I needed to hear more from these guys and, as luck would have it, I didn't need to look far considering we all frequently congregated in the radio station's chat room. Upon receiving my CD, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite albums.
The CD's artwork grabbed my attention right away, as cover artist Tina Giovannone did an amazing job on the imagery of the old fortune teller by capturing her spirit without overdoing it. I also really like the tri-fold style of the album cover as opposed to the usual plastic CD case, and appreciate the lyrics as well. The album contains ten songs, including an instrumental (which I pretty much expected, considering the genre) and a killer intro. The intro is 35 seconds long, but is an outstanding “prequel” to the rest of the album. Laura Daniels, the voice of Kyrie Ellison, couldn't have sounded better if she tried.
Following the intro is “Unborn Soldier” (song 2). It begins and ends with a drumming style resembling one which is easily related to the military, with pure power metal in between. This track is full of emotion and intensity which I attribute to the fact that Chuck's brother, Lance, was the inspiration behind the song. “Dimension of Sorrow” (song 3) and “Lonely Memories” (song 4) are just as hard-hitting with perfectly timed tempo shifts, screaming guitar riffs and a strong bass line, with “Lonely Memories” containing a brief bass solo. Next up is the album's only instrumental. Song five, “The Bitter Taste of Tears”, is 3:18 of what I will refer to as an instrumental intermission. Somberly living up to its name, it exudes sorrow as the guitarists strum out the haunting tune with precision.
“Foreseen Destiny” (song 6) starts out as an extension of its predecessor with Mark D.'s bass being more prominent. Chad begins vocals around 30 seconds into the song, giving the illusion you have stumbled onto a really good ballad; however, at about 1:02 your thoughts are shattered completely as the tempo picks up and unleashes more kick ass power metal until the last 13 seconds of the song. “A Cold Night of Darkness” (song 7) would have to be my favorite track on the album. At 5:34 it is one of the longer songs and should come as no surprise I chose it as my favorite. There is a really good guitar solo and, despite the heaviness of the music, there is a positive message through the lyrics. The heaviness of the song is just an added bonus. “Land of the Stories Untold” (song 8), “Wisdom Child” (song 9), and “New World” (song 10) continue unveiling the scriptures of sadness with the same energy as the rest of the album with consistently strong guitar solos, bass lines, and drumming throughout.
Although it took them a couple of decades to produce a full length album, the band has successfully merged prog and power metal in their cryptic tale of UNTOLD STORIES: The Scriptures of Sadness. In my opinion Kyrie Ellison has released a downright epic masterpiece that will withstand the sands of time. It goes without saying the album is “Anna's iPod Approved”; furthermore, I highly recommend it to all music lovers regardless of what genre you prefer. Please visit http://www.kyrieellison.com to purchase the album and learn more about the band. No music collection will be complete without it; this album is a must-have.