The review is written by Frederik Blieck from Musica.be
Metalwings, not to be confused with Angelwings from Gibraltar, is a Bulgarian symphonic metal band. The band was founded in 2010, based in Sofia and consists of the following members: Stela Atanasova on vocals, Angel Kitanov on keyboards, Grigor Kostadinov on guitar, Nikola “Blackie” Ivanov on drums, Vlad Enev and Martin Emilov on first guitar. ‘A Whole New Land’ is the new album that three years after debut, ‘For All Beyond’, is unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Probably many will already drop out when they read: “singer” and “symphonic”. But they’re wrong, because opener ‘A Whole New Land’ immediately shatters all prejudice. It turns out to be a great catchy song with a mighty riff. ‘Monster In The Mirror’ is not even very good. To be clear: Stela certainly does not produce opera-like vocals. She doesn’t even sing very high, which is more common within the genre. It even sounds quite natural if you ask me. With ‘Like A Willow …’ even a hint of gothic creeps in. ‘I See Your Power’ is a song that initially seems to go nowhere, but after hearing a third one, you know that the song is OK thanks to the surprising structure and beautiful arrangements. Based on these four songs, I conclude that the album is fine and definitely worth buying. But for the reader we have to be a bit more critical and so we listen to the rest of the songs. After a handful of songs you’ve got the band’s style. There is certainly enough variation to keep you interested until the very last track, ‘Milo Moe Libe’. ‘Second Chance’ stands out as far as I’m concerned. The rest can also be listened to willingly without getting the feeling that enough is enough. This album goes smoothly over the hour. No, Metalwings confirms with ‘A Whole New Land’ without surprising. But with two albums that can be heard on their record, the band members can travel through Europe with peace of mind. They will be welcome anywhere if you ask me.
The review is written by Metal Goddesses
Mastered by the talented Jens Bogren of Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, and Amon Amarth among others); the song-writing and musical composition of delicate violins (Stela Atanasova), and passionate drumming (Nikola Ivanov) are amplified in mystical tales with vivid displays of imagery. It is painted on the canvas of the mind by the brush of powerful opera (Stela), intense riffs (Grigor Kostadinov), pounding bass (Vlad Enev), and intricate keys (Angel Kitanov). If only we hadn’t been teased with the release of “Monster in the Mirror” on December 23, 2020 I may not have known what to expect from Metalwings after the gap between their last album and now. I was almost relieved yet, still incredibly excited to hear so much more. “Monster in the Mirror” is a powerful song that lures us in with mellow ballad-like acoustics before once more raining down with the heaviness and intensity we are familiar with. An entrancing guitar solo swings your head alongside the creepy melody, and captivating lyrics like your eyes are beautiful but so cruel. This is a song that tells a dark tale of discovery, memory, and protection.
11 tracks flow together in all, including the lengthy “A Whole New World” taking the title spot with an 8:24 minute run time; each song tells a new story that wraps into a bigger world to explore with ballads like “I See Your Power” and “Silence.” But we are left with no shortage of epic intros and vibrant solos like that of “Passengers Between the Rails of Life” which has become my personal favourite. The atmosphere of this album from beginning to end is reminiscent of walking through a mysterious woodland in twilight. What is lurking in the shadows? What peace may await us, if there is peace to be had at all? And what else has Metalwings got waiting beyond the curtains? Song after song, they cease to amaze me with not only their inspirational lyrics but, the length and intensity of their music that keeps the listener waiting for the next leg of their journey to begin.
