Mercy Isle: Undying Fire
Milwaukee metal’s power couple—bassist Chad Novell (Fibonacci Sequence) and his wife, vocalist Kassandra Novell (Orphonic Orchestra)—will no doubt make some noise beyond Wisconsin and even U.S. borders with Undying Fire, Mercy Isle’s full-length debut CD. From the get-go, this album reflects symphonic-metal class. “Wake Up” establishes Mercy Isle as an international force to be reckoned with, balancing such influences as Nightwish, Evanescence and early After Forever with its own crisp and just-dark-enough sound. “Stop, Kiss Me” elevates the musical and lyrical drama, and “Come to Me” opens with a choir before abandoning it in favor of powerful melodies punctuated with some of the album’s most intricate guitar work.
Kassandra Novell possess one of the strongest voices in American metal, soaring to chill-inducing heights and then descending into downright frightening growls. The goosebumps rise on “Saying Goodbye,” as Kassandra duets with Amanda Somerville (Avantasia), and Chad Novell shows off his warm voice on “No One Will Save You.” Mercy Isle also includes members from The Netherlands, and the band recently returned from Belgium, triumphantly performing at the prestigious Metal Female Voices Fest. Here’s hoping some Wisconsin shows are in the works, too.