Her Whisper
The Great Unifier

Placed in the Dark Power Metal category, Swedish metallers Her Whisper are indeed far from calling up any associations with bright colors of sonic palette. Instead, their primary hues are gray, black and dark blue, just like the colors of the artwork on the cover of their sophomore release The Great Unifier. Probably this feel is caused by the enchanting, somewhat sorrowful melodies, depressing atmospheric keyboards in the vein of a Symphonic Black Metal act, and a tad bombastic style of vocalist Magnus Af Nestergaard, managing his bass, slightly harsh voice with a great skill. The leaden monstrous leads by Magnus (another example that some musicians are excellent at combining singing and playing duties) and his partner Christian Widen call the tune and work out very well here too, adding the necessary charge of energy and gravity to this record.

Having spent with The Great Unifier a lot of delightful hours since its release at the beginning of the year, I still find myself more than willing to repeat the experience. For instance, I still can’t but sense pleasant vibes inside my head when the dreamy yet sullen symphonic intro “The Shape Of Things To Come” all of a sudden flings itself into the wild rampage of shuddering shreds and powerful, almost growled roars of Magnus on opener “Structures Of Deceit”, or when all sorts of telling keyboard and piano roulades on “Emperor Of Sorrow” provide an ideal background to the square guitar patterns, weaving beauty and heaviness into unity. Barring some tiny inessential bits that sound a little less inspired than the brightest moments of this release, I find no flaws here, be it the stellar songwriting, irreproachable command of instruments, or top-notch production work.

While any randomly chosen number on The Great Unifier would be an almost ideal contender to initiate new listeners into the Her Whisper world I would suggest the above-said “Structures Of Deceit”, “Their Finest Hour”, “Sinners Paradise”, and the title track as the album’s highlights. “Structures Of Death” throws in some killer riffery along with a tasty twin solo and the album’s best vocal performance, while “Their Finest Hour” features very tight steady leads occasionally switching to imposing gallops and a damn captivating all-band chorus effort making you sing along and nod your approval. The thrilling steely shreds of “Sinners Paradise” pulsate and ricochet on your mind like the jackhammer blows, whilst the fabulous tunes and lustrous Oriental solo piece of the title track present a great culmination to this record. The only mellow song, a “rainy” ballad “Friend Angelical”, is tastefully furnished with marvelous weeping pianos, highly emotional singing and slow ponderous riifs.

It wouldn’t be easy to draw any parallels between Her Whisper and other bands in the genre, yet I dare to suggest that the closest result would be if you combined the Shadowland era Nocturnal Rites, the Destiny era Stratovarius and The Inner Circle era Evergrey. While the band’s debut Children Of The Black Soil was just a good start heralding big things to come, The Great Unifier became the incarnation of all those things. Once again Swedish Power Metal has come out on top.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
December 12th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: stiffy0000

    Dark Power is going to set better with me than happy power. May check it out


  2. Commented by: Belgarath

    Nice review, man. Sounds like another great power metal record this year has been riddled with.


  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Dark power metal. C’mon pm bands, play more of this style. I like it a lot better than the usual “bunnies and flowers” sound you peddle (Yet I like Rhapsody Of Fire, hahahaha).

    Really liked this one, Igor. Thanks!


  4. Commented by: leatherhead

    I have never heard anything like it really.
    A highly entertaining mix of sub-genres with
    some fantastic vocals.


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