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.
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
The review is written by Darkzen!
An album with excellent musical content! The musical composition is varied within its Symphonic, instrumental, gothic, elegant style and a bit of Folk, there is melody and harmony, with varied tempos in its Symphonic parts ‘A Whole New Land’ is a concept album, both in music and in the lyrics, because each song has something different, there is the presence of strong and soft chords, acoustic parts, parts with wind instruments carried in an excellent way, an extensive album both in the musical part and in the conceptual, an album with a greater Symphonic / Gothic / Folk Metal content with a soft, rhythmic and melodic musical scale with a bit of a soft, dark atmosphere and native sounds that once again show us Metalwings the strong part of the band.
Stela’s voice is an excellent and angelic voice, its scale and range of voice is unique, a harmonic, melodic, sweet, clean and beautiful operatic register, a very powerful weapon of the band is in the beautiful voice of Stela that gives to each musical track its own style.
This time the review is written by Rainer Kerber from Keep on Rocking Mag Germany!!!
“I am aware that symphonic metal albums are often very controversial among metal fans. But singer and mastermind Stela Atanasova managed to create a balanced mixture of symphonic and metal. Sure, their orchestrations are omnipresent in the songs, but never just a means to an end. Your singing also fits into the sound. She calls a classically trained soprano her own. But unlike many of her colleagues, she does not constantly try to tirilate at the highest altitudes. She uses the full range of her vocal abilities. In addition, the other band members constantly prove their great skills on the instruments. “A Whole New Land” is a symphonic metal album of the better kind.”
The new review is written by Metal World!!! A huge thank you for the support!
“A Whole New Land” was mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios. Guests on the album include Ivo Kalyonski (extreme voice on “Monster In the Mirror”) and Georgi Dobrev (Kaval on “Milo Moe Libe”), while the cover art was created by Yasen Denev at Red Ring Entertainment.
“A Whole New Land” begins with a dark atmosphere intro, gradually incorporating percussion, powerful guitars, keys and angelic vocals for a magical eight minutes with opera choruses and various stop and go. In “Monster In the Mirror” the vocal interpretation varies a little more choral and high applied in a song of climates that sounds forceful and lets hear some well-placed guttural contributions between the lines. “Like A Willow Without Tears” is epic and very folk, continuing in the middle tempos until the power side starts in a great song. Then on “I See Your Power”, the performers are overflowing with energy and they really do a great job where the drums stand out.
Again the beauty of the voices stand out in “Silence” where they slowly consolidate a kind of stormy ballad of great composition that takes off musically at times. A great melody captures us with “Still Believe in Us”, emotional and dramatic. “Killer Of The Angel’s Love” is my favorite, a song with pure energy and dexterity that has a sober balance of combinations and where all the instruments fly very high. From song number eight “Wonders of Life”, I can say that we are facing an important component of the album that I am going to use to assess the particularities of the band, which at no time invite us to be compared with close exponents by gender or by having female voices and that’s great …