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Embrace The Storm Special Edition


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 9 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Special Edition
  • Label: Inside Out U.S.
  • ASIN: B000AQBAS0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Spellbound
2. Passion
3. Deceiver
4. I’ll Keep On Dreaming
5. Haunted
6. Wherever You Are
7. Open Your Eyes
8. Embrace The Storm
9. Breathing Again
10. Out In The Real World
11. Nostalgia
12. Calliopeia

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Stream of Passion's album "Embrace the Storm" is a hurricane of major and minor notes woven into their songs perfectly to create a unique, gothic and symphonic sound. The lead singer, Marcela Bovio, has a high-ranged voice that often goes from low to high pitches, but it keeps a pop-like sound, that blends well with the heavy sound of the electric guitars. The album reflects indeed, the mood of an abandonned lighthouse as a storm approches to bring in jetsam of a sunken ship. The album opens with Spellbound, which does bring you into their world and quickly yanks you in for more. They leave you breathless with Passion, in its amazing change of tones and placing of instruments where it's needed. But after this, the next three songs are mediocre. They are good, but not exorbitant in musical flavour. They bring you back though, with Whereever you are, a beautiful mix of soft guitar, her vibrating chords, melodic piano, and heavy metal. It's repetitiveness is effective and her voice shows true passion and excersise. Open your eyes is also a great slower piece, with enchanting cello and again, a perfect melange of that industrial-sounding guitar whining, piano and her voice. Embrace the Storm is the track that gave the album name, (or vice-versa) with lyrics that reflect the mood in general. The tune is simple, it sounds at once like an old irish reel and a death metal background melody from Children of Bodom. Breathing Again is a soft ballade, very lovely. Out in the Real World is very well written and performed, very taking and passionate. The violins bring the song to life, and the song is dark, but lively, with its addition of that background death metal melody and swerving notes from major to minor, or vice-versa.Read more ›
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By April on July 24 2007
Format: Audio CD
So heres the story. I was looking around for new music on the forsaken site 'MySpace'. And I came across this band! The first song ''Passion'' starts to play and I can say I was absolutely blown away.
Wanting more, I decided to order the cd. It recently came in and I must say, this cd is amazing. I know there are some cds where the first beginning songs are really good, but once it plays out to the end of the cd, the songs get a little poor and not so good. But ''Embrace the Storm" is awesome from beginning to end. There isnt one song on this cd that isnt good. Each song is beautiful.
The girls vocals are hypnotizing and very haunting. You have heavy guitar riffs, violins, piano-they combined all of these so well, that they made each song sound perfect.
If you like Nightwish, The Gathering, Lacuna coil,theatre of tragedy etc.-Female fronted metal bands, then I suggest you give this cd a chance. Honestly you will not regret your purchase I can tell you that!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Stream of musical ideas Oct. 28 2005
By Murat Batmaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Arjen Lucassen is an artist who always likes to think outside the box. Whenever he releases an Ayreon disc, he often has to dive into another project where he can clear his mind and use some of his other creative ideas in different musical areas. Stream of Passion is one of these projects. However, it's not just a one-off project. This is the first band Arjen has put together in the last 10 years, and yes, he does plan on going on a tour at the end of the year. Arjen's amazing vocal discovery Marcela Bovio from Mexico already impressed a lot of Ayreon fans with her exceptional performance on The Human Equation album. After the success of the album, Arjen decided to work with her in a different capacity, where he could utilise her talents and concentrate on a whole album with Marcela doing the vocals.

So plans were put into action and a totally new band was formed. With Arjen playing just rhythm guitars and Marcela doing the vocals and playing violin, Johan van Stratum on bass, Marcela's band mate from Elfonia Alejandro Millan on piano, Davy Mickers on drums, and Lori Linstruth on lead guitars also joined the band, equally contributing to the songwriting process and broadening the musical spectrum of Embrace the Storm. Like Marcela, female lead guitarist Lori Linstruth was also found through the internet. Linstruth plays a wide range of guitar solos on the disc with a distinct metal style focusing on melodious flow. Drummer Mickers is an interesting find indeed. Quite different from Arjen's usual skinsman Ed Warby, Mickers renders the album a bit more modern with exceptional timing and rhythmic drive. Finally, Alejandro Millan gives the album an organic edge with his sparse piano melodies often reminding me of Elfonia's new disc This Sonic Landscape. Though I was expecting something more in the lines of Arjen's Ambeon project, Stream of Passion has turned out to be a more band effort with real metal instrumentation rather than various electronic and sampled soundscapes. That said, the album does share a few common ideas with Ambeon, in that it features a single female vocalist lending it her voice and Arjen experimenting with rather non-Ayreon elements.

