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Voices of Destiny - "Power Dive" (CD)

Voices of Destiny - "Power Dive" CD cover image

"Power Dive" track listing:

1. Prologue (0:32)
2. Power Dive (4:38)
3. My Separation (5:22)
4. Dreams Awake (4:22)
5. Kami (5:42)
6. The Untouchable (4:38)
7. Being Worth (6:09)
8. Dedication (5:29)
9. Your Hands (5:11)
10. Red Winter's Snow I (Prophets of Doom) (6:28)
11. Power Dive (Reprise) (2:38)
12. Smoke And Mirrors (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by on March 2, 2012

"The album has brilliant moments, but sometimes what makes a great album is not always about excellent musicianship and execution, but memorable moments and stylistic differences that allow a band to transcend others of the same ilk."

German symphonic metal act Voices of Destiny is back with the sophomore release “Power Dive,” and the album is a well-executed release that shows good progression from the debut “From The Ashes.” However, in the face of so many other greats of the genre, it gets a bit lost on listeners in the sea of quality symphonic metal albums, led by more notable bands like Epica, Xandria and Diabulus In Musica, which have already been offered this year. Still Voices of Destiny is a talented band capable of creating good solid releases, but until the band comes up with a way to carve out a style which can steer it away from the pack, the group will always be compared to the greats of the genre and come in second.

With that said, “Power Dive” does have many great moments. The album’s most satisfying track is “Dedication,” which is absolutely huge on all levels: riffs, keys, vocals, choirs, and overall atmosphere. The follow up, “Red Winter’s Snow,” is right on par with “Dedication” in choirs and it represents one of the most complex and progressive songs of the album. In addition, I highly enjoyed “My Separation,” with its nice balance of “beauty v. beast” vocals, excellent riffs of Christopher Gutjahr and bombastic keys. Keyboardist/vocalist Lukas Palme ratchets up the intensity of his harsh vocals in the track “Kami” and “Untouchable,” which fill the well placed pauses alongside Gutjahr’s monster riffs.

Palme’s vocals may not be as strong as others, with his lack of low depth, but they are well executed and provide the much needed “touch of evil” to counter the sweeter vocal range of Maike Holzmann. Holzmann is an excellent vocalist, but would do even better if she unleashed the full scale of her voice, draw down on the high operatic a bit, and add some muscle behind that sweetness to properly counter Palme. There are times when she can drone on a little bit, lacking oomph, like on “Being Worth” and in her portion of the verses in “Dream Awake.”

“Power Dive” is an admirable effort from a band that needs to continue to work to carve out its own path and define the genre rather than have the genre define the band, as Voices of Destiny risks being sucked in the quick sand of obscurity. The album has brilliant moments, but sometimes what makes a great album is not always about excellent musicianship and execution, but memorable moments and stylistic differences that allow a band to transcend others of the same ilk. Voices of Destiny is on the cusp, but still needs to find its defining quality.

Highs: "Dedication" and "My Separation" are among the best songs of the album.

Lows: The band needs to define itself better. Maike Holzmann needs to open up her vocals and go for it.

Bottom line: Voices of Destiny makes a valiant "dive," but in places lacks the "power" to make a real difference.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)