After parting ways with their record label, last year Dutch symphonic metal band Stream of Passion launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund recording for their next album. It was a resounding success, and they raised 43,000 euros, far surpassing the 25000 goal. New album A War of Our Own is the result, and it’s another fantastic album from the group, combining heaviness and melody with great charisma. The band have really great songwriting, and their melodic sensibility is unparalleled within the genre.
The album combines the band’s usual trademarks, with progressive heavy riffing, Marcela Bovio’s beautiful voice interchanging between English and Spanish, and a good deal of melody coming from her violin playing, and Jeffrey Revet’s keyboard playing. But perhaps reinvigorated by the success of their crowdfunding campaign and without the constraints of a record company, they’ve really upped the ante for this release, and everything sounds much more grand and the sound is much more complete than ever before. Opening track Monster showcases this from the start, with an interplay between violins, lovely piano melodies and really heavy riffs working so well together to create an epic atmosphere, before Marcela comes in singing softly and beautifully, and her voice is really powerful on the album. She delivers an excellent performance, from beautiful soft sections, to the choruses where she sings with real vigour, hitting really impressive high notes. Her voice is a joy to listen to throughout the release, she sings with excellent sounding melodic intonations, and with the switching between English and Spanish she showcases a great range. The powerful performance in that opening track is absolutely staggering, A War of Our Own has her best performance with the band yet, and that’s without mentioning her violin playing. Playing a larger role than ever before, it weaves another layer of beautiful melody throughout the album. The guitar playing is great as usual for Stream of Passion, with the two guitarists playing heavy yet progressive riffs, really rhythmic and interesting throughout the album, especially the catchy riffs in The Curse and Autophobia, a really melodic track, with more of the beautiful violin playing. And there’s really great lead guitar throughout the album too, with an excellent solo on the catchy epic Don’t Let Go.
Burning Star provides one of the fastest tracks, with a pounding drum assault at the beginning and heavy guitars throughout, this is another catchy song with a brilliant chorus and a really heavy breakdown in the middle, it contains one of the best guitar performances on the album. With pounding riffs and melodic leads, all backed up with excellent keyboard flourishes, the track is sure to be a regular on future setlists. For You provides a change of pace with a soft ballad with Marcela singing beautifully over piano and violin, before Exile kicks off with some of the heaviest riffs on the album, and with Marcela singing beautifully in Spanish there are also some great exotic melodies making this a really interesting and excellent song. Delirio is my personal favourite from the release, with Marcela at her absolute best, belting out the Spanish lyrics with real passion over excellent riffage, and with the symphonic elements being really uplifting, it’s a cinematic sounding, brilliant song. Secrets is another sure fire future live favourite, with more sweeping symphonics, powerful vocals, and an excellent guitar solo, it displays some of the all around best song writing on the album.
The production on the album is fantastic too, with everything coming together excellently. The mix is perfect with all instruments sounding crystal clear and nothing being too loud, or buried in the mix, and the way the violins and keyboards weave their way through the tracks is really refreshing and gives them a great atmosphere. But with such a clean production they don’t smother any of the guitar’s heaviness, rather they accentuate it with the contrast between the beautiful melodies of the keyboards and violin.
A War of Our Own is perhaps the best Stream of Passion album yet, having perfected their style of symphonic metal with progressive tendencies its simultaneously both their heaviest, and their most melodic album to date. With Marcela’s beautiful voice, the bands’ excellent riffs, and their simply gorgeous melodic sensibilities, Stream of Passion really do have their own niche within the scene. They’re a rather unique band, and deserve to get a lot bigger thanks to this album, which doesn’t have a single bad track. Any fans of either progressive metal or symphonic metal all need to check this out.
02. A War Of Our Own
03. The Curse
05. Burning Star
06. For You
11. Don’t Let Go
12. Out Of The Darkness
13. The Distance Between Us
Watch the lyric video for the Curse below: