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Labyrinth - Return To Heaven Denied Pt. 2: A Midnight Autumn’s Dream

Label: JVC
Format: CD download
Released: 2010
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


Return to power metal confirmed! After a half-decade foray into alternative leanings ("Freeman" and the prophetic "6 Days To Nowhere"), the falsetto, keyboards and furious six strings (wonder where Dragonforce got the idea? Check out the fleet fingered ‘Princess Of The Night’) are back, as is Vision Divine guitarist/original member Olaf Thorsen. Lest you think it all pomp and frill, check out the speedy, grittier Priest inspired ‘To Where We Belong’ or the acoustic/classical strings introduced, 6:54 ballad of a title track, which stands apart from the rest.

 

Piano and multiple voices begin ‘A Chance’, but it quickly morphs into a double bass driven attack, before settling on a happy median. It’s not a complete shred-fest though, as the more emotive ‘Like Shadows In The Dark’ has FM radio potential (if such a thing still exists). Other times, the over-the-top guitar-keys histrionics are reminiscent of Children Of Bodom, which isn’t a bad thing to these ears (‘In This Void’, portions of the aforementioned ‘A Chance’). Plenty of time for exposition, with 7 of the ten tracks eclipsing five minutes. The Japanese version contains a pair of bonuses, making the total an even dozen: an acoustic rendition of the title cut and a cover of Yngwie Malmsteen’s ‘You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget’. Welcome back!

 
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