The review is written by All Around Metal
Avevamo già incontrato i bulgari Metalwings sia all’epoca del primo EP “Fallen angel in the hell” che per il meraviglioso debut album “For all beyond”; li ritroviamo a tre anni di distanza con un nuovo full-length, intitolato “A whole new land” e qualche novità nella line-up, dato che è entrato da poco a far parte del gruppo il bassista Vlad Enev; dopo la registrazione del disco, invece, è entrato il chitarrista Martin Emilov, mentre ne è uscito l’altro chitarrista Grigor Kostadinov. Ma torniamo alla musica; come i più attenti ricorderanno, i bulgari suonano un piacevolissimo female fronted symphonic metal, contraddistinto dalla splendida voce di Stela Atanasova che suona anche la viola (dando a volte un tocco folk al sound), ed anche questa volta la band di Sofia non si è smentita, sfornando un disco davvero piacevole, diviso in 11 tracce per quasi 70 minuti di durata totale. Ecco, forse, qualche sforbiciata qua e là contribuirebbe a rendere più snello ed appetibile l’ascolto, ma si tratta di dettagli, dato che, come detto, il disco è davvero piacevole. La Atanasova, pur non disdegnando liricismi vari, non risulta mai stucchevole, né esagerata; il ritmo imposto dall’ottimo batterista Nikola Ivanov è sempre frizzante, mentre la restante parte degli strumenti fa la sua parte alla grande; forse solo il basso è leggermente sacrificato in sottofondo e poteva essere maggiormente protagonista. La cosa che sorprende, soprattutto quando spesso nel female fronted symphonic metal varie labels propongono dischi noiosissimi, è che nessuno si sia accorto della qualità fuori dal comune di questi Metalwings, tanto da costringerli ancora una volta ad autoprodurre la loro splendida musica! Ma della cecità ed ignoranza del music business ne abbiamo parlato fin troppe volte e non serve proseguire oltre…. Come detto, l’unico punto debole di questo disco sta nella durata eccessiva di alcuni brani (diversi superano i 7 minuti), ma si tratta di dettagli che non pesano più di tanto sull’ottima riuscita finale, dato che è sempre stato piacevole ascoltare e riascoltare questo “A whole new land”. Complimenti Metalwings, continuate sempre così!
ANOTHER GREAT REVIEW BY HELLFIRE-MAGAZIN!!!
Conclusion: I am mega flashed from this production. When I made the selection, I didn’t think that this symphonic style would surprise me. Metalwings bring a breath of fresh air into the room. All in all a very successful second album by the band. You have absolutely no other band to fear in this style. Track 10 speaks of “Second Chance”. You are spot on with the title “Still Believ In Us”. They will take their chance because they believe in themselves.
I give this work a full 10 out of 10 Hellfire points. It completely met my taste and will find its way into my collection.
The review is written by Soundmagnet!
Violins and classical singing meet metal
The song Like A Willow Without Tears begins a little quieter, but it knows how to convince with a perfect interplay of violin sounds and the classic female vocals of Stela Atanasova. In the further course of the song, these components meet musically very well-coordinated hard guitar riffs.
That it is the great strength of the band to combine classical harmonies and metal also shows in the further course of the album. The two songs I See Your Power and Silence prove this across the board. At this point I allow myself to make a comparison, because Metalwings can definitely keep up with greats like Nightwish. Nevertheless, especially in these two songs, a style of their own can be clearly recognized.
I had a lot of fun listening to this album with all its surprises and facets. The album is an absolute must for fans of symphonic metal music, as the band always manages to cast a spell over the listener. Due to the sensational artistic performance, I give the album a 10/10.
The review is written by Rock Tribune . Here is an excerpt from it:
This is an album where strength and nuance meet, where pure musicality prevails and that purifies the soul in these difficult times.
Another great and very interesting review by Obliveon!
“A Whole New Land” is only the second long player from METALWINGS after a band history of more than ten years. But it could – that much is anticipated – catapult the Bulgarian symphonic metal band to a whole new level. So I read that they were on tour with Imperial Age in 2019. Nothing against this talented Russian band, but from what you’ve heard here it sounds a bit like Dieter Bohlen invited Mozart to accompany him on tour. The six from Sofia creates symphonic, gothic and classic metal on a very high compositional level.
