Label: Molusco Discos

Review by Jon Estelle

Niobeth is a symphonic metal band out of Spain featuring four members. “The Shining Harmony of Universe”, their 70 minute debut album, was released last November. The first impression given off after firing up the album screams early Nightwish. There is enough of a twist to separate the two bands but the influences are there. In going back and looking at the packaging again I was reminded even more of Nightwish. The artwork and overall style will surely draw many comparisons. I am a huge fan of Nightwish‘s earlier works, so being compared to them really isn’t a bad thing. Toss in a heavy classical influence, bombastic operatic vocals and explosive instrumentals and you have Niobeth. That’s a bit of an over simplification though. Many of the tracks also feature choirs with male vocals mixed in. There are also areas featuring some softer flute and piano work. Vocalist Itea Benedicto does a nice job keeping up with everything going on. The variety of things occurring throughout the album provide and interesting hook, leaving an impression behind well after the music ends. The album opens with the song “The Whisper of Rain”, providing a great sample of what is to come. The track shows off the heavy classical nature of the band, as well as the power metal elements found throughout the entire album. It’s an opener that really warms the listener up to the band. One of the biggest highlights comes with towards the end with a rendition of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, titled “The Magic Flute – Queen of the Night Aria”. It’s an interesting and well done interpretation of the opera. The album sends the listener off with “The Awakening”, which is a shorter and mostly instrumental closer. None of the tracks from beginning to end fail to deliver. For listeners looking to prolong the experience a little longer, there is a bonus track included at the end. Many bands attempt to do the whole operatic metal with a female lead thing and end up leaving me bored. Niobeth really drew me in with their unique style and interesting build ups. The high sounding production value, dynamic instrumentals and excellent vocals keep Niobeth from falling into the “just another band” category. “The Shining Harmony of Universe” does a lot of interesting things, plus it’s a long album. It’s well worth the money spent and should leave listeners eagerly awaiting whatever the band chooses to do next. Fans of operatic metal will not be disappointed.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. The Whispers of rain
  2. Secrets
  3. Tell Me Lord
  4. A Frightening Shiver
  5. My Silence Within
  6. Requiem for Imogen
  7. Dance of Tragedy
  8. Reflected Light’s Garden
  9. Rhyme for My Gone Beloved
  10. Musician’ Soul
  11. The Magic Flute – Queen of Night Aria (W.A. Mozart cover)
  12. The Awakening
  13. Kowasani Furuete (Bonus Track)

 

Line Up

  • Itea Benedicto Garcia – Vocals
  • Jesùs Diez Colas – Guitars
  • Santi Teiedor – Keyboards, Violin & Bagpipes
  • Alberto Trigueros Páez – Drums  

 

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