As an American, the more European metal music that I’m exposed to, the more I realize that Europe leads the way in the genre. There are solid metal bands from America, both mainstream and progressive, but the more experimental and symphonic sides of the genre are much healthier in Europe. Bulgarian band Metalwings is just another example of the strength of that metal scene. I’m not proficient in the more symphonic side of metal, but I do enjoy this album. It is strong both musically and vocally.
The band calls female singer Stela Atanasova’s voice “operatic”, which it is, but I wouldn’t identify Metalwings as an operatic metal band. Her voice certainly would be right at home in an opera, but it doesn’t screech or bellow like stereotypical opera singers’ voices do. Opera music grates on me (those who dislike opera and operatic metal will likely understand what I mean), but Atanasova’s voice doesn’t grate on me at all. It is very smooth, but it maintains the strength to stand out in the heaviness of the music. She also plays the electric viola, which is a pleasant addition.
Nikola Ivanov’s drums stand out to me as being particularly spectacular as far as instruments go. The drums are complex yet precise. They are perhaps the strongest aspect of this music that tips it over into the arena of progressive metal. He’s not just playing beats. He’s matching the keyboards, guitars, and symphonic portions note for note. The guitars, bass, and keyboards are all excellent as well. Angel Kitanov plays clean piano throughout the album, which adds a wonderful texture to the heavy music. Guitarist Krastyo Jordanov adds Irish flute and backing vocals along with his shredding. All three bring a lot to the band’s overall sound. Grigor Kostadinov on guitars and Milen Mavrov on bass are the other members of the band, and they perform very well. These musicians create a very full sound with their various textures and instruments. It never sounds cluttered.