GERMÁN PASCUAL — A New Beginning (review)

GERMÁN PASCUAL — A New Beginning album cover Album · 2012 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Best known as a vocalist for bands like Narnia, Divinefire, and Mind's Eye, Germán Pascual is a name that should grab the attention of power metal fans. Originally born in Uruguay and raised in Brazil, Pascual later moved to Sweden and gained some notoriety in the country's Christian power metal scene; his manly timbre and powerful singing style makes him a vocalist comparable to people like Russell Allen or Ralf Scheepers, and his first solo outing further proves his relevance in the Swedish metal scene. A New Beginning is a solid melodic metal album through and through, and those who enjoy their music with lots of melodic hooks while still remaining complex and heavy should find plenty to love here!

A New Beginning is a melodic power metal album at its core, but there's actually a bit more to it than that. While every song is dominated by catchy melodies and strong choruses, the riffs are surprisingly heavy and the instrumental arrangements are pretty progressive. The guitars have a thick, almost thrash-oriented, sound to them, and the omnipresent synthesizers give the entire album a unique atmosphere. A New Beginning may not be a completely progressive metal observation, but some of the instrumental portions of the album - check out the second half of "Misty Dreams" for something really killer! - bear more resemblance to Dream Theater or Fates Warning than they do to a power metal ditto. Though this album may be the product of a vocalist, all of the instrumentalists are given plenty of room to shine and never feel like a mere vehicle for vocal acrobatics. The production is also thick and powerful, and though it may sound too over-produced to some listeners, I think it suits the music perfectly.

While the album may not be without flaws - the harsh vocals on "The Wrath of GOD" are pretty weak, the lack of an actual 'human drummer' will probably bother some, the Christian lyrics are an acquired taste, and a few of the songs fall into a formulaic rut - I still think that A New Beginning is a highly recommendable purchase to fans of melodic power metal with touches of prog, thrash, and traditional heavy metal. Germán Pascual's first solo outing is one that is about as professional as they come, and fans of melodic metal should definitely check it out.
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