Facebook knows me way too well. They know the bands that I like/follow and that I live in Ontario. Earlier this year, by the magic of their algorithm-induced ads, I was shown a promoted post for Borealis, a melodic metal band from Orangeville, Ontario.
So through this ad, I listened to an early clip of a song from their previous album. I don’t really remember the song but it got me to click like on their site. And that’s how I found out about Borealis and I decided to give their sophomore album Purgatory a chance. Boy, am I glad I did.
“Past the Veil” sets the tone for the album and lets you know what you’re in for. It has some amazing keyboards on it. Matt Marinelli’s vocals immediately struck me as a mix between Mathew Barlow (ex-Iced Earth, Ashes of Ares) and Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), something that brought a smile to my face. Then “From the Ashes” further surprised me by integrating some female vocals courtesy of Sarah Dee which gave the song a great melodic tempo.
After that, the record never lets down as the band keeps on delivering high class melodic metal throughout. Purgatory is full of memorable moments, but the ones that stood out to me most were the beautiful guitar solo on “Destiny”, the nice orchestral arrangements on “Darkest Sin” and again on “Sacrifice” when we get another amazing guitar solo. I do wish that I could have heard more female vocals from Sarah Dee on other songs.
I also want to mention the great bass playing from Jamie Smith on the very melodic “Revelation”. This song finished the record on a great note leaving me very satisfied and glad I got the record in the first place. Production on the record is impeccable and my regards go out to band drummer Sean Dowell who was responsible for that, and the mixing.
If you’ve read this far by now, you probably know that the record surprised me in a big way. I’m glad there are still bands to be discovered like Borealis. These guys deserve to be up there with the great ones. I would recommend any fan of melodic/progressive metal to give this record a chance. As for me, excuse me while I go and get their debut right now. Borealis, — see you on August 29th!
01. Past The Veil
02. From The Ashes
03. The Chosen One
05. Darkest Sin
06. My Peace
07. Place of Darkness
08. Welcome To Eternity
10. Rest My Child
Matt Marinelli – lead vocals, guitars
Mike Briguglio – guitars
Sean Werlick – keyboards
Jamie Smith – bass
Sean Dowell – drums
Produced by Sean Dowell
Mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johansson
Review by Eduardo for Sleaze Roxx, July 2015