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APPARITION “The Awakening” (2018)

The british band APPARITION has a great fanbase and a long history to look on, as they have been in the business for over 20 years already. The band has gone through some line-up changes over the years but David Homer (Bass) had always held the flag up high and never wavered in keeping APPARITION alive and kicking.

Since 2014 the band’s most known singer FIONA CREABY is back in the band and with her they not only took part in the DAMES OF DARKNESS festival in 2015 but also organised it. There is only one voice that really “is” APPARITION and this is Fiona’s. Early songs of the band like “Salvation” already featured the alluring voice of Fiona in 2006.

Fiona is also the vocalist in FALLEN ARISE and also guested on “Symphony Of A Memory” by BLOOD RED SOUL recently.

With “The Awakening”, the band makes a huge leap forward. Not only songwriting-wise but also production-wise. The sound is full, powerful and dynamic yet with sparkling clarity as well. Large parts of the album were recorded in a studio in Poland and the trip really seems to pay off. Nothing to complain here!

The songs are kicking off with an atmospheric intro called “The Awakening”, followed by the uptempo rocker “Hold Back The Night” which partly reminds me of good old AOR times, though combined with modern elements! Great playing and hook!

The next in line is “The Dames Of Darkness” which is a nice reminder that David and Fiona were in the organiser team in 2015 for the “Dames Of Darkness” festival, during APPARITION, LEAVES’ EYES and other bands had performed. The song is a very catchy midtempo song carried by the sultry voice of Fiona and also featured some guest vocalists in the chorus. Marie Macleod of WHYZDOM, Andrea Casanova of RAINOVER, Karolina Pacan of SKEPTICAL MINDS and Elina Laivera.

“The Other Side” starts with a very soft and almost epic opening before kicking off with some heavy riffs by female guitar player Amy Lewis. Still there is a very lyrical element to it which makes the song one of my favourites.

I can admit that the next song “Resonance” was impressing me quite a lot. It has not only a bit of an unconventional structure (which is nothing bad at all) which makes it only even more interesting. But the many different layers of Fiona’s backing vocals and the almost hypnotizing chorus is really something special. Clearly my FAVOURITE track on the entire record! The song also features the mesmerizing high-voice singing of Fiona which is second to none.

A ballad is up next and it is called “The Night An Angel Died”, which is a very atmospheric tune with a very melancholic motive, both lyrically and melody-wise. Again carried mostly by Creaby’s voice.

“Eternity” is starting with a very beautiful and, again, slightly melancholic opening and has so many different elements to it. They added so many instruments and details here and there that it gives you a glimpse how thorough the composing must have been and the production as well.  The song develops into an epic rocker with a very hauntingly beautiful chorus that impressively highlights the skills of Fiona Creaby once more.

“Home” is a beautiful ballad with acoustic guitars. One of the songs you listen to and you seem to know and like from the first spin already. A true contender on all levels, very catchy!

The next song “Break The Chains” dives into the “metal register” a bit more. It features fantastic guitar work by Amy Lewis and Paul Culley, both regarding the riffs and the virtuosically delivered solo work! A very good hook completes this great rocker!

The second last one in line is “Our Story Lives On” is a very nice one as well, carried by the very nice and catchy chorus once more. Very good guitar work here as well!

“Twilight” starts with a piano intro that has a reminiscence of some classical music and beautifully turns into a classic piano ballad in which Fiona does, once more, shine with her alluring voice. The album would not have been complete without this amazing ballad.

The very last song is called “As Shadows Play” and is basically a ballad too. Very soft, very tenderly in the whole lyrical and musical approach. Featuring muliple layers of singing makes it something special.

The album is overall a superb one! The album is certainly a huge progress to its predecessors.

It also highlights quite impressively the value of Fiona Creaby as the band’s singer as it is her voice that makes the already superb songs something extra special.

Rating 10/10