Borealis – “World Of Silence MMXVII” (AFM Records)
Debuting in 2008, “World Of Silence” was the first self financed release from Canadian prog power metallers Borealis. Since then they’ve come a long ways, not in the least with 2 follow up albums! Still, it has always been a thought to revisit this release, and while initial discussions focused on a re-issue, it soon became clear to everyone that a full re-recording and re-mix was nothing less than should be settled for. Well, it’s worked! Although a bold move at the time especially for an independent effort, anyone who remembers the initial recording will acknowledge the compacted sound, with all the guitars jumbled in the mix, the drums muffled and the keyboards all but relegated to the fringes. “World Of Silence MMXVII” settles all of this big time, with a wider spectrum allowing all the instruments to be heard from the symphonic riffs of Matt Marinelli and Michael Briguglio, not to mention their virtuosic solos on the likes of ‘Midnight Chaser’ and ‘Eyes Of A Dream’. The sound is still heavy, this being a prime trait of Borealis and indeed why I like them, and this new recording definitely allows the double bass drumming of Sean Dowell to be heard – perhaps unsurprising given the album was recorded in the studio he runs! Equally, Sean Werlick’s passionate and atmospheric keyboards are given a fairer run this time around, dancing in their own space to enhance the band’s sound like on the magnificent ‘Divine Answer’, along with Marinelli’s own vocals, now less high in maturity, but no less soulful. Along with the technological improvements, the band’s own musicianship has of course evolved, making “World Of Silence MMXVII” an essential release for new but especially fans of the original album. An absolute pleasure to hear once more!