Aina 
Days of Rising Doom    
~reviewed by Joel Steudler

So... Aina.  Well, I'll say this.  They sure didn't hold anything back when making Days of Rising Doom.  It's as if they ('they' being the 72 million musicians that make up this bloated super-group's guest star list) decided that it was all going in.  ALL of it.  Every shred of power metal nuance and character, every cliche, every single molecule of Powermetalium that they could find.  In fact, the whole periodic table of Power Metal elements is in here.  It is ALL contained in the distendedly swollen monolith of a rock opera that is Days of Rising Doom.  And it's even occasionally sort of good... but mostly, it's rehashed ideas glorified to epic proportions.

I'll point out that I didn't even get to listen to it all.  The promo sent for review contained a scant 68 minutes of its boundless expanse.  Thank goodness.  I couldn't have handled it otherwise. You know, I'm making it sound as if this album is some misbegotten abomination, and it's not.  Not totally.  Perhaps by telling you what's in it, I can illuminate the source of my chagrin.

First, you have the story.  I don't know what the story is, due to my incomplete promo... but it involves maidens, and a siege, and rebellions... read the track list.  You'll get the idea.  So, to tell this story, you need a dozen wailin' powermetal singers of various pedigree.  Michael Kiske is inovlved, so it wins some points there.  Lots of other singers, male and female.  Then you need bouncy powermetal guitar riffs, and some rockin' rocker riffs of rock, too.  Check.  Add to that synthesizers and synth orchestra, and perhaps some real orchestra, and other various instruments of various ethnic origins, and the sound is starting to round out.  Now, toss in a children's choir (perhaps the album's only real original element).  Finally, with that magnificent array of talent assembled and primed to go, hand them a massive stack of standard issue, generic power-prog rock opera songs, and have at it! 

Fans of the modern powermetal scene will probably like this alot.  You Edguy and Hammerfall fanatics, devotees of At Vance and Dionysus... the brothers in true metal... you'll all find much to enjoy here.  It is possible that fans of Savatage and their offshoot Trans Siberian Orchestra will also like Days of Rising Doom if they can stand the trappings of the powermetal genre.  Perhaps I've just been too saturated with music that sounds essentially just like this to really appreciate it.  Why, though, would you bother collecting such a vast array of top notch musicians and produce so many utterly banal songs that don't have an original or exciting note in them?  I wouldn't do that if I were in charge... and I won't listen to it, since I -am- in charge of turning this off and relegating it to my massive stack of 'promos that will never see the light of day again'.
 

Track List:
CD 1:
01.) Aina Overture
02.) Revelations
03.) Silver Maiden
04.) Flight of Torek
05.) Naschtok is Born
06.) The Beast Within
07.) The Siege of Aina
08.) Talon's Last Hope
09.) Rape of Oria
10.) Son of Sorvahr
11.) Serendipity
12.) Lalae Amer
13.) Rebellion
14.) Oriana's Wrath
15.) Restoration

CD 2:
01.) The Story of Aina
02.) The Beast Within (Single edit)
03.) Ve Toura Sol (Rape of Oria) (Single edit)
04.) Flight of Torek (Single edit)
05.) Silver Maiden (Alternate Version)
06.) Talon's Last Hope (Demo)
07.) The Siege of Aina (Single edit)
08.) The Story of Aina (Instrumental)
09.) Oriana's Wrath (Alternate Version) (Bonus)

DVD:
01.) The Beast Within (3D Computer Animation)
02.) The Making of Aina
03.) The Story of Aina Moving Storyboard
04.) Slide Show
05.) Artwork
06.) Audio Settings
07.) Credits DVD

Aina is:
A gigantic supergroup with billions of musicians.

Or 30+ at any rate.

Here are some of them:
Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH)
Candice Night (BLACKMORE'S NIGHT)
Tobias Sammet (EDGUY, AVANTASIA)
Marko Hietala (NIGHTWISH)
Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN, SUPARED)
Andre Matos (ANGRA, SHAMAN)
Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN)
Thomas Rettke (HEAVEN'S GATE)
Olaf Hayer (LUCA TURILLI)
Damian Wilson
Simone Simons (EPICA)
Emppu Vuorinen (NIGHTWISH)
Thomas Youngblood (KAMELOT)
T.M. Stevens (STEVE VAI, TINA TURNER)
Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER)
Erik Norlander (LANA LANE)
 

The End Records (US): 
http://www.theendrecords.com 

07/13/04