Ik ga behoorlijk buiten mijn comfortzone met deze release van Metalwings. De uit Bulgarije afkomstige band voorziet de luisteraar van symfonische gothic metal. Eerlijkheidshalve gebiedt het me te zeggen dat dit een genre is waar ik sinds het horen van de Ice Queen-single van Within Temptation al hard van weg loop (als de jonge muzieksnob die ik was). Ik heb echter goede dingen gehoord over deze band en aangezien het schijfje inmiddels toch al een poosje op de redactie is blijven liggen, kies ik ervoor om met een open blik te luisteren naar het debuutalbum van Stela Atanasova en haar heren, getiteld For All Beyond. Het bleek een meervoudige zit te worden, maar één die niet als onprettig werd ervaren.

Vooralsnog brengt Metalwings dit debuut uit in eigen beheer, maar het zal een kwestie van tijd zijn voordat deze band wordt opgepakt door een serieus label. Uitstekende musici met een oor voor het schrijven van pakkende songs. Als zelfs iemand als ik deze release meerdere malen kan afspelen, dan is het voor de vele genreliefhebbers slechts een verstopte topplaat, die nog ontdekt moet worden. Behoor jij daar toe, dan tel je waarschijnlijk nog zo’n vijftien punten bovenop de onderstaande score.

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One of female fronted metal bands that attracted my attention in past years is Bulgarian symphonic power metal band Metalwings.

Although the band was formed in 2010, metal world had to wait over than six years to hear what they have to offer. Their first EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell” was released in 2016.

Our focus is on full length album “For All Beyond” that was released on the 19th of April 2018. The recording started in April 2017. The album is mixed and mastered by Max Morton at Morton Studio in Ukraine.

It might be atypical, but I will start with videos. The band was focused on natural beauties of their homeland, so it is totally understandable why they choose to film “Crying Of The Sun” from previous EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell” Belogradchik and the next one, “Fallen Angel In The Hell” in Prohodna (The Eyes Of God/God’s Eyes) Cave. They continued tradition at “For All Beyond” and where the video for title song was filmed will be a secret that might be revealed in an interview with the band you will read soon in our magazine.

Another good side of this album is that is it, compared to EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell”, we have found here more dramatic elements, upgraded creativity and professionalism at higher level.

In global, album could be split in two parts. The first part includes brand new songs while second is more for romantic souls, orchestral and acoustic.

The main Metalwings inspiration was and still remained life itself.

From the song number nine, I can say we are entering realm of beauty. Don’t get me wrong, album in global is at high level, but songs “Тъжни Сърца” and orchestral versions of “For All Beyond” and instrumental version of “Fallen Angel” in the Hell are truly masterpiece.

I never believed in metal sung in any other language but English. “Тъжни Сърца” made me change my strong attitude.

Compared to Metalwings EP “Fallen Angel In The Hell”, album “For All Beyond” is more serious, more complex, more melodic, heavier, powerful, elegant… Everything is bigger here. It seems Metalwings used full potential this time.

Don’t compare Metalwings with Nightwish, Epica or Within Temptation! They are quite unique if its even possible in metal world, bringing us strong author seal, perfectly combining  of symphonic, gothic and power metal spiced with Celtic influences. Flute, viola, violin, piano perfectly arranged. Everything is perfectly balanced, nothing is over the limits: overbombastic, overdranatic, over…

Nightwish of Balkans are ready for the world stages!

It seems future of metal lies in woman’s hands. Metalwings might be a proof of my theory.

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A first track represents, in my opinion, a music box that not only has its own sound but is full of not too happy memories, which it absorbed and reworked into a song that transforms every sound into a non-negligible but almost essential detail to understand the meaning of the song, and of the album itself.

Their studio work, orchestration and work on details gives us about an hour of pure ecstasy, a small detail that has sometimes been overlooked, in my opinion and perhaps pure personal aesthetic taste, the voice and melodies in some traces are dominated by the enormous power of the rhythm section, but which do not in any way affect listening.

I highly recommend all those interested to listen to it and support this band which I hope to hear again with new work.

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Quando já nada fazia supor que do metal sinfónico surgissem surpresas, elas surgiram em… Sofia, Bulgária. Stela Atasanova lidera um coletivo – os Metalwings – senhores de uma capacidade invulgar de criar hinos de verdadeiro e genuíno metal sinfónico. E não é apenas pelo recurso a uma viola elétrica ou a uma flauta irlandesa. É todo o conceito e sentido de composição que está inerente ao coletivo. For All Beyond é o mais recente disco da banda búlgara e o motivo que nos levou a conversar com a líder Stela.

