American power metal outfit Adamantis’s first full length Far Flung Realm can be summarized in two words; adventurous and epic. Coming two years after the release of debut EP Thundermark it delves deep into the American style of the genre, thick, thunderous guitars booming across the mountains erected by the rhythm section, but always keeping melody, accessibility and swift, memorable choruses close at hand. Never as crunchingly heavy as Burning Shadows or as deep winding or proggy as Judicator, Adamantis balances a ground in between while also taking inspiration from the bigger names of the genre, and does so with plenty of charisma, dealing out several great tracks that would fit any power metal playlist, full of swiveling leads and charismatic vocal melodies - landing often not far from a sound akin to a crunchier Eternity’s End, the cheesy presence always going hand in hand with great, concise songwriting.
Unbound Souls opens the album up on crushing riffage, deep bass lines and a memorable melodic lead. Guitarists Jeff Taft and Javier Estrada wasting little time dealing out the goods, while the speedy double bass drums of Evgeny Gromovoy builds towers for the leads and melodic riffing to circle around. The guitar work on the album is among the greatest features, tracks like Misbegotten Dream and Fire and Brimstone giving some showoff-y highlights - but never close to guitar wanking, always keeping the songwriting in focus, all the while tossing in nuggets of solo-y goodness when the riffing allows for it. Jeff Stark's vocal delivery; delicate when needed, powerful in the massive choruses, taking the cheesy lyrical concepts - dealing in the oft sung fantastic battles and epic adventure - and running with them like they’re the most important stories, his tenor flawlessly soaring atop the thrifty guitarwork.
Toward the end of the album, the deeper, more fleshed out and lengthier cuts reveal themselves (while also housing a filler track or two). Second Sight brings the epic, blasting layered vocals and a massive chorus while also going to some depth in the crunchy guitars - and some fleshy bass work as well - while closer Voron (The Ravensong) takes the storytelling to a peak, binding it in thrifty guitar work and flashy melodic soloing, slowly unraveling as the riffing grows bigger in scope. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of interesting material in the earlier material; there are lengthy instrumental sections and solo dueling found in several of the highlights, including Misbegotten Dream and Journey’s End. The debut EP released a few years back introduced an anonymous heap of songs to their name, but with Far Flung Realm Adamantis have ventured head first into adventure, infusing the entire sound of their first album with the fun and games the genre is often known for. It manages to be interesting throughout its near hour long runtime and introduces an array of musicians who sound like they’ve been doing this for decades; head first into the realm!
Standout tracks: Misbegotten Dream, Fire and Brimstone, The Oracle's Prophecy