Ebony Ark – “Decoder 2.0” (2007)


Label : Transmission Records

Review by John Davies

This album is symphonic power metal perfected! It’s an incredible combination of complexity and musicality. If you’re a big fan of After Forever (like I am), but aren’t that crazy about the male death metal growls (like I’m not), then this is the perfect band for you. The musical style is similar to After Forever’s and vocalist Beatriz Albert comes very close to the power, range and versatility of Floor Jansen (who is a personal favorite of mine). As a bonus, we also get Marco Hietala of Nightwish doing some awesome vocals on a few tracks. If you are wondering why the album is called “Decoder 2.0”, it’s because it is a re-recording of the original  “Decoder” album. This new version seems to have a more refined sound, especially on the vocals, and with the addition of Marco Hietala. Sadly, Ebony Ark signed with Transmission Records for this album, after which Transmission promptly packed it in, apparently taking this album with them. However, they do seem to have licensed it to some distribution labels. I am so glad I got my copy! This is definitely a new favorite of mine. Ebony Ark is expected to release a new CD in 2008 called “When the City is Quiet”. The album starts off with a symphonic instrumental piece, leading to the track “Dead Men’s Lives”, which begins with a fast double bass drums and leads to grand, sweeping sections, showing off Beatriz’s great vocal range. “Damned by the Past” has a drum intro followed by a wicked guitar intro, then breaks into hammering guitar rhythms for the verse. There are some gorgeous vocal bridges, and this is the first song to feature Marco Hietala’s superb vocals. “Night’s Cold Symphony” is an epic masterpiece, with lots of complexity and a rather mystical quality. Beatriz gets to show off some of her opera style abilities in this song as well as in the song “Desire”. Another amazing track is “Searching for an Answer” with its emotion charged chorus and some more nice backing vocals by Marco. Really, there are all kinds of outstanding pieces on this album, some of them epic, others thoroughly exhilarating. Throughout the CD, you can count on excellent compositions with incredible soaring vocals, full out metal guitars, and exceptional solos from both keyboards and guitars, with just the right amount of orchestral embellishment. This is a really action packed album full of excitement, passion and mystery. Some of the vocal passages are truly mesmerizing, and I found the song writing just impeccable. There are twelve tracks in all (including a Spanish version of the song “Searching for an Answer”), and if you can manage to find a copy of this album, I recommend it 100% !

Rating -100/100



  1. In Our Memories
  2. Dead Man’s Lives
  3. Damned by the Past
  4. Thorn of Ice
  5. Night’s Cold Symphony
  6. Desire
  7. Farewell
  8. Human or Beast
  9. Dreaming Silence
  10. Searching for an Answer
  11. Ball and Chain
  12. A Merced de la Lluvia 


Line Up

  • Beatriz Albert – Vocals
  • Diego De Francisco – Keyboards
  • Javier Jiménez – Guitars
  • Ruben Villanuéva – Guitars
  • Daniel Melian – Bass
  • Ivan Ramirez – Drums 




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