However, since Arjen wrote most of the album on acoustic guitar only to send the demos to Marcela lest she could come up with her own lyrics and vocal melodies, together with Alejandro Millan on piano, the music has resulted in subtle similarities to their own band Elfonia, except that Elfonia is a lot jazzier and perhaps more Latin-inspired. Marcela has not only composed similar harmonies, but she also sings in Spanish on three songs. "Haunted" opens up with a lush orchestral run and marching drum and bass rhythms where Marcela uses both Spanish and English lyrics in order to diversify the piece. From silently spoken gloomy Spanish sections to English-sung bits over acoustic guitars, the song does a great job of portraying the subject matter on hand, which addresses the loss of innocence. On "Out of the Real World", she uses more of her angelic opera vocals (changing from English to Spanish, and vice versa) with truly majestic string arrangements juxtaposed with a rather modern, trip-hop beat. "Nostalgia", on the other hand, is a completely Spanish-sung track with Millan's pretty piano and Marcela's crytalline voice which eventually morphs into a sweeping soprano delivery. Marcela's lyrics are dark and deeply moving, especially when matched by her emotive tone. This album has also allowed her to explore different singing styles, as her voice on the first track "Spellbound" has an evident Anneke van Giersbergen influence. This is a cold track, with a very structured drum pattern and ambient piano, along with subtle violin and an ethnic percussion break. Images of more vivid The Gathering touches are heard with the arrival of thick guitar and bass chords forming a lucid texture around the vocals.

Much more is on display on the album. From the dark bass figure, electric piano, and intense rhythm guitars that fill the alluring passages of "Deceiver" where Marcela's dual leads are mixed cleverly, to the soaring guitar solo on the piano ballad "I'll Keep on Dreaming", to the ever-changing dynamics on "Wherever You Are", Arjen opts for the perfect marriage of polarized rhythmic qualities that never fail to contrast the very slow and moody sections with a thunderous guitar and bass tandem. Marcela once again shows her Anneke van Giersbergen-like style on the other piano ballad "Breathing Again", while on "Calliopeia" the band creates their most progressive moment with cohesive instrumental breaks and smooth shifts in time signatures. Needless to say, all of these soundscapes are fantastically arranged by Arjen Lucassen in his unique and immediately noticeable style. The special edition of the album comes with a DVD that shows the making of the album, a video clip of "Passion" underpinned by the amalgamation of operatic vocals, pianos, textural guitar riffs, some industrial elements, and lush string works and piano, and demo versions of some of the songs. Recommended to fans of Ayreon, Ambeon, Star One, and Elfonia, as well as fans of prog rock, gothic, experimental and dark music.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Embrace the Passion Oct. 26 2005
By Steven Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Mexican singer Marcela Bovio first came to prominence with her spectacular vocals on Ayreon's "The Human Equation". After working with her on that album, Arjen Anthony Lucassen (AAJ - the brains behind Ayreon), felt that she had a lot more to offer, so he asked her to write the songs. AAJ wrote all the music and "Stream of Passion" (SoP) is the result of their collaboration.

For those who don't know of the Ayreon material (shame on you), Marcela's voice is extremely powerful and melodic and tends to stay around the higher range of vocals.

I have heard suggestions that SoP sound similar to Evanescence, an impression that was somewhat reinforced by the two tracks that were available for download before this album was released. However, these tracks ("Passion" and "Deceiver") are the closest that it gets to conventional rock / metal. In fact, with the higher pitched vocals and the darker, gothic feel, it seems to have a little more in common with Nightwish. For me though, Nightwish were very difficult to get into and enjoy, whereas SoP grabs you from the start and doesn't let go until the CD stops spinning... Then you just have to start it all over again.

There are some elements, which mean that "Embrace the Storm" is not as immediately accessible as the more conventional rock or metal albums. The vocals range from high to very high (but always top quality) and the gothic tone that pervades the whole album may not be to everyone's taste. There is a smattering of Spanish lyrics, all nicely translated in the in lay. Occasionally, Marcela hits some notes that are surprising in their context and while this is by no means a bad thing (a very good thing, as far as I'm concerned), it can catch you off-guard. In my opinion, all the things I have mentioned here actually add to and enrich the experience, but I felt it only fair to warn you to expect the unexpected.

