Symphonic gothic metal can be a hit or miss proposition to my ears. Too many acts careen off the deep end into orchestration and bombast, leaving the ‘metal’ side to occasional flourishes with the electric guitar. Greek sextet Fallen Arise have been in existence for 4 years, releasing an EP "Eternal" in 2011 prior to this debut album "Ethereal". Employing a dual male/ female vocal with surprisingly strong results as both possess powerhouse, multi-octave melodic capabilities, it’s obvious that musically the band enjoy Nightwish and Within Temptation for a sonic template as much as say Rhapsody (Of Fire) or any number of classical composers.

Keyboardist Gus Dibelas pulls out all the stops with his atmospheric and active orchestration to date – delivering promising results on "Nightouched" and "Burned Ivy", while I imagine the personal musical involvement can be a challenge with 6 personalities fighting for air time. The second half of the album is where Fallen Arise turn on their gothic charm, especially with The Gathering-like "Eternal Sins", the churning electric riffs of Frangiskos making the body sway to and fro. Simplicity reigns when it comes to the blue and white oriented cover art- leaving the listener to use their imagination to match up to the musical proceedings.

Fallen Arise do not mess around with extraneous set ups in terms of technical brilliance- preferring to hit the listener with hooks and melodies right out of the gate and keep the focus there throughout these arrangements. "Ethereal" can be an album that gains wide appeal from both the conventional gothic and symphonic metal camps- so keep an eye and ear out for Fallen Arise.