I have to admit I am very happy right now. As I was surfing on […]
By Makis Kirkos
June 12, 2004
Seraphim - Ai album cover

I have to admit I am very happy right now. As I was surfing on the internet I found out a Taiwanese Power Metal act that I've never ever heard before and now I realize what I was missing for the last 3 years.
Before you start wondering if there is a Metal scene in the Eastern Asia let me introduce to you this really amazing band. A band that I am sure it will blow your heads off the moment you press the play button on your stereo.
Female fronted Power Metal out of Taiwan, founded by the former Firedance duo of guitarist Kessier and bassist Jax along with ex-Jackhammer guitarist Dan (replaced by Lucas Huang) and erstwhile Assassin drummer Simon. Seraphim issued their debut The Soul That Never Dies in 2001, originally sung in Chinese. An English version was released in March 2002 by the Spanish Arise label.
Seraphim recorded a second album, The Equal Spirit, in Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordstrom. Their third effort, 2004's Ai, would see live promotion stretching across the globe taking on Japan, Russia and an appearance at the Dong Open Air festival in Germany.
What impressed me first in this band was the fact that they release one album each year, which makes them really hard workers concerning their career. What's remarkable is that each album gets two editions... what do I mean? One is singed in English and the other in Chinese. I believe this is very impressive, isn't? Whether you hear the English or the Chinese edition, the result is the same... just brilliant!!!
I am a long-lasting adorer of the Chinese culture; way of living and philosophy (don't forget their superb cartoons), so hearing these glorious Power Metal compositions in Chinese is just fantastic. Let's start with the artwork, which is very nice. A mix of fantasy and sci-fi art in soft colors, reminds you the color of the sky in the land of the rising sun.
Now, musically speaking this band makes Taiwan fit in the Metal map. For sure they belong on the elite of nowadays Power Metal scene. Although they're from Eastern Asia,  they sound very European and their music can be compared only with the finest Nightwish, Stratovarius and Kamelot tunes. Ai is full of choir and philharmonic orchestra arrangements, having the known dialogue between an angel and the devil style.
Keisser's guitar solos and performance is just amazing and the band's high technique is in perfect shape with Quinn Weng's angelic voice and operatic way of singing. If you like Tarja Turunen's voice then I am sure you will adore Quinn's as well. The contrast between growling vocals and clear male vocals is a plus for this release and the mixture of those two different ways of singing adds a creepy feeling.
All the songs are high above average and talking about each one of those would be just a waste of time. You can hear everything in this album... acoustic intros, full speed riffs, middle-eastern strings, beautiful growling and operatic harmony duets, experimentations with some instrumental tracks filled with electronic elements and extraordinary compositions.
The wide vocal array of Seraphim is just awesome and the music is much more guitar-based, as opposed to Nightwish's mostly keyboard-centric material. I truly believe this band has a lot to give to the Power Metal scene and it's a shame although they have global distribution to be quite unknown. I hope they get a contract with a bigger record label cause they deserve it.
Concluding I would like to say that I am really happy finding out this band, even if 3 years have passed away. The joy you feel when you discover a new Metal act can't compare to anything in the world... For sure this release will haunt down my CD player for the rest of the year. Hey... what are you doing here? Get your ass out there and buy Ai as soon as possible!!! (European release date is June, 25th)

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Ai" Track-listing:

Can't Take
In The Air
Is That?
The End

Seraphim Lineup:

Quinn - Vocals
Kessier - Guitar
Lucas - Guitar
Jax - Bass
Simon - Drums

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