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Image © 2000 Dark Symphonies 

(27 January 2000) The debut album from Rain Fell Within is entitled Believe (Dark Symphonies (USA) Dark 7, 2000) is a five track collection of atmospheric metal with operatic vocals. Certain to appeal to fans of Nightwish and Third and The Mortal, their music encompasses a broad range of stylistic influences including: My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and The Gathering. The band's stated influences also include Theatre of Tragedy, Tiamat, Dead Can Dance and Amorphis. Musical Discoveries' editors were drawn to the music by the stated similarity to Nightwish and this is evidenced by lead vocalist Dawn Smith's operatic vocal contributions. Rain Fell Within, like Nightwish has effectively integrated stunning operatic vocals with metal-edged progressive arrangements.

Rain Fell Within is based in Northern Virginia (USA) and formed in October 1996. After spending 1997 writing material, Rain Fell Within recorded a 5-song demo which was not released to the public. Developing upon their symphonic style, in 1998 they released a professional demo titled "Solemn Days." The demo received excellent responses worldwide. In late 1998, the beand began writing new, more mature material than "Solemn Days" and began playing live shows. The lineup finally stabilised in mid-1999. Today the band includes Dawn Smith (vocals and keys), Charles Gore (bass), Owen Davis (guitars), Tim Miller (percussion) and Kevin Thomas (guitars).

The Believe album is comprised of four epic length, progressively influenced, tracks exceeding eight minutes whilst the closing track runs just under four minutes. The opening number, "A False Reality," serves as an excellent introduction to the band and Dawn's soaring operatic vocal prowess, multitracked extensively throughout to provide supporting backing vocal textures. The double-bass drum and metal edged guitars dominate the intrumental arrangements. The intriguing track "Alone" blends evocative operatic—yet melancholy—vocals with harder-edged metal instrumentals and lush keyboards. We especially enjoyed the fast paced instrumental bridge and accompanying vocal in the last third of the song. Dawn's incredibly powerful voice rings throughout the track and complimenting both singers, she can be favourably compared to Tarja Turunen of Nightwish.

While comparisons to Nightwish and The Third and the Mortal can not be avoided, the title track is clearly the closest allusion to Nightwish in instrumental performance, hard driving style and Dawn's stunning lead vocal part. Instrumentals are as lush as they are heavy while vocals are clearly beautiful and the contrast works quite well for Rain Fell Within as it does for Nightwish. Dawn's additional backing vocals add substantial to the overall texture of the track. "Sorrow Becomes Me" is a slower and somewhat lighter atmostpheric track with a vast range of lovely vocal excursions. The album concludes with the vocally lush "The Sun in my Wound" opening with a heavily layered a capella introduction. This stunning operatic ballad is a lovely tribute to Dawn Smith's soaring vocal work with the lightest instrumental arrangement in support.

Although the album's running time is relatively short by today's standards, the quality of the tracks included on Believe is outstanding. Rain Fell Within are indeed a very powerful atmospheric metal band that demonstrate progressive influences in their work. We found Dawn Smith's vocals stunning in every respect and think that this album should be explored to listen to her sing if for no other reason. Interested readers should listen to the tracks at Rain Fell Within's mp3.com website. Worth a long distance journey and extensive investigation, Believe is certainly a must listen!

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