The vocals are exceptional throughout the album and show off the whole range of Marcela's talent (writing and singing). regardless of the song, they remain passionate, melodic and powerful. The music is also exceptional and it flows between emotive piano sections, through violins and all the way up to driving rhythm guitars. The lyrics are suitably mysterious and can be interpreted in a number of ways and as I said earlier, the whole package really draws you in.

For anyone who fancies something a little less ordinary, which showcases the protagonist's talents, "Embrace the Storm" is an essential purchase.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Awesome debut from this international band Jan. 8 2006
By Chad W. Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Unlike some reviewers who are Ayreon fans, I became familiar with Stream Of Passion through Lori Linstruth's works. When I first received this album, I listened to practically nothing but this album for a week straight. Now that I've had the album for several months and things have settled down, I have had the chance to truly reflect on the strength of this album. Even after the initial hit, I'm still coming back to this album and loving it.

Unlike many albums which have a couple select songs which one immediately jumps straight to, this album is a masterpiece from start to finish. The album begins with "Spellbound" which is not so much a song, but more akin to a musical score set to create the atmosphere and ambiance of the coming album. The next two songs "Passion" and "Deceiver" are strong hitters. The album then comes down with "I'll Keep On Dreaming", which is a quiet song, but somewhat dark and emotionally powerful. One of my favorite songs "Haunted" is up next which has a great rhythmic vibe to it which is featured in the Stream of Passion promotional trailer. "Wherever You Are" is another one of the songs which may not catch you on the first time, but it will draw you in with subsequent listens.

The next song "Open Your Eyes" is a ballad, but it has one of the most powerful solos I've ever heard, which is on par with other songs like MSG's "Neverending Nightmare", Yngwie's "I'd Die Without You", or Electric Sun's "Indian Dawn". This is one of the crowning achievements to this album. Things pick back up with "Embrace The Storm", which is a very catchy number. "Breathing Again" is another of these numbers which may not be instantly catchy, but I've found myself coming back to this number every now and again, just like all of the songs on this album. "Out In The Real World" is another strong track, on par with "Embrace the Storm". "Nostalgia" is probably the most odd track on the album since it is pretty much vocals and piano, but it does help showcase the powerful singing on this album. The album ends off with "Calliopeia", which is an absolutely sick number, with some very Uli Jon Roth type guitar fills and leads.

Even though the album cover and linear notes feature the singer, this is NOT about the singer and that is all (Note: artists names left out intentionally). All six artists play an important part with this band with a driving bass line (which is actually turned up enough in the mix to be heard!), beautiful accompanied piano/keyboard lines, solid drumming, wild guitar solos, and some great song writing.

In the end, this is just a very solid album, which I will be listening to for years to come. Thanks Stream of Passion!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Stream of creative ideas Oct. 29 2005
By Murat Batmaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Arjen Lucassen is an artist who always likes to think outside the box. Whenever he releases an Ayreon disc, he often has to dive into another project where he can clear his mind and use some of his other creative ideas in different musical areas. Stream of Passion is one of these projects. However, it's not just a one-off project. This is the first band Arjen has put together in the last 10 years, and yes, he does plan on going on a tour at the end of the year. Arjen's amazing vocal discovery Marcela Bovio from Mexico already impressed a lot of Ayreon fans with her exceptional performance on The Human Equation album. After the success of the album, Arjen decided to work with her in a different capacity, where he could utilise her talents and concentrate on a whole album with Marcela doing the vocals.

So plans were put into action and a totally new band was formed. With Arjen playing just rhythm guitars and Marcela doing the vocals and playing violin, Johan van Stratum on bass, Marcela's band mate from Elfonia Alejandro Millan on piano, Davy Mickers on drums, and Lori Linstruth on lead guitars also joined the band, equally contributing to the songwriting process and broadening the musical spectrum of Embrace the Storm. Like Marcela, female lead guitarist Lori Linstruth was also found through the internet. Linstruth plays a wide range of guitar solos on the disc with a distinct metal style focusing on melodious flow. Drummer Mickers is an interesting find indeed. Quite different from Arjen's usual skinsman Ed Warby, Mickers renders the album a bit more modern with exceptional timing and rhythmic drive. Finally, Alejandro Millan gives the album an organic edge with his sparse piano melodies often reminding me of Elfonia's new disc This Sonic Landscape. Though I was expecting something more in the lines of Arjen's Ambeon project, Stream of Passion has turned out to be a more band effort with real metal instrumentation rather than various electronic and sampled soundscapes. That said, the album does share a few common ideas with Ambeon, in that it features a single female vocalist lending it her voice and Arjen experimenting with rather non-Ayreon elements.

