Review Summary: Epic, with a side order of japanese skulls, manta rays and amazing choruses.
Forming in 2003, this Japanese duo hailing from Kyoto set their bar with the 2004 demo Steel Tempest. While a nice demo, it was lacking in production and left you kind of empty afterwards. There next release however, At The Blizzard End.., was a solid performance, it still left a lot to be desired. Then in the summer of 2006, they released their best work to date.
Dead Fantasia, just looking at the album cover, gives a feeling of "This is either gonna be epic or horrible." With mountains rising up into the darkened sky, with skulls on the mountains and ...manta rays" Yes, Manta rays. The Album cover aside. The opening track "Lose All Reason" is not the best opening, but probably would be improved if it was a little longer. The next track "The Hollow Wings" is a beast. Amazing guitar work, blasting drums and vocals I could sacrifice a child too. The third track, "Paranoia" is polarizing song of this album. It contains the best solo of Dead Fantasia and having incredibly fast drumming, and tempo in general. The drums overpower the rest of the song.
The next four songs are the best of this whole album. Starting off with "Breath of Sea" A tasty, epic song with a almost sailor like sound made up of tremolo picking at times and eerie plucking. The bass really shows through on this song also. Next, the title track does not let up and hits you hard from the moment it picks up. And the last lines of the song always sends chills down my spine. Beasts nest on the ground/And they are still living in dead fantasy. Track 6, "Thats Why I'm A Berserker", took me a couple listens to get to like, but when it did it became a classic. It tells of a story of man who is surprisingly enough, a beserker, galloping through the country-side claiming his world. Not the deepest song, but it hits hard and leaves you pumped. The next track, tied to be the longest at 5:03, is my favorite of the album. "Son of the Fortune" starts off with scary plucking and evolves into a mid-paced operatic monster riff with terrifying screams and vocals. Followed by some guitar play and a beautiful duet of a chorus, and ending with a background solo of sorts.
The final three tracks, while not as strong as the middle of the album, is still devilish, elegant metal. "Veil", the eighth track is punishing, but a downside is its repetitiveness. The following track "Deluge of Life" is a longer track, but the best of the three final tracks. With a catchy-as-hell riff and bellowing rib-cage shaking drums. The closing track, "Feathers Ros" is a beautiful track with nice, soothing tempo and riffs, and of-course amazing vocals.
The album Dead Fantasia, Is the essential album you need to have in your collection of metal breakthrough albums.
Its almost amazing what 2 Japanese guys can do with guitars and computers.
Tracks You Need To Listen Too:
Son of the Fortune
Breath of Sea
The Hollowed Wings