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Exlibris: Shadowrise EP
Exlibris - Shadowrise EP Art

Exlibris: Shadowrise EP

Melodic/Symphonic/Power Metal
4.5/5.0

Hovering around the European power metal theater since 2003 is Warsaw's Exlibris. (Not to be confused with Netherlands' female-fronted Ex Libris.) Formed by keyboard player and principal composer Piotr Sikora, the band has had some frequent success with four studio since 2006, yet at the price of an inconsistent band lineup. Now Exlibris returns with their fifth recording, a short six song, 31 minute EP Shadowrise, which features Warmen guitarist Antti Warman.

Exlibris - Click For Larger Image

Exlibris

With a keyboard player at the helm as the main songwriter, you can pretty much guess the extent of Exlibris' metal. The short description is melodic and symphonic power metal, uniquely, but not solely, driven by Sikora's synths. Frankly, you cannot miss or ignore the the keyboard presence. It looms large across every song whether by embellishing with symphonic atmosphere, offering an abundance of solos, or driving the rhythm, groove, and melody of a song. The first two characteristics are self-evident in every song, notably Rule #1 and Megiddo. The third component rises significantly within Hell Or High Water, a hook-laden melodic power metal tune driven by some fine rock beat and groove. Yet, the songs are not solely driven by Sikora's synths. The guitar lines offer an abundance of harmonious riffs which also add to the song density. And Warman gets plenty of opportunity to solo, essentially dueling with Sikora in every song. Also, the rhythm section adds the gallop to the power metal, whilst injecting a liberal amount of rock groove.

Essentially, the result is superb songriting that takes all these musical elements, and their players, and creates a near perfect melodic and symphonic power metal storm. Near perfect, you ask? Shadowrise could have been longer, maybe two tunes more. But I'm not quibbling. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Exlibris' Shadowrise is the near perfect symphonic and melodic power metal storm, featuring a superb integration of a large keyboard presence, generous guitar lines, and a powerful rhythm section for gallop and groove. Recommended.

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