ARCH NEMESIS – Of Mind And Fantasy

ARCH NEMESIS - Of Mind And Fantasy


Face Front
Release Date: November 8, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The second full length album from Arch Nemesis, Of Mind and Fantasy, is a haunting, hard-charging juggernaut of a disk that displays the dynamic sounds of Medieval Metal with a flair for the unexpected.

Beginning with the opening track ,“Before the Shadows Came,” we are set upon the epic tales of folklore that one would expect from these Old World Europeans. The song starts with a great staccato guitar riff and vocal melody that develops into a strong melodic verse and then into the larger than life chorus. Lead vocalist Niclas Thomsen creates a sense of drama with his operatic styling and then really gives the song some texture by adding some crunching Death Metal growls within the song. This tale of heroes and villains plays out like a good novel; starting with a build up and then a sense of climatic suspense and finally the epilogue.

Following suit, songs like “Dream,” ”Master of Darkness,” and “Northern Lights” are strong Power Metal tunes rooted in Classic Metal themes. These songs are thick with riffing guitars, shredding solos, and thundering drums, all the while Niclas’s vocals are sweeping and screeching throughout. Together, they create a dark crescendo of trepidation.

But what really creates a sense of depth to the disk are songs like “Hunger and the Darkness,” which starts slow and gravelly, reminiscent of early Savatage, and the very beautiful “Little Child,” which captures a dreamy Enya-meets-Evanescence kind of sound. With all of the thrash and speed riffs, these slower numbers really stand out; not only because of the tempo change, but for the fact that the songs are so well done. They craft a real sense of dynamics and give the band a much broader sound. Adding guest vocalist “Silwer” also creates yet another dimension, as her vocals add even more texture and layering to the overall sound of the album.

It is albums like Of Mind and Fantasy that sneak into your normal playlist when you think you have heard it all before. At first glance, it’s just another tale of the dark journey into woe set forth by another Power Metal band. Soon, though, you find the journey to be surprisingly new and full of fresh ideas with a strong presentation and attention to detail. Adding the second venture from Arch Nemesis to your collection could be a real strong choice for your most surprising CD of the year.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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