Two outstanding trademarks in the group’s sound are in the foreground and are able to make the difference: the crystal-clear, multi-faceted voice of front woman Stela Atanasova and her violin, both of which produce incredibly beautiful melodies and blend with the other components of the sound complement in an exemplary manner. It usually gets down to business at a rather moderate pace, but METALWINGS is also no stranger to double-bass passages.
The pre-single ‘Monster In The Mirror’ is also very fast and tough and male growls are also used. You could pick out every single track, but above all you really enjoy listening to the troupe and despite almost seventy minutes of playing time and yet very similar songs, there is no boredom. The compositions are perfectly arranged and versatile and in the most positive sense catchy, even without major effects or gimmicks. The Bulgarians master both quieter tones, again with a beguiling violin performance (‘Silence’), as well as an equally captivating ballad (‘Still Believe In Us’), as well as an almost poppy track like ‘Wonders Of Life‘.
However, the perfect audition tip and over-song is the fantastic ‘Killer Of The Angel’s Love’, which perfectly combines all trademarks: orchestral and piano parts, tempo changes, different moods, terrific vocals, a lightning-fast passage and the violin that comes in Duel with the guitar leads delivers. The individual parts go hand in hand and the interplay of the instruments is consistently successful. METALWINGS generate energy and dynamics in a pleasant, somehow cultivated way. In addition, the violin and piano parts give the sound enough bombast, but also convey elegance and feeling to a high degree. The fairytale-like singing is only operatic in tolerable doses, but never exaggerated or artificial. Great performance!
Michael Gaspar awards 9 out of 10 points
“A Whole New Land” is already here! We are extremely happy and grateful to everyone for the great support and love!Our second studio album “A Whole New Land” is available now on all digital platforms! Get it now here
You can order a physical CD-Digipack here
Behind this monumental album are the hearts, minds and efforts of the following crew and fellowship:
Stela Atanasova – Vocals, Electric Viola, Keyboards
Grigor Kostadinov – Electric & Acoustik Guitars
Vlad Enev – Bass Guitars
Nikola (Blackie) Ivanov – Drums
Angel Kitanov- Keyboards
Additional Musicians:Ivo Kalyonski – Extreme Vocals on “Monster in the mirror”
Georgi Dobrev – Kaval on “Milo moe libe”
A WHOLE NEW LAND is produced by METALWINGS and co-produced by Stela Atanasova
All Music by Stela Atanasova
All Lyrics by Stela Atanaosva
All Arrangements by METALWINGSAll
Choir, Keyboards and Orchestra arrangements by Stela Atanasova
Mixed and mastered by JENS BOGREN at Fascination Street Studios. Sound Assistant Linus Corneliusson at Fascination Street Studios, Sweden.’A Whole New Land’ is recorded at studio Na Vilata, Bulgaria. Artwork & Design by Yasen Denev at RED RING Entertainment
This time the interview is with metal-heads.de.
Some excerpts from it:
Thanks to Crying of the Sun, the world learned about us. Until now, no metal band from Bulgaria has gained such popularity and has not reached literally all corners of the Earth. We got a great chance and the most important thing is that it motivates us to work even harder to prove to our fans that we are not just a successful song, but we are a metal band that states categorically its place on the map of metal music.
As for the music business – I honestly don’t like what’s been happening to music in recent years and how spectacular, vision-like, but completely devoid of talent, bands and performers are being launched, while those who really deserve to be heard are ignored and suppressed deliberately. I hope that sooner or later this system will break and as many independent artists as possible will have the opportunity to play at major festivals and make successful international tours without being dependent on anyone. An artist without wings is not an artist, but a bird in a cage.
Doors that open easily are also easy to close. We do not dream of easy fame and false popularity. We fight for every single fan. We try to make different, interesting and captivating music. And if we manage to win the hearts of true music connoisseurs, then we’ve done what is necessary and what we have set as a goal.
The music industry can make you famous for a day without deserving it, but it can also destroy you for a moment, even though you’re making great music. So it is very important to know exactly what you want to achieve and find the best option to do it. (Stela Atanaosva)