Morningstar - _Kalevala Mysticism_
(RIP Records, 2002)
by: Adam Lineker (5 out of 10)
It takes more than conviction and guts to pull off fantasy power metal. It takes an attitude, a true metal spirit and a faith strong enough to match. If only this were the whole truth, Morningstar could be right up there with the metal gods. Alas, they lack one major element that is essential to greatness. Whereas Manowar are able to boast some truly great music alongside their 'more true metal than thou' beliefs, Morningstar are not. Whereas Lost Horizon can match their ridiculous furry Viking pants with some exhilarating metal, Morningstar come across as mundane. With a very basic production accounted for, it is entirely on the shoulders of the music itself to draw the listener in and _Kalevala Mysticism_ doesn't quite manage it. To their credit, Morningstar occasionally create some emotive riff progressions and show some glimpses of creativity; sometimes their 'warriors of the north' metal almost works. Unfortunately there are too many flaws that cripple _Kalevala Mysticism_ before it can ever get off of the ground. Morningstar would do well to find a vocalist who can actually sing convincingly, as powerful vocals can make or break power metal. Instead, vocalist Ari's voice lacks passion, flair and ability, though in all fairness he is also the guitarist, and plays convincingly, especially on "Battleaxe" -- this track provides the best moment on the album as it segues into "Made of Iron". Unfortunately such moments are saturated by an average-ness that suffuses the whole record. The greatest flaws lie in the song writing and this becomes obvious as the tracks lose identity as the record progresses. The structuring allows for far too much repetition and the music is almost constantly one dimensional, resulting in crushing boredom. With all this in place, the 'true metal' posturing falls flat on its face, rendering Morningstar's imagery flaccid and a sitting duck for savage humour. Contributions to the true metal cause are mostly a good thing in my book, but offerings such as _Kalevala Mysticism_ make the whole thing look so silly.

Contact: http://www.restinpeacerecords.com

(article published 21/3/2003)


ALBUMS
2/13/1999 A Cantwell 6 Morningstar - Hell
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