RECEIVER – WHISPERS OF LORE
LABEL: Gates Of Hell Records
RELEASE: November 10th, 2023
AUTHOR: Michael Estrada
04. Falling To Dust
05. Wilderness (From Golden Axe Video Game)
06. Raiders Of The Night
08. Whispers Of Lore
09. Prowess And Decay (Bonus Track)
In the more traditional heavy metal landscape, it is hard to stand out for me today. You have to strike a balance between paying homage or being inspired by the legends of old but not be blatant copycats. Many modern bands struggle to understand this, not making their own sound and spin apparent. Thankfully, Cyprus’ RECEIVER has no problem showing their unique approach to the genre through some really great playing and a charismatic lead singer on their debut album.
“Unite“ is the first song the band ever recorded but you wouldn’t really know it. It serves as a perfect sample for what RECEIVER is going for on “Whispers Of Lore“. There is plenty of energized guitarwork and bass playing here with great vocals from lead vocalist Nicolleta. The awesome solo at around the 3:30 mark is the first time the band can flex their instrumental expertise as well. This is the kind of sound and chemistry I heard on Lutharo‘s “Hiraeth“ two years ago, definitely getting me excited for what was coming next.
On the second track, “Starchaser“, there is some impeccable drumming from Yiannis that he displays all over “Whispers Of Lore“. There is another great solo halfway with some complimentary bass from Loizos. The band knows how to fill space and give room for their playing as well here, reminding me a bit of one of my favorite modern bands playing in this style, Traveler. “Trespasser“ sees Nicoletta reaching into the upper registers of her voice and is accented by a soaring solo after the four minute mark. It’s another example of pace and space that, when RECEIVER is on their game, shows off a skill not many acts have mastered on their first record.
“Falling To Dust“ sounds more pulled back at first but Nicolleta goes high again with her vocals and there is some more impressive drumming from Yiannis here. His play really picks the track up and gives it a more driving sense. The instrumental interlude that follows, “Wilderness“, is well done but I wish it was much longer. The band barely gets out of first gear and they have the chops to keep me invested for at least four to five minutes. Its a bit of a missed opportunity here but, fortunately, “Raiders Of The Night“ is next and it is the biggest stand out of the album. It is more urgent and fast paced, with the guitars sneaking in after the first and second minutes. Loizos‘ bass leads the way after the 2:45 mark and both the drums and vocals build to a great final cresecendo. This may very well be inspired by Iron Maiden or Dio but RECEIVER masters it perfectly with this track.
Unfortunately, “Whispers Of Lore“ ends with their least developed two songs. “Arrow“ is the most the band ventures into a more power metal sound. It features a nice solo at around 2:45 and the bass comes in at 3:45 but, despite being lengthy enough, it doesn’t fully soar to epic heights. The title track is the most pulled back and least interesting instrumental as well, leaving the album to go out with a fade rather than a flourish. The addition of the bonus track, “Prowess And Decay“, is an exciting cut and serves as a good aftercredits song. It may not fit with the themes and sounds of the record but it made me curious and interested to see where the band will head next.RECEIVER‘s “Whispers Of Lore“ serves as a great introduction to a band that manages to honor the traditional heavy metal sound but also lay a firm foundation of what they can do. With consistently impressive instrumental work and vocals that are more than up to the task, I will keep my ears ready for when they come back around and see what else they can do.