|Release Date||16 Feb 2019|
I often find myself turned off from a power metal album rather quickly when the mixing is muddled, because a lot of the appeal is how clean and shiny it sounds. More often than not, these albums are coincidentally also fairly low in musical quality, which makes it twice as much of a pain in the ass to listen to the entire thing. Sometimes, however, it pays off to give these more lo-fi records a shot because you just might find a buried gem.
Sylvania is definitely one of those bands. While the mixing and mastering in Testigos de las Estrellas aren’t terrible, they don’t necessarily ascend to the heavenly heights of power metal standard. Many of the rhythm parts get lost amongst each other at times and the cymbals are sometimes murky.
Despite that, however, this record has a lot going for it. The musicianship is very solid and the vocals are extremely well done. There’s a great mix of single vocals, dual harmonies, and guest vocals (and also the band Daeria), which adds extra colour without upsetting the core feel of the music. The shredding guitar solos are tasteful and there’s no shortage of lively keyboard parts.
The overall feel is uplifting and bright, but there are numerous heavy breakdowns and instrumentals, such as the ones in ‘Espiritu de Fuego’ and ‘La Maldicion de Dabria’. There’s a certain balance between the two that prevents the album from leaning too far into the, “Believe in your dreams and fly through the skies on the wings of an eagle,” realm of power metal (I’m looking at you, Freedom Call and Victorius).
My favourite song is the titular track by far. The intro is full of energy and the keyboard fanfares add a thick layer of heroism. Complete with another exceptional solo and a loud cry to finish it off, ‘Testigos de las Estrellas’ is stellar. Another great track is the ten minute closer ‘Por Nuestra Libertad’. The many instrumental parts are well done and it’s a very dynamic song.
There’s a lot to be enjoyed in Testigos de las Estrellas. There’s plenty of variety, both in the music and the lineup, the songs are dynamic, and the band is exceptionally talented. Come and witness this star; you’ll be glad you did! (Get it? “Come and witness this star”? Because the album title? Ah, forget it.)