Ring Of Gyges is a progressive metal band from Iceland and they are very much influenced by progressive rock bands from the seventies, but on their metal side these guys are really a modern metal band indeed. The bands line up is Helgi Jónsson on lead vocals and guitar, Guðjón Sveinsson on guitar and vocals, Gísli Þór Ingólfsson on keyboards, Þorsteinn Ýmir Ásgeirsson on bass and Einar Merlin Cortes on drums.
Metamorphosis is Ring Of Gyges's sophomore album and after a couple of spins I can truly say that this Icelandic band has true potential and that they are obviously influenced by Haken. But these Icelandic boys also “use” influences from bands like Leprous, Transatlantic, Marillion and even Rush, so.... Opening song Dragonflies says it all actually, as this one really sets the tone for the rest of this great album. Just listen to the killer guitar riff, followed by the sounds of bells (hello Mike Oldfield), a heavy bass hook and excellent vocals. The chorus is very catchy and, yep, here we go again, it reminds me of Haken, but also of Caligula's Horse. The first couple of songs are all rather “short” and accessible, but then we are treated to the twelve minute mark song The Face Of God, the highlight of the album, a blend of old and new prog metal/rock indeed and this is definitely the track where the Haken influences are the most obvious; but Ring Of Gyges does a more than excellent job here; play it loud and you will be hooked for sure. Closing song Find Me Here is also one of the highlights, featuring stunning melodies and an extraordinary vocal performance.
Ring Of Gyges has delivered an awesome album with songs ranging from melodic hard rock to heavy metal and from prog metal to symphonic rock. Check this album out as it is packed with “catchy” melodies, addictive hooks, lots of emotion and ambition and last but not least beautifully played, composed, and executed indeed. A landmark record of 2023 indeed.
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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