Julian's Lullaby - Prisoner of Emotions (2017 by Musica)
Julian's Lullaby is a heavy/symphonic metal band from Athens, Greece. They were formed in 2006, released the "I Can Hear You Thinking" demo in 2008 and their debut full length album "Dreaming of Your Fears" came out in 2011. "Prisoner of Emotions" is their second full length and it was released in 2017, but it is never too late to review good music, right?
Julian's Lullaby beautifully mix traditional heavy metal with symphonic and folk elements remaining melodic in their songwriting. What immediately attracts the listener is the double vocals both male and female and their well balanced mix.
With a dynamic and at the same time fairytale songwriting, the album flows in a variation of moods and unexpected changes that make the final result more than interesting. The right keyboard use with sounds of piano, violin and other instruments from the classical orchestra enrich Julian's Lullaby songwriting.
"Angel's East" begins with a classical arrangement and orchestration showing from the first seconds the band's style. The keyboards have done a great job here and allow the listener to enter the Julian's Lullaby cosmos. The classic heavy metal riff with synth backing and double vocal attack (both male and female) sound like a weird mixture of Iced Earth, Therion and Theater of Tragedy. The piano and violin sounds (which appear in the whole record along with other classical intruments) are exactly what the song needs in terms of atmosphere. The beautiful lead guitar themes and the memorable riffs make the connection of a symphonic/dreamy world with heavy metal.
The album continues in the same more or less way for more than 50 minutes. The male vocals are mostly aggressive in an old school thrash way, but there are also heavy metal and some gothic vocal lines. The female vocals are eerie and dreamy with deep expressiveness. The synth parts are classical/symphonic music influenced especially in the intros and interludes, but when backing the riffs they have a hard rock/heavy metal vibe.
I like listening an album as a whole and Julian's Lullaby definitely deserve it. Nevertheless, "Eyes of Gray" with its folk touches, "Hanging Crown" with its dramatic synth and riff sequence are definitely standout tracks. One of my favourite songs in the album is "Hell's Door", a song like a dark fairy tale.
The same title "Prisoner of Emotions" is similar to Theatre of Tragedy and their "Velvet Darkness They Fear" period. The clean male vocals were a surprise for me in this song and I realised I actually prefer them clean, but still that's a matter of taste.
To sum it up, "Prisoner of Emotions" is an excellent album for people who like the wedding of symphonic metal with classic heavy metal. The album has an epic and fairytale aura. The female vocals are haunting while the male vocals have a well balanced contrast with thrash edges. A very nice work. I am very glad to have discovered this underground gem. Try find it and support the band!