I had discovered the Bulgarians of ‘Metalwings’ with their first EP ‘Fallen Angel In The Hell’ and 2018 had seen the release of their first LP, ‘For All Beyond’ which already showed all the potential of this leading symphonic metal formation. by soprano and keyboardist ‘Stela Atanasova’. They continue their adventure by releasing a second studio recording of almost an hour and ten minutes and I once again fell in love with this new opus from which we had two extracts, first with the beautiful ballad ‘Still Believe in Us’ in 2020 (repeated in a different tone on the new album), then with ‘Monster in the Mirror’ in spring 2021 (see video above). Entirely written and composed by ‘Stela Atanasova’, ‘A Whole New Land’, I quote their page ‘bandcamp’, “is a concept album, both in music and in lyrics. We will take you to a whole new country where all predators and their victims live in harmony and peace … Each song tells a different story of the life of a little girl in search of the lost land of her ancestors. It’s a whole new land where there is once had honor, dignity, beauty and strength. Where there was life, peace and harmony. “

In summary, the Bulgarians of ‘Metalwings’ confirm all the talent of their first album and stand out from other symphonic metal formations by an even more marked fusion between classical music and metal with beautiful melodic lines sublimated by a remarkable moving and captivating singer. . ‘A Whole New Land’ is recommended for a symphonic metal audience featuring rich orchestral arrangements and a lyrically trained singer …

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The mixing and mastering was done by Jens Bogren (in parentheses put a series of first-class bands) at Fascination Street Studios, which indicates the high expectations of its creators, but also their high level. Because it is not enough to have the money to go to such a sound engineer, but also the necessary musical and artistic level.

Stela Atanasova does not have an unreal voice. She is not Floor Jansen, but her voice is correct, it perfectly serves the songs she sings and in the final analysis, that is what is required. As a composer, he manages to create long compositions that last close to 7 minutes, which do not tire, while at the same time they have smaller ones, such as “Second chance” which is my favorite song from the album and admittedly they succeed. in both song categories. “Milo Moe Libe”, which has Bulgarian lyrics, also sounds good.

If the output was a click better, especially the sound of the drums, my final score would be half a point better. But listening to songs like “A whole new land”, “Monster in the mirror” or “Second chance”, I can say that I am very satisfied with the overall level of the album and I recommend to all the friends of this idiom what we say female fronted symphonic metal, but check them.

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Opening track is the title track (A Whole New Land ) and sounds a bit into symphonic metal (guided by a synth). Slowly we hear more guitars and even a beautiful female voice (Stela Atanasova). The classic (strings) instruments give it an uplifting touch. The operatic feel grows towards the end of the track: giving it an epic feel. Monster In The Mirror has a good tempo and presents itself as a classic symphonic metal track with great vocals and a good production! It’s a nice show off (with more fragile and more powerful parts). Like A Willow Without Tears is more emotionally loaded and proves how good Stela’s voice is! Be ready to shed a tear! Another song filled with a lot of feeling and a lot of variation is the marvellous pearl called: I See Your Power. It reminds me a bit of XandriaSilence starts slow, with an almost whispering voice and slowly growing stronger and louder. Slowly it gets the typical symphonic metal sound and the tempo goes up (guided by the strings and the guitars). The break renders the more fragile part of the song. Still Believe In Us starts under the guidance of strings and an acoustic guitar. Once Stela starts to sing we also hear a piano. In the end it’s a magical and magistral ballad filled with emotions and o so fragile! Killer Of The Angel’s Love starts slowly but get’s some lifting after one minute and becomes a more power driven song empowered by some symphonic metal slices. Wonders Of Life sounds as charming and sweet as the title on itself. Stela’s voice sounds warm and deep, with now and then a touch of fragility and excellent symphonic metal slices! Passengers Between The Rails Of Life is the kind of typical symphonic metal track that goes up and down, goes high and low with lots of instrument on board. Second Chance sounds like the second life of a butterfly: light and softly with a romantic touch and only positive feelings. It’s a song that fit’s Stela’s voice like a handcrafted glove! The lift of the tempo towards the end almost feels like not done as the previous part is of such a beauty! Milo Moe Libe sounds a bit different from the previous tracks (partially due to the flute, but also because it’s sung in Polish, the mother language of this band). It’s a cool last track, making the end a beauty!