Olá Stela, tudo bem? Obrigado pela tua disponibilidade. Podes apresentar os Metalwings aos metalheads portugueses?

Olá e obrigado pela oportunidade de apresentar a nossa banda aos teus leitores. Somos os Metalwings e fazemos metal sinfónico. A banda formou-se em 2010, em Sofia, Bulgária. Até agora já lançamos um EP, Fallen Angel In The Hell, e um álbum de estúdio, For All Beyond. Para muitos fãs deste estilo de música, talvez o nome de uma das nossas músicas, Crying Of The Sun, seja familiar. Além disso, temos mais dois vídeos oficiais, para Fallen Angel In The Hell e For All Beyond. Elemento interessante que traz um som diferente à nossa música é o som da viola elétrica e flauta irlandesa que usamos muitas vezes. Mas terão uma melhor ideia de nós, quando ouvirem a nossa música. Ela fala por si.

E tiveram a oportunidade de trabalhar com uma orquestra real. Como foi a experiência? Será para repetir?

Esse momento só pode ser descrito por uma palavra – felicidade. Gravar For All Beyond com uma orquestra real foi um sonho que se tornou realidade. O momento foi muito emocional e forte para todos nós. Gostaria que este fosse o futuro da nossa banda. Vamos ter a oportunidade de gravar toda a nossa música com uma orquestra. Este é o presente mais bonito que podemos dar a nós próprios e aos nossos fãs.

Há também uma música em búlgaro. É uma música pensada para os vossos fãs locais?

Escrevi essa música quando ouvi uma história real com um final triste. Teve que ser cantada em búlgaro. E é para todos os nossos fãs. Muitos dos nossos fãs estrangeiros adoram esta música. Na Bulgária também se tornou uma canção de uma causa – Diabetes without fear

Têm alguma tour prevista para promover For All Beyond?

Na verdade, sim. Dentro de duas semanas, teremos uma mini-tournée na Europa, que incluirá a Áustria, Roménia e Bulgária. Iremos juntar-nos a parte da tour europeia dos Imperial Age, que estão, precisamente em Portugal, neste momento.

Muito obrigado, Stela! Queres acrescentar mais alguma coisa?

Muito obrigado. Adoro Portugal e espero, muito em breve, ter a oportunidade de tocar aí. Muitas saudações da Bulgária para todos os nossos fãs em Portugal!

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April 19th 2018 marked the release date of the band’s debut album “For All Beyond.” And this wouldn’t be Metal.Inside if I wouldn’t be asking some inside questions on behalf of the events this past year. I mean when you look into the band’s discography you know they have been working so hard towards this moment. Prior to this release they had already aired four singles “Crying of the Sun” (2011), “Second Chance” (2013), “Realm of Dreams” (2014) and “Kingdom’s Heart” (2016) as well as an EP called “Fallen Angel in the Hell” (2016). So when you do the math, you know they put a lot of time and effort into this full length debut, well-spent energy that paid off for sure!

I cannot emphasize enough what a one year anniversary of such a release means to a band. I think it’s almost therapeutic in a way. So what did ‘For all beyond,’ their debut album , change for them personally and as a band?
“Every one of us grew as a musician through our album “For All Beyond”. It was another big step in our development as a band. We put a lot of hard work, thought and love into each song and did not stop to improve it until we were satisfied with the slightest detail. This has changed us in many aspects because we have raised the level for ourselves and from now on we have to keep it that way and also keep moving forward.” – METALWINGS
What came along this journey for METALWINGS from the release up until now?
“So far we released our third official video for the song “For All Beyond” and we will join the Imperial Age tour in several countries of Western and Eastern Europe in March this year.” – METALWINGS
Naturally, a new release is also a new outburst of emotions and stress. How did METALWINGS experience all of this? And of course what was the best moment so far and why?
“This period came just in time, with the exact emotional charge we needed to recharge the batteries, to take a breath and take our next step. The best moment is always now. We enjoy every new chance, new fan, new friend, new challenge and we look forward to our upcoming tour in March. Can’t wait to see our fans during the shows.” – METALWINGS

April 19th 2019: Happy one year anniversary

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Metalwings is in 2010 opgericht in Sofia, Bulgarije, door zangeres Stela Atanasova met het doel om originele muziek te maken in de stijl van symfonische metal met zangeressen. Vanaf 2015 verschenen diverse singles, in april van dit jaar kwam de band met de eerste langspeler op de proppen. Het kostte wat tijd om band en album verder in Europa bekendheid te geven, vandaar dat For All Beyond ook pas vrij recent tot ons is doorgedrongen.

