Melodius Deite – Episode II: Voyage Through The World Of Fantasy
Reviewed By Kevin Hathaway
With Nathania broken up (which I depressingly found out while researching for this review), Melodius Deite (formerly known as just Melodius) is basically the longest-running and most successful power metal band from Thailand. 2008’s Dream On was a flurry of rip-roaring guitar acrobatics and infectious melodies with such gems as “Novelist” and “Far Beyond The Sky.” Since the name change, which I still don’t understand, they have collaborated with the likes of Yama-B, formerly of Galneryus, and PelleK. And now they’re back with some new material.
At first, it seems like not much has changed from Dream On. Tons of lush keyboards and neoclassical licks and hooks are really what I was looking for, after all. “Land Of Fantasy” kicks things off nicely, though I get kind of put off by the 9-minute running time. It just seems a little too padded out. As I was soon to find out, “Land Of Fantasy” is the least offensive song on the entire album in terms of artificial bloating. The following track, “The Dawn Of Journey”, is one of two painfully boring and unnecessary instrumentals. “The Dawn Of Journey” is a 5-minute wankfest for the keyboardist that goes absolutely nowhere in its vain attempt to evoke a fantastical atmosphere. Seriously, there is not one guitar strum or drum beat to back up the song. Even those Youtubers who make “Epic Trailer Music” on Youtube (Peter Crowley and the like) have the sense to give their fantasy-driven atmospheric music a backbone so the music doesn’t go in one ear and out the other.
The bloat of “The Dawn Of Journey” makes one dread the 9-minute “Territory Of Memories (Atlantis)”, but really, “Territory” and “Land of Fantasy” share a lot of the same problems. This means too much instrumental fluff, mostly, but the album gets downright torturous with the next track, “Civilization,” the longest on the album (clocking in at nearly 16 minutes). What really bogs this one down is the nearly 5-minute instrumental intro, which adds absolutely nothing to the song. I swear, you could probably tattoo all of the lyrics on this album on the bottom of your big toe. I got a small grin out of hearing “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” near the end, but that was probably because I was finally hearing something with a semblance of structure and memorability. After that fleeting moment passed, I went back to rolling my eyes and wishing I was hearing something awesome like the new Sinbreed, or really any band that knows how to actually end a song.
If I were to continue analyzing this album track-by-track, it would basically be a loop of the words “instrumental fluff” and “g******, this s*** is long,” so I’m just going to skip ahead to the absolute worst song on this album – the seemingly never-ending 13-minute instrumental (oh lawd) “Sailing Around The World.” It’s basically more instrumental fluff. Damn, this s*** is long. Wait – D’OH! I suppose I should elaborate, shouldn’t I? Well, I mean come on, it’s 13 minutes long! And like “The Dawn Of Journey,” it goes absolutely nowhere. At least everyone is involved this time, but that makes it harder in deciding who to blame for this train-wreck fiddling on with no rhyme or reason. I can’t believe this sentence is being formed, but not even the bass guitar solo in the song can save it. If it can’t be saved with a bass solo, there’s no hope at all. There are no catchy riffs or symphonic jaw-drops, just everyone dicking around on their respective instruments until they feel like letting someone else have a turn in the spotlight. Even Dream Theater, the masters of wank, can at least structure their wankery and make it interesting now and again. Melodius Deite cannot. Voyage Through The World Of Fantasy is so ridiculously over-inflated that it’s nearly impossible to stomach in one listening.
But you know what the sad part is? When the singer, Ake Kertpanich, finally does approach the mic, everything screeches to a halt. By no fault of Mr. Kertpanich, I should add, because I can tell he is trying, but the songs and even the track listing are structured so poorly that it’s hard to care. Whose bright idea was it to put a 5-minute instrumental as the second track? Or to put a 13-minute instrumental at the end? Or to have three of the longest songs on the first half of the album? Everything about Voyage Through The World Of Fantasy is frustrating, made that much more so by the fact that I was actually quite looking forward to this album. I wanted to like this, but aside from a few fleeting moments, I can’t recommend this to anybody. It’s a chore just to listen to it. This is down there with Astral Domine and the newest “effort” from Ring Of Fire as the absolute nadir of power metal this year.
1.75 // 5