Insatia‘s energetic, melodic and sophisticated Phoenix Aflame is turning heads in the power metal scene. This is a band on the rise. From the soaring declaration of guilt in “Act Of Mercy” to the formidable march of “We Are The Grey”, this band show that symphonic metal can be all-embracing to different facets of life while still keeping in line with the love for the dramatic that is a key to the genre.
Today we are happy to welcome vocalist Zoë Marie Federoff to this edition of our new Formative Years column with her selections of five albums that changed her life. But first you should also see the band’s video for “Memory Of A Sapphire”!
Now that you have been rocked, for Zoe’s album picks see BELOW.
If I had to pick one album to listen to forever, it would be The Black Halo by Kamelot. The songwriting strength and the emotive voice of Roy Khan just get to me no matter what mood I’m in. While there isn’t a weak track on the whole album, my favorite is “Memento Mori” – I’m moved to tears at times by it and beyond being musically haunting, the lyrical content is just stunning. I’m a huge fan of Tommy Karevik and Kamelot today, but this older album with Khan remains my favorite.
We Are The Void by Dark Tranquility is my “walk around the house in a bathrobe sipping Irish coffee” album. For whatever reason, this album seriously mellows me out and makes me want to stay home and soak in all the rich melodies and textures going on. I’ve literally chosen to stay in listening to this album over going out to the club with my friends, and I’m sure when they read this they’ll realize I was lying about having a headache. Dark Tranquility represents the height of melodeath for me personally, and I’m proud to say I wake up every single morning to “The Fatalist” as my alarm song.
Once was the first Nightwish album I ever picked up, and the really cool thing about Once is that my dad, an old school metal head, fell in love with it right alongside me. He would be jamming “Dark Chest of Wonders” in his office and I’d be jamming it in my headphones at school. This went on for months- the soaring voice of Tarja Turunen, the textures and melody structures going on in pieces like “The Siren” – it was all incredibly enchanting for us. Later on in college while I was studying classical singing, a lot of my performance pieces would be Nightwish songs.
The first metal album I ever bought for myself with my own money was Mother Earth by Within Temptation. Besides the title track, it’s got some chilling pieces like “Deceiver of Fools” and the ever-popular “Ice Queen” that propelled Within Temptation into the international spotlight once upon a time. I still can’t get over the fact that Sharon is a self taught wonder-woman, and I admire her not just for being the first clean female vocalist I heard in metal, but also for being an out-and-proud mother to three beautiful children. Mother Earth is an amazing album from a band fronted by one of the coolest moms in the biz.
I’m quite partial to Design Your Universe by Epica since it came out my senior year of high school- the overall message of the album talked about shaping the world around you, and that was quite empowering to a young girl about to head into adult life. And I wasn’t stingy when it came to sharing the music I loved with the people around me- after pushing it at the right people, Epica’s cover of “The Imperial March” ended up being the song our local football team came out on the field to. People loved it! I got to meet the band shortly before my graduation and I was amazed at how sweet and friendly they all were, and while they’ve written brilliant albums since then, Design Your Universe will forever be my favorite.
For previous entries in this Formative Years series see HERE. Thanks for reading!