Stream of Passion Embrace the Storm

This was a nice surprise and has become something that needs repeated listens. Led by the wondrous vocals of the Mexican based Marcela Bovio and the musical vision of Dutch multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen (who some may remember from his last full-time band Vengeance or his all-star studio project Ayreon), Stream of Passion succeed where Ayreon didn’t thanks to strong songwriting and ace musicianship. Lucassen strikes gold and has created an album that progressive-minded metal fans should love regardless if you are a prog metal fanatic or not. The music is powerful, sweeping and beautiful all at once, pushing Bovio’s vocals and thought provoking lyrics out into the forefront. This nicely fills the gap created by the Gathering’s slow descent into mediocrity. (SPV)