Country: Netherlands – Style: Power Metal – Experimental / Compilation
1. Gates Of Eternity (Intro)
3. Euphoric City
4. Creating Our Own Perfect Utopia
5. Eagle Servants
6. Golden Power
8. When Dragons Rise
9. Temple Of Peace
11. With Great Might
How many tracks can you recognize… ?
Foreword: Now, you may have already heard of a rather unusual musical / Power Metal project initiated by two friends from the Netherlands – who call themselves POWERIXTIX. Wait, you haven’t ? Then sit tight and and relax, for now it is your time to get to know these guys. Right – we are here to find out whether their album ETERNITY actually is something to care about – or, if it is just a sorry attempt to create something… unusual. POWERIXTIX consist of two main members, RIX and TIX – or, if you might want to call them by their real names – Erik and Tim. As you can see on their Blogspot-Page, they seem to be your not-so-ordinary at all Dutch’s, who have a serious affection for a genre many people out there tend to love – we are speaking about the overall Power Metal-genre indeed. And, what automatically comes along: the melody, the speed, the catchy choruses, the high-pitched vocals and… you know the rest. So, their idea was to produce a CD that has a certain ‚mix-tape‘ touch, which is rather unusual in any Metal genre – some tend to know about similar productions from genres like Rap or RnB. Exactly the genres POWERIXIX would never listen to – as they often state in a humorous manner. So what kind of CD is ETERNITY, then ? Is it a CD you could carry over to a (Metal-)party, being assured that you have a various selection of uplifting Power Metal-tracks pounding through the speakers – or do we rather speak about a pure fun-project here, a CD that fraternizes their devotion to the Power Metal-genre ? It surely is a little bit of everything. There are an estimated three main categories of listeners, one could possibly think of:
- The general Power Metal enthusiast, who just wants to check whether he knows all the bands occurring,
- The everyday Power Metal consument who looks for a special compilation, or
- The Power Metal newcomer, for whom this CD is a really good introduction to a vast variety of bands and songs.
Review: So, how about the music then ? A review referring to such an unusual compilation with a huge ‚mix‘ that is aimed to produce a certain overall effect in the end can only come along divided in two parts. The first part takes a look on the positive and negative aspects that stand out when producing such a CD, the second parts takes a deeper look in the overall arrangements, additions and changes they made out of the source material.
The benefits of ETERNITY: As it has already been said, an album like this is just an unique opportunity for fans or newcomers to celebrate the general power of Metal. And, POWERIXTIX did really care about a lot of diversification indeed. There are several bands and songs included, sometimes they just take a single guitar solo, a passage from the chorus; and what is even more important: they actually manage to create working transitions between these single parts. Naturally, these transitions and moments of overlapping songs and samples are somewhat unique – we have never heard them in this form, in this constellation. RIX and TIX seem to have a good feeling for single song’s impressions and traditions, so every track manages to deliver an unique feeling, a unique form of existence. And this is something that shouldn’t be underestimated: the tracks on this POWERIXTIX album are often more than 10 minutes long, so it is glad that they managed to keep a good overview on what has been used, and how it has been used. They even added some self-created passages, although it can be kind of hard to differentiate between ‚originals‘ and ‚true‘ POWERIXTIX elements here. This however could be counted as another reassurance that ETERNITY really creates a new ‚whole‘.
The shady side of ETERNITY: Well, as a critic I often tend to say: an artist is not an artist if he or she doesn’t create something totally new. Something unique and worth the effort, devoting their heart and soul into this or that project. As stated in the benefits of ETERNITY, POWERIXTIX created something ’new‘ indeed (in this context) – but we have to remember that almost all parts of the album were not actually invented by them. The songs are owned by the respective owners – POWERIXTIX took them and worked with them, in a more fan-like or promotional way. They did change a lot of things, referring to the overall sound, effects and production quality – still, it is the original impact and spirit of the songs that brings ETERNITY to life. Furthermore, there are some natural problems when mixing such a huge and longish album: some samples tend not to fit together, as the original source materials all have a different quality / volume / sound – but POWERIXTIX try their best to compete this challenge. Talking about a totally different aspect, the album is indeed kind of long (about 140 minutes) – it wouldn’t fit on a regular CD by any chance, it would become close even for a 2-CD-release. Well, for now the album can only be downloaded, so it is not a real problem – but we have to think about quality issues here. Was it really necessary to include such a huge variety of songs, running the risk of a drastically dropping level of fascination when the listener is past the first 60 or 80 minutes ? They even announced a second part of ETERNITY to be released later this year – so, one has to be very pre-cautious to see if it really is the quality that reigns over quantity. At least it appears kind of doubtful.