Het is wat te gemakkelijk om Metalwings direct op de hoop symfonische, gothic of female fronted metalbands te gooien. Daarvoor klinkt het geluid van de Bulgaren namelijk net iets te onderscheidend. Nou zijn etnische of folk-invloeden niet vreemd bij vooral niet-Westerse bands, ook Metalwings maakt daar goed gebruik van. Echter is het de origine van die invloeden die opvalt, de band laat zich namelijk graag inspireren door Keltische, etnische muziek. De (elektrische) viool en de Ierse fluit zijn in dit kader opvallende instrumenten.

Vanaf opener End Of The War horen we direct alle elementen die je bij dit soort muziek verwacht: orkestraal, symfonisch, bombastisch. De basis is heavy of power metal, maar met de toevoeging van veel toetsen, diverse zangstemmen (Realm Of Dreams) en de al eerder genoemde genre-vreemde invulling geven de Bulgaren daar een behoorlijk eigen draai aan. Ook de instrumentale en orkestrale bonussen aan het eind van het album maken duidelijk dat Metalwings niet alleen of zo maar een metalband is.

In de vlottere stukken klinkt de band redelijk eigentijds, maar wanneer het gaspedaal wordt los gelaten slaat de sfeer om naar een meer persoonlijke, emotievolle, die mij vooral melancholisch in de oren klinkt. Dat komt goed naar voren in bijvoorbeeld het ballad-achtige When We Pray, of het zeer afwisselende titelnummer For All Beyond. Ook Fallen Angel In The Hell (afkomstig van de gelijknamige EP uit 2016) zou ik zeker als luistertip aanmerken.

Een vreemde eend in de bijt is het akoestische, in het Bulgaars gezongen Тъжни Сърца (Tujni Serza). Het bewijst wat mij betreft de veelzijdigheid van Metalwings, waarbij naast metal plaats is voor Keltische en folk-invloeden, en waarbij een klassieke scholing onmiskenbaar aanwezig is. Het is moeilijk om in zo’n vol genre op te vallen, maar de Bulgaren doen met For All Beyond een dappere en geslaagde poging. Nu een consistent vervolg.

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METALWINGS will join IMPERIAL AGE at their European Tour 2019 as SPECIAL GUEST in AUSTRIA, ROMANIA AND BULGARIA.

On 09/03 METALWINGS will support Bucovina in Brasov at Rockstadt!

On 11/03 METALWINGS AND IMPERIAL AGE will support ROTTING CHRIST in IASI at Underground the Pub! Can’t wait to see you there!

06/03 VIENNA, AUSTRIA (Club Escape)

07/03 CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA (Flying Circus Club)

08/03 BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (Fabrica)

09/03 BRASOV, ROMANIA (Rockstadt)

11/03 IASI, ROMANIA (Underground the Pub)

15/03 SOFIA, BULGARIA (Live&Loud)

 

De Bulgaarse symfonische metal band Metalwings werd opgericht in 2010. Zes jaar later kwam hun eerste EP ‘Fallen Angel In The Hell’ uit. Na slechts twee jaar is de band alweer terug met een nieuw album. Dit keer hun eerste langspeler: ‘For All Beyond’.

Vrouwelijke vocalen, symfonische metal,… het laat niet veel aan de verbeelding over. Het is dan ook een moeilijk genre om vernieuwend in te zijn. Dit is Metalwings dan ook niet, maar het lukt dit zestal wel om alles overtuigend over te brengen: De piano krijgt een duidelijk aandeel in de muziek, de stem van zangeres Stela wortelt zich mooi tussen de gitaren, muzikaal maakt dit zestal een mooi onderscheid tussen hard en zacht waar nodig,… Tekstueel is Metalwings wat aan de donkere kant en dat weerspiegeld zich in heel wat nummers. De sprookjes metal vibe die de band probeert te creëren komt dan ook vaak niet helemaal over. Een nummer als ‘Realm Of Dreams’ doet dit dan weer wel goed d.m.v. enkele hardere stukken en een zeer aanstekelijk refrein. ‘For All Beyond’ is een uitstekend debuut dat in je platenkast perfect past naast bands zoals Nightwish.

score: 7,5/10

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