I'm giving this somewhere between halfway thumbs and 3/4 thumbs because it sounds all the same plus it sounds like other metal of its ilk. The beginning of the songs, especially 2 & 3, are really good and drag me in but then the meat of the song hits and I'm only slightly interested. Really like the choruses because they sound epic. There's some obvious talent here, but no newness.
I agree with Jon...there really isn't anything that sounds all that different here. But I disagree with Jon on the importance of "different". I've been listening to music for around 40 years, and that music has been being produced for about 50 or so years. I'm not really sure how to go about finding something that sounds different. Unless I go to a completely different genre like gospel or pop country or even today's pop music. In my opinion, if I want rock music, it's probably gonna sound like something that came before it.
So for me, I just need to like the songs. This isn't bad, but isn't great either. The first 2 tracks did absolutely nothing to pull me in. But Undergo (Black Moon) and Portrait of Beauty were quite good. Something about the latter that makes me think of Love's Dying Wish by Starbreaker. Now I believe that is the second time I've mentioned them in the somewhat recent past, but I can't remember who posted something that made me think that. But I'm a big fan of the ambiance of that record, and Portrait of Beauty sounds like it would fit quite nicely there.
Can't say much about the final track, but I did enjoy two out of five.
I'm with you RJhog on the matter of "different". Like you said, a whole lot of music has been done by many musicians and quite frankly if it's not Experimental (which might be the only genre at this point that still tries to come up with something new) you are bound to be familiar with some or all aspects of the music.
To me it's, whether I like it or not. Of course, pure plagiarism will turn me off, but being derivative of something good is still better than a crappy original, just for the sake of being original.
And both of you are correct, this does sound like something that came before. To me the closest reference is Royal Hunt. Given how much I like RH, in my book that's a good thing.
Thank you both for listening and sharing your opinions.