However, since Arjen wrote most of the album on acoustic guitar only to send the demos to Marcela lest she could come up with her own lyrics and vocal melodies, together with Alejandro Millan on piano, the music has resulted in subtle similarities to their own band Elfonia, except that Elfonia is a lot jazzier and perhaps more Latin-inspired. Marcela has not only composed similar harmonies, but she also sings in Spanish on three songs. "Haunted" opens up with a lush orchestral run and marching drum and bass rhythms where Marcela uses both Spanish and English lyrics in order to diversify the piece. From silently spoken gloomy Spanish sections to English-sung bits over acoustic guitars, the song does a great job of portraying the subject matter on hand, which addresses the loss of innocence. On "Out of the Real World", she uses more of her angelic opera vocals (changing from English to Spanish, and vice versa) with truly majestic string arrangements juxtaposed with a rather modern, trip-hop beat. "Nostalgia", on the other hand, is a completely Spanish-sung track with Millan's pretty piano and Marcela's crytalline voice which eventually morphs into a sweeping soprano delivery. Marcela's lyrics are dark and deeply moving, especially when matched by her emotive tone. This album has also allowed her to explore different singing styles, as her voice on the first track "Spellbound" has an evident Anneke van Giersbergen influence. This is a cold track, with a very structured drum pattern and ambient piano, along with subtle violin and an ethnic percussion break. Images of more vivid The Gathering touches are heard with the arrival of thick guitar and bass chords forming a lucid texture around the vocals.

Much more is on display on the album. From the dark bass figure, electric piano, and intense rhythm guitars that fill the alluring passages of "Deceiver" where Marcela's dual leads are mixed cleverly, to the soaring guitar solo on the piano ballad "I'll Keep on Dreaming", to the ever-changing dynamics on "Wherever You Are", Arjen opts for the perfect marriage of polarized rhythmic qualities that never fail to contrast the very slow and moody sections with a thunderous guitar and bass tandem. Marcela once again shows her Anneke van Giersbergen-like style on the other piano ballad "Breathing Again", while on "Calliopeia" the band creates their most progressive moment with cohesive instrumental breaks and smooth shifts in time signatures. Needless to say, all of these soundscapes are fantastically arranged by Arjen Lucassen in his unique and immediately noticeable style. Recommended to fans of Ayreon, Ambeon, Star One, and Elfonia, as well as fans of prog rock, gothic, experimental and dark music.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Awesome stuff! Dec 21 2005
By Mr. N. Crowson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Actually i can't really top Murat Batmaz's review of this album (see review somewhere below mine!) but i thought another favourable review can't do this project's album sales any harm.

As a lover of heavy prog (Nightmare Cinema, Symphony X) and female goth metal bands (The Gathering, Within Temptation) i find myself totally at home with this style of music, but i am often a tad dissapointed to discover another flatly produced generic prog band when i listen to the cd. Add to that the fact that i thought Lucassen's Star One live dvd / cd package was truly laughably awful, and the omens weren't too good for his latest venture.

Fortunately thats not the case with this project. What we have in esssence is a very well crafted set of 12 songs with no filler tracks. The whole album seems to flow as one with different shades of light and dark - its not just an album with crunchy riffs textured by piano and keyboards, its so much more epic sounding. Marcela Bovio's vocals are truly fantastic, and meander around the music much like The Gathering did when they were at their best. A good bonus for a shred worshipper like myself was some truly great lead guitar which this type of music often lacks - the female guitarist Lori Linstruth adds some classy melodic solos that should please fans of 80's shred legends like Lynch, Friedman and Vai.

At 55 mins the running time is about perfect too, and the bonus dvd has plenty to keep you occupied. So stop phaffing about and add it to your cart now, its a truly great piece of work in every aspect, and here's hoping to a second outing from this superior studio project.

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