Fairyland

The Fall of an Empire

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Returning from an extended sabbatical that saw most of the band's lineup turn over, French prog metal outfit Fairyland return with their most symphonic album yet. Opening with a blatant Carmina Burana ripoff intro track called "Endgame" (which reappears in various guises thrice more over the course of the album, like it's a recurrent theme in the Lord of the Rings soundtracks or something), Fall of an Empire sounds like some kind of ill-conceived cross between lightweight '80s poodle metal (both of the male vocalists sound like they should be singing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" in front of a local cover band) and the worst, most Rick Wakeman-like excesses of '70s prog: conceptual lyrics furthering a basically incomprehensible storyline, lifts of classical motifs so blatant they would make Keith Emerson himself roll his eyes, and an overall stench of self-seriousness rarely found outside of small circles of Ayn Rand readers and/or Rush fans. Those who don't fall into either of those categories would probably find Fall of an Empire inadvertently hilarious, but somewhere out there is a guy who lives in his mom's basement and works part-time at the local comic store who's going to think this is the best album ever.

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