickering Truth”, Märchenbilder manages to incorporate various styles ranging from big orchestral arrangements, symphonic and folk metal to accompany their cinematic vibe. The use of violin (performed by Julie) adds to the overall melancholic nature of the songs and the other musicians are all multi-talented virtuosos as well. Highlights include: “Awaken”, “Two Paths” and “All Roses Shall Fade”. The whole thing is completed by a nice orchestral version of “Two Paths”.
With “Flickering Truth”, Märchenbilder can be a challenging listen at times, and I will admit to being less than impressed after the first listen, but man, I am glad that I gave it a few more spins as it really started to grow on me. The impact that this album makes isn’t immediate, but it sure is lasting. Good stuff from this talented Canadian band.
Rating – 85/100
- Two Paths
- All Roses Shall Fade
- Follow the Trail of Fear
- A Step Back In Time
- Two Paths (orchestral version)
- Julie Bélanger Roy – Vocals, Violin & Viola
- James Slainmann – Guitars & Keys
- Chris Gratton – Cello (Additional Musician)
- Chicco Parisi Lalonde – Bass (Additional Musician)
- Yanic Bercier – Drums