Well: this was a blast! I enjoyed it! I hope to get caught up by a large audience and can play a lot of gigs once life can go back to normal!

Written by Van Muylem

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I have heard the name METALWINGS pop up over the past few years but never actually sat down to listen to them until their latest release A Whole New Land. It is most certainly one of the more intriguing albums I have come across and it makes me curious to find out more. Let me explain.

It gets off to a promising start with the title track. When listening to this, Arabian Nightsfrom Disney’s Aladdin comes to mind in terms of melodies and the epic atmosphere it gives off. If you add a pinch of NIGHTWISH’s Decades In The Sun, this should give you a rough idea on what the song sounds like

One of the most notable things about A Whole New Land is you never know what’s coming around the corner. There is the perfect balance of keeping us on our toes and not including too much so we’re not left feeling baffled. Even in the tracks where you think you know what you’re getting, you are still caught off guard by subtle changes that change things up completely.

It took me a little while to see the appeal of the album, it didn’t grab my attention straight away, but I am glad I gave it another try. For me, A Whole New Land is a grower and it’s an interesting piece of art that can be admired from every angle. It also shows METALWINGSare ones to look out for. Recommended if you like WITHIN TEMPATIONLEAVES’ EYES and NIGHTWISH.

Rating: 7/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

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Metalwings, formed specifically in Autumn 2010, have been refining their brand of symphonic power metal for over a decade now and with this latest release, ‘A Whole New Land’. It was self released on the 11th of June this year.

The dramatic and rousing self titled opener sets the stage. Drums and guitars adding a layer of heaviness to the delicate and purposeful vocals keys and strings. It is not really a power metal record until there is the obligatory gallop and here it is. ‘Monster In the Mirror’, which is also the first single from the album, carries the baton of the heavy opera and it carries it well. Heavy and soaring there is a lot to like here, not least of all the guiter solo and nice moment of focus the bass gets. My favourite intro is found on ‘Like a Willow Without Tears’, it calls to my Scottish and Irish heritage with its Celtic feel. It is catchy, sinister and the headbanging section with the string is downright glorious. Hankering for something with a feel like The Phantom of the Opera but newer? Look no further than ‘I See Your Power’.

‘Silence’ is a class power ballad moment, break out those smartphone torches. ‘Still Believe in Us’ is as tender as it is tragic and calls to the heart of anyone who has ever had a relationship breakdown. The sinister is turned back up with ‘Killer of the Angel’s Love’. Despite the opening hard rock bars, ‘Wonders of Life’ take a carnival like twist which was unexpected. It rounds out with some classic heavy metal riffing and swagger. ‘Passengers Between the Rails of Life’ is heavy and dramatic as you have come to expect at this stage, and hits a soulful note lyrically as it talks about taking changes, spreading your wings for good or evil and when you tie that with the global climate slowly opening again it resonates all the louder. The next track is a gothic love story, it tells you as much in the opening lyrics. ‘Second Chance’ has heart, passion and tremendous string use.

We round out with ‘Mimlo Moe Libe’ – My Dear Libe. A letter to a love, bring home the trademark vocals, musical prowess and the feel that grabs the listener. This was a fun album for me to review, it is not my go to genre but this powerful and passionate album have changed my view for the better. It is big, bombastic and a whole lot of fun, even with these tender, beautiful moments.

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The review is written by Ever Metal

The Symphonic and the Gothic work best when they take their time to build up layers of mood with sound and this bunch nail it perfectly. Equally they take time to unpick and appreciate, and a casual first pass listen is simply not going to do justice to the monumental technical and musical effort that has gone into the crafting of the album. I have to stress that, because when you are an independent & self-financing band, the costs of recording and producing “A Whole New Land” will not have been insignificant. I am curious to know how they will tour this, particularly outside of their home market, as taking more than five of them on the road will clearly be something of a challenge and some of the music will lose its sense of majesty if it’s delivered by the click of a switch live.

It’s long, it’s technically complex with superb musical depth, but needs a good three listens before you really start to appreciate the work that has gone into it. With a bit more balance of the accessible and immediate, then this would be top drawer stuff. That said, if the chance to fly to Bulgaria and watch them do the whole thing live with the full orchestra comes up, I will seize it with both hands.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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