Ambition's Price - Graveshadow

Entertaining from start to finish

Ambition's Price is an album where each song evokes joy every time I reach for it. The vocals are better than everything else, but there is sufficient riffværk to satisfy people who, like I, think that heavy metal must contain at least a hint of danger. A little more innovation from the orchestra will lift the group even higher, but it should not overshadow the fact that Graveshadow has committed a noble act of aggressive symphonic metal. Great step forward!

Hey, it was not death metal?

Every time I grab a slice of symphonic metal it with an expectation of a mood of wonder and adventure. But every time I listen to one, it riffene, or lack thereof, that ultimately determines my experience – without good metalriffs becomes the product of the safe, where it should have been dangerous. It is with this in mind that I throw myself out in the Graveshadows album no. 2, Ambition's Price, that have found their way to my desk. Graveshadows debut, Nocturnal Resurrection, was good enough not swamped with praise when it came out in 2015, but it has the opportunity to rectify now. In spite of the dødsklingende name describes their style as symphonic metal with elements of doom, thrash and goth metal. Ambitious? It must be said. Expensive? We'll see.

Press me-figures

I can with joy see that Graveshadow share my attitude to symphonic metal. Although the Ambition's Price holds good with fairy tales and tolkien, the container of the traffickers and the women always one foot firmly planted in traditional heavy metal. Riffsne recalls everything from the Grand Magus, to Judas Priest, while the vocals alternate between melodic ear-catching tunes and hoarse growls, both provided by forsangerinde Heather Michele (Helion Prime), beauty and the beast extraordinaire. Keyboards provide the individual intros and interludes, and are used otherwise mainly to add a background of strings and winds.

"Doorway to Heaven" gives the disc a slightly uncertain start with a lighter cliché-infested keyboardintro and a generic éntoneriff, but when the dog to play up before it is replaced by the "Widow and the Raven". Here put the pace up with a classic metalriff and a background of alternating blowing and strygersynth, while the vocals move from a major verse to a major bridge and finally to a big chorus. This template is used for the majority of the album, but Graveshadow vary the end product enough to keep the monotony of the bar, and I never get the feeling that the songs repeat each other.

The vocals are the major focus of Ambition's Price, and Heather Michele drawers, by no means. In addition to possess a excellent voice and technique, she adds compositions feelings of righteous anger ("Slave", "the Liberator," and "Warchief"), the magnificent melancholy ("Gates") and grim hårdnakkethed ("Ambition's Price"). The rest of the group do a fine piece of work from a håndværkersynspunkt, but both the guitar solos and trommefills is heard better, like keyboardene to be downgraded to second fiddle, so to speak.

It is however also the most essential point of criticism. The album lasts 55 minutes, but thanks to the variety of expression, it feels just not too far. Three power ballads seems to me, however, one too much, and it's only the "Gates", that fully can bite spoons with the rest of the songs. The production is not great, but it only becomes an obstacle when the parts of the guitar riffs drowned (the verse in "the Widow and the Raven") or when keyboardsne come in uncontested focus of attention. Here do they sound either flat ("Eden Ablaze"), or also the rocks of the ("Liberator"), which can be wonder since they sound fine the rest of the time.

>> Check the songs and lyrics here