Tekst: Gerianne Meijer
Pictures: Sharik “MCSharQ”
Stream of Passion is a Dutch metal band originally created as a project of Arjan Lucassen. They are now their own band and after three albums they have been able to release their newest, fourth record only via crowdfunding. An amazing number of people have contributed to this campaign (including yours truly) and so this is a record completely made possible by fans. The album is called A War of Our Own and features twelve (or thirteen) tracks made with, yes, passion.
The first track is called ‘Monster’ and opens the album in a bombastic and progressive way, with sturdy riffs and strings. The vocals of Marcela Bovio are sultry, dark and carry full emotional weight as always. The chorus is haunting and the Spanish pre-chorus adds a tad of mystery to the song. A very accomplished opener and sure to be one of the favorites live. The title track is one of the best of the album in my humble opinion. Opening with fast keys and swirling guitars, Bovio’s vocals created a goose-bump sensation with the style of their true Stream of Passion sound. The keys by Jeffrey Revet are woven throughout the song and the chorus is strong and powerful making it a compelling listen.
‘The Curse’ was the first track released from this record. Marcela uses this song live for the fans to sing along to and the chorus makes this very possible. This doesn’t make the song any less powerful though. The vocal lines are as flowing as the rhythm section is raw and this contrast makes it a wonderful listen. ‘Autophobia’ starts out as a ballad with only vocals and piano, but during the chorus ample guitars and drums enter the track. It stays a rocking ballad though and isn’t as strong as the previous songs. ‘Burning Star’ tries to rectify this with pounding drums and a fast pace. It is very progressive and therefore hard to grasp. It is one of those songs that may not appeal immediately, but therefore does stand out. ‘For You’ is a true ballad, and as Bovio could make a whole a capella album and it would still be compelling, this is worth a listen just for her voice. The rest however is nothing new and to be honest the band has much better ballads in their repertoire.
‘Exile’ is again of the progressive branch and the guitars and bass are low. The lyrics are mostly in Spanish, except for the chorus, which makes it accessible as well as exotic (for those who don’t speak Spanish!). This song too though is not one of the stand outs, although it is musically solid and the cello halfway is a nice surprise. ‘Delirio’ has a latin rhythm and nice keys and strings to accompany it. The Spanish lyrics are fascinating and give an extra edge to Marcela’s vocals. It balances nicely between calm and fierce and is therefore a nice dynamic track. ‘Earthquake’ is a Stream of Passion track through and through with rolling drums, heavy bass and powerful lyrics. ‘Secrets’ opens with a classic piano and haunting vocals and is rather beautiful until the chorus. It has to be said that the chorus is not as captivating as it could have been and feels a bit bland. It puts a damper on an otherwise beautiful song although the guitar solo makes up for that a bit.
‘Don’t Let Go’ is dark and bombastic and shows Bovio’s vocals in full glory. It is already one of her favorites live and I can understand why. The solo also gives the guitarists something to occupy themselves with and turns the song from brooding to soaring. Official last track ‘Out of the Darkness’ is filled with keys and builds up tension until the rather guitar oriented chorus. Every instrument gets his shiny role during this one though, which makes it one of the loudest tracks. The digipack also features a bonus track called ‘The Distance Between Us’. It unfortunately has one of those choruses that fail to grasp, like ‘Secrets’ and is therefore a less satisfying closer than ‘Don’t let Go’.
Stream of Passion have delivered a solid album and some songs are definitely bound to become classics, however the lack of true refreshing sounds and the presence of some songs that fail to grasp make this less than a masterpiece. Fans should not and will not be disappointed though and anyone into progressive, beautiful, passionate metal should definitely check this out!
Marcela Bovio – vocals, violin
Johan van Stratum – bass
Martijn Peters – drums
Jeffrey Revet – keys
Eric Hazebroek – guitars
Stephan Schultz – guitars