Artist: Selenseas

Album Title: The Outer Limits

Label: Rockshots Records

Date of Release: 7 August 2020

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of Russian bands that I like. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Mechanical Poet are the only Russians I have in my collection at all. So, as it turns out, I could count the bands using the number of thumbs on one hand. Well, that was until recently and my discovery of Selenseas, a melodic classic/power metal band from Moscow. Now, I need both thumbs!

Formed back in 2010, ‘The Outer Limits’ is essentially a re-recording of their debut album, ‘Za gran’yu vozmozhnogo’ from 2017, albeit with a deliberately more pronounceable title for us English speakers. The idea, having signed to Rockshots Records is to break into new territories around the world. With a decent production, nice artwork and the support of an up-and-coming European record label, the foundations have been firmly laid.

Don’t expect anything in terms of originality with this album, because Selenseas borrow heavily from other realms, namely NWOBHM and European power metal. However, there is a charm to the music that these guys produce that is hard to resist, along with a demonstrable passion for their craft; this sextet love their heavy metal and it shines through within the thirteen songs that make up ‘The Outer Limits’.

The first thing that catches my ear is the vocalist, Mikhail Kudrey, who has the kind of voice that reminds me just a touch of Blaze Bayley, both in his overall tone and in his delivery. He is a more than competent frontman and leads the band well, but given his approach, I can’t help but be reminded of ‘X Factor’ era Iron Maiden more than once within the album.

‘Hope’ kicks in after the ubiquitous minute-long symphonic and cinematic intro. It bounds along at a good pace, with a definite gallop to the rhythms of drummer Liudmila Malaya and bassist Vladislav Tyushin. Over the top are lashings of keys, whilst the guitar work of Ivan Lisitsyn and Denis Andrianov are a good blend of strong riffs and lead solo flamboyance. If anything, I’d have liked the guitars to be crunchier and more prominent in the final mix, but despite fighting with the keys of Svetlana Tyushina that are literally everywhere, they do a good job nonetheless. On songs like ‘The Revenge Of The Ifrit’ for example, they certainly come to the fore more and feel more menacing, driving the track forward and accentuating the band’s metal credentials.

There’s a decent sense of the epic within many of the compositions too, as tracks like ‘Frigate’ attest, beginning as it does with the sounds of a creaking ship at sea before the symphonics come in to further boost the dramatic effect of their musical offering. The fact that the bulk of the song features some strong riffs and catchy melodies only enhances the overall enjoyment of what’s a fun heavy metal romp.

Returning to the Iron Maiden echoes, one of the biggest examples of this has to be ‘Asgard’. It begins with symphonic intent before unleashing a Maiden-esque lead guitar line and then settling into a mid-tempo delight of a song with a waltz-like lilt, complete with loads of those sing-along ‘oooh’ vocal lines the East Londoners made famous to boot. Those ‘arena’ vocals reappear with vengeance within ‘The Milky Way’, a thunderous power metal song that’s full of energy and spirit, making it a rather infectious affair.

Further highlights include the slow-burning ‘Dante’, which features some glorious melodic intent within a darker, slightly more sinister framework. And I also rather like ‘The Mirror’ and closing track, ‘The Outer Limits’. The latter is an instrumental that works well because it allows the guitars a freer rein to lead the storytelling. The result is a pleasingly playful and upbeat song that closes the record nicely.

I am impressed by ‘The Outer Limits’ from Selenseas – it definitely has enough about it to attract the attention of a wider audience outside their native Russia. Strong melodies, engaging tracks, and a good blend of symphonics and metallic crunch mean that it has found favour with me regardless of whether or not it is the most original of albums released this year. The bottom line is that it is enjoyable and should entertain plenty of you reading this review right now.

The Score of Much Metal: 80%


Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:

Quantum – The Next Breath Of Air
Ensiferum – Thalassic
Long Distance Calling – How Do We Want To Live?
Airbag – A Day At The Beach
Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum
Atavist – III: Absolution
Frost* – Others EP
Darker Half – If You Only Knew
Atavistia – The Winter Way
Astralborne – Eternity’s End
Centinex – Death In Pieces
Haken – Virus
Pile Of Priests – Pile Of Priests
Sorcerer – Lamenting Of The Innocent
Lesoir – Mosaic
Temnein – Tales: Of Humanity And Greed
Caligula’s Horse – Rise Radiant
…And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother
Vader – Solitude In Madness
Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane
Sinisthra – The Broad And Beaten Way
Paradise Lost – Obsidian
Naglfar – Cerecloth
Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement
Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn
Firewind – Firewind
An Autumn For Crippled Children – All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet
Havok – V
Helfró – Helfró
Victoria K – Essentia
Cryptex – Once Upon A Time
Thy Despair – The Song Of Desolation
Cirith Ungol – Forever Black
Igorrr – Spirituality and Distortion
Nightwish – Human. II: Nature.
Katatonia – City Burials
Wolfheart – Wolves Of Karelia
Asenblut – Die Wilde Jagd
Nicumo – Inertia
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre
Symbolik – Emergence
Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea
Irist – Order Of The Mind
Testament – Titans Of Creation
Ilium – Carcinogeist
Dawn Of Ouroboros – The Art Of Morphology
Torchia – The Coven
Novena – Eleventh Hour
Ashes Of Life – Seasons Within
Dynazty – The Dark Delight
Sutrah – Aletheia EP
Welicoruss – Siberian Heathen Horde
Myth Of I – Myth Of I
My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion
Infirmum – Walls Of Sorrow
Inno – The Rain Under
Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre
Mindtech – Omnipresence
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews