Wow, where to even begin describing an album like The Mirror’s Eye, that seems to be everywhere all at once. It’s the debut full length by Netherlands born Powerized, and a massive and highly ambitious album that takes more than a few cues from the old power metal antics of Tobias Sammet, taking bunches of inspiration from both the early Edguy days and the first two Avantasia albums. The album is in fact dauntingly big; at over seventy minutes and three tracks breaking the ten minute barrier, a few cuts would have been necessary to shorten the playtime and make the album more accessible. Boring ballad Forever Roaming is the obvious low point, bringing none of the emotion necessary to pull it off, but most of the tracks carry some padding to drag out the length beyond necessary. There is also a lack of dynamic range; everything always sounds big and epic, but without the emotional lows to contrast it.
Now that the biggest criticisms are out of the way, The Mirror’s Eye is a fun, energetic album that pushes its boundaries in constant twists and turns. There are progressive elements to be found, but mostly Powerized focus on power and an epic sound, meaning that the songs do not just lead to massive, choral, epic conclusions; everything is set to be epic, from the intros to the interludes to the bridges. The noodling guitar tracks care of Bart Geisen carefully delivering one potent solo after another and putting airy lead melodies over Joris van Rooij’s rhythm guitar and Bart van Unen’s brimming bass lines. Tracks like Where Worlds Meet The Eye and King Alas! sees the efficient melodics beautifully blending the swift guitars and fresh sounding rhythm section with theatric keys and swiveling vocal melodies from Nick Holleman. He may not have Sammet’s quirky style and simplistic but effective songwriting, but Holleman (Martin Beck’s Induction, ex- Vicious Rumors) brings a certain unique style to his theatric performance. At times he sounds exactly like Sammet, and at others he takes off in a completely different twist, soaring falsettos and a distinct Kiske feel.
Certainly a big prospect that attempts to get everything in there, every little shred of influence from the likes of Helloween to Freedom Call to Edguy and Avantasia. It’s not a game changer, and it certainly won’t go for every moment, but when the feel comes on, The Mirror’s Eye will do more than satisfy. It’s a melodic feast with something that should be interesting to every power metal fan; cheesy vocals, epic keys and fast melodic lead guitars sprinkles the entire length of the album, made with lots of passion and plenty of skill to match the epic scope. While faltering slightly on behalf of its length and overwhelming size, the album is at the very least a good debut album that shows heaps of promise and begs to get a follow up that knows boundaries. Shorten it down by a track or two and chop a couple minutes of the longest tracks and it’d be a great one.
Standout tracks: Where Worlds Meet The Eye, King Alas!, Ire Of The Monster