The songs in detail: The opening piece for ETERNITY is called GATES OF ETERNITY – it is a track POWERIXTIX released some time ago, as a first preview for the things to come. So you might already know it – it is a nice compilation of international Power Metal-arrangements, with a running time of over 10 minutes. Some bands you will recognize from the scratch are DRAGONFORCE, HEAVENLY, REINXEED, ANCIENT BARDS, or DARK MOOR. Surely, these are labelled as a ‚must-know‘ – it can get a little harder with the instrumental passages though, or the rather ‚rare‘ songs that are everything but to be found in the Metal-mainstream. Here we can, for example, find bands like KELDIAN (VINLAND – great and timeless song). However, some samples like the one from KALEDON are quite raspy and obviously of a lower quality – they just don’t fit in too well. But as a whole – the track acts very well as an opener. A fast, melodic and catchy one, naturally.
Second piece on the album is LIGHTLANDS, in which we can also hear the ’narrators‘ of the album. Well, I do not know… I might have a little problem with this certain Comedy- / Power Metal mash up. However, the incredibly fast guitar solos are nice to hear, as well as tributes to great bands like mighty LABYRINTH. DRAGONFORCE seem to be a must for POWERIXTIX, however; when it comes to epic songs like ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE by CELESTY, you just wish for the (complete !) original without any disturbance. In this one another great band gets their attention: POWER QUEST, more than fitting in a track called LIGHTLANDS. But these dialogue-passages in between… oh my.
However, EUPHORIC CITY once again starts with a narration passage, changing into a nice selection of true Power Metal highlights (MILLENIUM, NEW DAWN, GAMMA RAY, SONATA ARCTICA) soon. This track turns out to be mainly dominated by instrumental tunes – a good choice. THE FIRST STONES OF OUR OWN PERFECT UTOPIA starts very good, mainly because of a perfectly used sample of EMERALD SUN. There are a lot of highs (perfect transitions) and also a few depths (lower quality samples) to follow. EAGLE SERVANTS is a purely classic interlude that delivers the right mood for the upcoming tracks. If there is one thing POWERIXTIX manage to do, it would be the fact that they know how to keep you entertained. And now, is that DRAGON GUARDIAN on the beginning of GOLDEN POWER ? It doesn’t really matter, since all of the upcoming songs have their catchy, surprising, funny, glorious, epic, awkward or frustrating moments. It’s just like within life itself… it is a real motley, wide cross section of Power Metal history. At last POWERIXTIX blow off all roofs with the epic final, MAJESTIC – a 28-minute-long piece that contains everything. However, you can clearly hear the differences between the samples in this one (from clear to flat, from loud to gentle, from multi-track to single-track and so on). But of course it is nice to see that bands like TIMELESS MIRACLE, SUNRISE and DRAGONLAND get their (deserved) tribute.
Conclusion: It would be somehow wrong to state that ETERNITY is a ’strong‘ album. Since it rather is an entertaining compilation, mixed and mastered by two devoted Metal-heads. So, I tend to see the whole thing as it is – as a fun project from and for fans. If you’re into Power Metal anyhow, it surely will be a lot of fun to encounter all the treasures buried on this album. It can also be seen as a little help to see what you’ve already got in your collection and what you’re still missing – if you like what you hear, of course. The only ‚true‘ problems can be found in the disharmonies between some samples, and the general playing time which is a little (!) too long – even for a ‚true‘ Power Metal-head. And, just to make sure that I mention everything: the issue with the awkward mix of comedy and Power Metal elements (especially in the dialogues on the album, on the web pages or in any promo video of the band) could be labelled as another problem. Well, it is a matter of taste. But many fellow metal heads rather tend to ‚defend‘ the ‚holiness‘ and ‚epincess‘ of Power Metal without any self-mockery – but by the power of the music only. Finally, ETERNITY can not receive a full rating, that would be impossible – since these 10/10-ranks are reserved for the ‚originals‘. But it can get a (rather) high rating indeed, as an ambitious and generally entertaining project for the Power Metal community. I cannot help it, but sometimes I feel like listening to some Youtube TOP-10-list… or should I say, a TOP-500 list ?
„An interesting catch for fans of the genre.“