Ani Lo. Projekt – “A Time Called Forever” (Pride & Joy Music)
Formed by well known Bulgarian singer Ani Lozanova and her long-term musical partner, drummer Konstantin Dinev (Kossy D) in 2010, Ani Lo. Projekt went on to release their debut “Miracle” before parting ways – Lozanova to Germany and Kossy D to the USA. Despite the miles however, the collaboration was far from over and in fact, it actually blossomed when the duo returned with more experience and in collaboration with Jens Faber (Dawn Of Destiny) who also played guitar, bass and keyboards and provided some growls and clean vocals, this par excellence sophomore has been released! A full on symphonic metal experience made all the more impressive given there are no backing choirs or orchestrals, “A Time Called Forever” also features power metal and classy rock, which thanks to the musical prowess of the three performers, makes for 12 tracks of overflowing sophistication and heavenly bliss. Lozanova’s vocals are incredible, both in range and power but more noticeably, her passion, that draws her singing to you time and again, both in those epic, stirring moments while elsewhere, are nothing short of heartbreaking. Kossy D, for his part, maintains a solid percussive beat that adds a definite heaviness to the album while on the speedier tracks, unleashes his own double bass power to splendid effect in adding to the drama, or passion of the moment. In between is Faber, who provides the crucial gel between the two although going well beyond a mere ‘filler’ to show his own commendable range of skills that are put to full use across the material, be it in dexterous guitar work, atmospheric keys and perfectly timed male vocals to counter and back Lozanova. This is clearly evident on the title track ‘A Time Called Forever’, where his heavy riffs and dark drawls dance exquisitely with her soaring passion in perfect ‘beauty and beast’ unison while the exotic guitar and keyboard tones along with eastern drumming add a fantastic, mystical feel to this thoroughly captivating song. In complete contrast is ‘Bleed’, a symphonic bombast of operatic vocals, power chords and neo classical guitar that suavely rocks out to a very classy groove, moving the mood of the song effortlessly between darkness and light as Lozanova and Faber continue their swashbuckling vocal duel made all the more furious by Kossy D’s own double bass barrage – although the chorus is yet another impressive twist in being soulfully melodic. Unleashing Lozanova’s soprano wails on ‘Don’t Leave’, it’s a power metal gem of epic proportions taking in deep power chords, fast drums and another amazing dual vocal delivery that doesn’t just raise the heart beat but shatters it utterly through overwhelming emotion. With the heat at boiling point, ‘My Misery’ steams in with more uplifting majesty (despite its melancholic title) through its stirring power chords, wailing guitars and matching male and femme vocals that never let up both in energy and passion, making this a blinding and hugely catchy experience throughout – indeed, “A Time Called Forever” is a thorough love affair from start to finish!