|Release Date||6 September 2019|
For whatever reason, I’ve experienced a lot of “metal seasons” this year, so to speak. June gave me oceans of symphonic metal (both good and bad), July had a lion’s share of prog. But the last week or so of August until, well, now, has showered me in vanilla traditional metal. Seriously. I’ve heard probably ten EPs and at least as many LPs of the stuff since then, and I have no idea why. Maybe it’s my fault. I don’t fucking know.
Anyway, as you may have guessed, the reason I bring that up is because Transylvania’s second EP, the aptly-named II, fits the mold. With a sound that’s as unoriginal as their name, Transylvania offer next to nothing in terms of imagination or ingenuity, despite two of the three songs on this EP running longer than eight minutes. However, they do bring some great guitar soloing and drumming to the show, so I can’t be too mad.
I don’t have a favourite solo, because they’re all really good, but the drumming in the final minutes of ‘The Emerald Gift’ wins the most of my enjoyment. On the flip side, though, the vocals are fairly emotionless, like a watered down Bruce Dickinson, and the melodies are weak, so there’s not much to hook your attention in the meantime.
The best song on the EP is the final track, ‘322’, which I have mixed feelings about. It begins with promise in a cool 6/8 groove, but it gets pretty monotonous before anything cool is done with it. However, after a couple timechanges, it pulls right back into a light piano-backed guitar solo and steadily builds with passion. But then it suddenly goes back to that initial groove and ends, without any decent climax. If this song were refined with some better transitions, a powerful peak, and a more interesting first four minutes, it’d be a killer tune.
I can only assume that Transylvania are just a hobby band, and, for that, they’re pretty good. II isn’t a bad sample of their stuff, but its biggest downfall is that it lacks memorability. With some more time in the forge, Transylvania could probably make a great record, but, for now, they’re just another classic heavy metal band.
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