Metal CD Ratings 03.01.2013

Endoras - The dark legacy 3.5/5


1. Into the storm
2. Beyond the horizon
3. Dance of giants
4. The dark legacy
5. Fields of pain
6. Into the dungeons
7. Story of Jack
8. Temple of misery
9. A whisper in the wind

Endoras is a band from Switzerland, and I reviewed their debut 'Blood on the horizon' back in 2009 (it was self-released in 2007). That CD is in the symphonic power metal style of Alsion, Eltharia, Dark Horizon, Dragonhammer and early Kaledon, and although its production is a bit on the weak side, the one thing that really stood out as something I didn't like about the CD was the contrasting vocals of Mischa Heinen (also one of the guitarists and one of the keyboardists), who switched back and forth between clean and somewhat evil-sounding raspy vocals. The vocals just didn't work for me, though I knew of other metal fans who liked the contrasting vocals. I still felt like it was a promising debut though, and now over 3 years later, the band is back with their 2nd CD 'The dark legacy'.

Just like the debut, this CD is self-released, and I was extremely impressed by the band's willingness to send me the CD for a review, despite the 2.5/5 "decent" rating for their debut. It's just another reminder that bands appreciate honest opinions/reviews, and that's just what they're going to get with this review as well. It's great news for the band this time though, as simply put, 'The dark legacy' is a fairly big improvement over the debut in all areas. For starters, Mischa has ditched his dual vocal style, and instead has settled into a range somewhere in between (though leaning towards the raspy side). For me personally, I really like the change and his vocals are very consistent - regarding both range and quality. He now sounds more like a true power metal vocalist, and he'll surely please fans of the genre.

Musically, while there are still some symphonic elements, a lot of the symphonic presence has been decreased and the band has more of a focused power metal sound in the direction of bands like Crystallion. However, there are also some folky parts that bring to mind bands like Blind Guardian, Elvenking and even Alestorm. This added style is slight to bring in a little variety though, so the overall style is still able to maintain its power metal focus. Also, there's no doubt that the band has a more mature sound, especially regarding production, songwriting and performance. All of the songs are well written, enjoyable, and a handful are extra catchy, especially track 3 "Dance of giants" with its powerful rhythm and also the folky (almost pirate-like - think Alestorm) track 7 "Story of Jack", which has a memorable chorus and a terrific melody.

It's always exciting for me to see (hear) bands improve, and my experience with Endoras is a perfect example. They've gone from a decent yet promising band to a competitive power metal band with a bit of variety that could pull in many power metal fans. I'm looking forward to the band's future and hope many of you are able to check out this CD, as its quality is impressive.