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My first acquaintance with the Swiss band Felony has been a great experience and they have really touched something in me with their songs. Their debut First Works landed in my mail box a few weeks ago and until then they have been a hidden jewel for me. After listening over and over to the album a lot of times lately, I must say I`m a bit surprised that they compared to many other bands in their genre don`t have a record deal yet. The band has financed the album themselves and also done most of the work with recording in Markus home studio, except for the mix of the album and the drums who was recorded in Sascha Paeth`s studio in Germany.

 Felony has in many ways managed to create a really colorful album by mixing together Melodic Metal and Symphonic Classical Metal. Another unique thing about Felony is that they mix male and female vocals, something that gives the band much more opportunities to create diverse and colorful songs. This band isn`t like the Beauty and the beast thing we are familiar with in the gothic metal scene, with the male growls and the soprano female voice, but instead Felony has chose to use two normal rock voices in all their songs to get their perfect style. The songs cover a time-period of over 10 years, and the band had about 30 songs to choose from for their debut. The last years the band has rearranged, altered and improved some of their old songs together with newer material and the result has become twelve songs and not a duffer amongst`em. Every one a classic of its kind!

The powerful orchestral intro An Introduction To... sets the scene, before we fly into the first song What A Felony. A song who lyrically deals about drugs and what the result can be by using them. The song is an uptempo classical melodic metal song with perfect mixed female and male vocals, the chorus is very addictive and the instrumental part with guitar and keyboards is just awesome! Say Goodbye is much more commercial, but what a cool song! The chorus and the keyboards are very rememberable and will get stuck in your head immediately: A HIT! Justice starts slow like a ballad, but it builds up gradually to a faster tempo, great chorus and mix of female and male vocals in this song who lyrically deals about being accused for things you haven`t done. My Way opens with some really great riffs, who is the main theme in the song, a cool chorus and a nice flute part take the song to big heights, one of my favorites! Tonite is another of my favorites. I think this song sum up in a perfect way the different styles that Felony has from ballad like parts to more uptempo, a great guitarsolo and great singing from both Andreas and Andrea give the song a nice mood. Freedom is a more commercial song, in a way a bit like Say Goodbye, but more metal oriented and faster. The switch between the male and female vocals in the chorus is cool! Promising Heart is the only ballad on the album and here you will get the chance to hear the strenght in Andrea and Andreas voices: beautiful song! After The Rain perfectly mixes elements from classical music with metal, nice chorus and small instrumental parts with nice details from every member. Cyberspace is more commercial and like Say Goodbye and Freedom I think this song has hit potential and maybe it will be the first video from the band. Disappointed has much guitars and is one of the heaviest songs on the album. It`s also the song with most female vocals and I think there are some progressive tendencies in it, like On Life’s End who closes this superb album.

I can say it right now that this album will be one of the big highlights for me in 2005! I will say that this album is one of the strongest I`ve ever heard in its special genre, so if you`re a fan of Visions Of Atlantis, Lunatica, Royal Hunt and Syrens Call, you can`t let this fine release from Felony go by you!

by Arne Asbolmo