Saturday 25th September 2021,
The Black Planet

SURMA – The Light Within

João Osório 19/04/2021 Comments Off on SURMA – The Light Within

This review comes a couple of months late because this album was released last November. But as masterpieces are timeless, it’s never too late to appreciate and comment on such masterworks.
Surma is an international symphonic metal band of Viktorie Surmøvá and Heri Joensen, assisted by the dutch Rens Bourgondiën and the russian Alexandr Zhukov. Last November they delivered their first album to the metal world, and what an album it is.

After an orchestral intro, the first track is sung by the voice of Viktorie (seconded in chorus by Heri) without instruments, which only comes in after the first sentence of the chorus. Right here we realize that there’s a care in terms of composition and that something excellent will follow (in the same song the atmospheric guitar solo confirms that). Next comes “Like the River Flows”, one of the album’s strongest songs, featuring a beautiful string melody until the drums and guitars kick in. Viktorie has a clear high pitched voice and at some point, Heri’s growls match perfectly with her voice. It’s a song that sticks easily in our brain and we find ourselves singing it, as catchy as it is.
The entire “The Light Within” album is very diverse and dynamic. In several parts, in addition to the orchestral arrangements, we find progressive elements, as in “Fire and Wind” and “The City of Winds”. The latter is a real roller coaster in terms of structure, alternating consecutively between faster or slower moments. Heri sings with clean vocals and the crossing with the female vocals is surprising. After that, two more key tracks follow: “The Selkie” and the catchy “Until It Rains Again”, another song that easily drives us to sing along its tunes.
Until the end we have ballads, strong and fast songs including two more highlights: “Cages of Rage” in a more operatic-theatrical register accompanied by a remarkable children’s choir; and “Lost to Time”, which like “Reveal the Light Within” track, begin with Viktorie and Heri singing together some verses a cappella before entering drums and guitars.
The album ends with another instrumental piece with piano and orchestra, transmitting a feeling of relaxation after the whole previous musical experience.
For a debut album, released by Metal Blade Records, Surma set the bar very high and leaves a lot of curiosity for what they will come up with in the future.

9/10

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