Following their latest record, “Alone in the Crowd,” released seven years ago, French female-fronted progressive metal/rock band Wedingoth has unveiled its fourth full-length record, “Five Stars Above.” According to their press releases, the band combines the power of rock, served by a female voice charged with emotion, to atmospheric nuances inviting to travel, all of which are supported by an orchestral technique.
“Five Stars Above” consists of nine progressive, symphonic, and metal tracks that will catch your attention. First and foremost, the record has enough vision, quality, and talent to convince its listeners, standing out with its impressive blend of lovely vocals, powerful drums, and deep guitar sounds. The music reminded me of Pink Floyd and the early Dream Theater in certain parts, as it’s complex and super progressive in every possible way. Every detail on the album has a vital role, its tracks flowing into each other without a break, much like a beautiful symphony (or their favorite album – Pink Floyd‘s “Dark Side of the Moon“).
The band has touched every single aspect in the making, so the record stands out with its success in balancing, tonic, and energy levels. On the opener ‘Dear Universe,’ you can almost hear the influences of “Dark Side of the Moon,” as well as some early Floyd sounds. You’ll find an excellent mix of electric and acoustic guitars here, feeling like it sits on a bridge suspended over a vintage progressive and modern melodic rock.
‘Masterpiece of Life‘ is one of the album’s most extended tracks, with over-the-top electric guitar solos. Conversely, ‘Dear Man on Earth‘ has the most interesting lyrics on the album, and if you are a fan of Genesis, then this song is ideal for you. While the album plays, the following songs take several musical detours through impressive solos, vocals, and alternating rhythm pulses, adding a sense of suspense. For example, ‘The Space Man‘ is a beautiful salute to the age of space exploration and a great and hopeful continuation of the journey beyond.
For many, ‘Cross the Mirror‘ might be the best one on the album, as it sends you back to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” yet the melody and music are entirely different. The track is full of rhythm and bouncier, moving much faster than the previous tracks. One thing is for sure; you are constantly on edge, not knowing that a complex track may lie around the next corner.
‘My Own Sacrifice‘ is over 15 minutes long, and you’ll hear the best vocal performance, guitar soloing, instrumentation, and soundscape atmospherics on the album. Clocking in at over five minutes, closer ‘Love‘ delivers a timeless vocal melody and is the perfect way to end this rather epic album. Before some closing remarks, it should also be noted that by exploring various themes related to space, creation, human nature, and time, Wedingoth has plunged us into the heart of the stars to convey their deepest emotions better.
“Five Stars Above” is a fruitful listen guaranteed to inspire those who love a combination of old, vintage, and modern progressive metal/rock. It’s impossible to imagine a fan of progressive metal not loving this album. Moreover, it is impossible not to recommend any fan of rock music to give “Five Stars Above” (and more broadly, Wedingoth) their time.
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