The 2016 release of debut EP, Fallen Angel In The Hell, suggested a promise and potential within the sound of Bulgarian symphonic metallers Metalwings which warranted future attention. The release was an imaginative and well-crafted proposition with the magnetic vocal prowess of founder Stela Atanasova at its core. Now the band has just released its first album in the dramatic roar of For All Beyond, a release which has not only realised much of that early intimation but sparked a new wave of enticing possibilities.
For All Beyond immediately entices and swiftly enslaves attention with opener End of the War. Keys gently and provocatively rise up around ears as the vocal lures of Atanasova call like a siren. Soon the rapacious enticement of rhythms and the sonic tempting of guitars surge through the body, the track brewing an increasingly rousing incitement impossible not to be swept up in. As fiercely robust as it is there is an equally rich haunting quality which ebbs and flows across the track before bringing the cries of the victims and outcasts within its tempest.
Calm follows with the album’s title track, keys and voice sharing melancholic grace which is quickly wrapped in the synth woven caresses of Kitanov. It is a gentle peace which has a volatile air though, that ignited by the expressive guitars of Kostadinov and Jordanov and their suggestive tempestuousness. The ever resourceful rapier like swings of drummer Nikola Ivanov align with the predacious growl of Mavrov’s bass, their rapacious intent lingering even as subsequent moments of mellowness bring the evocative grace of Atanasova’s strings.
Realm of Dreams has the body and imagination bouncing once again, the melodic tease of keys dancing on the darker hues of aligning sounds. Across its masterfully magnetic length, the song fuses the contrasts of beauty and grace with aggression and raw trespass, creating a rotating realm of temptation and adventure. The best track on the album, it encapsulates all the invention, craft, and imagination of Metalwings whilst hinting of the even bolder adventures they might pursue ahead.
The release concludes firstly with Tujni Serza, a delicate but rich ballad sung in the band’ mother tongue and lastly an orchestral version of For All Beyond which gives full rein to the track’s already established emotion and grandeur with its instrumental winds.
It is fair to say, as many others, we were intrigued by the Metalwings debut EP if not completely convinced. For All Beyond though simply grabbed our appetite and imagination; tightening its hold song by song, creative layer by layer. Given a chance it just could be seizing yours too.