OK, are you sitting down?
Sorry this is so long, but I have a lot to say about this CD. I hope you find it helpful, and maybe even some of the answers you referred to above.
I have the CD and love it. In fact, I'm listening to it now; thanks!
The bass player is Ronnie König of the Christian power metal band Signum Regis, who took over for their original bass player when he died of cancer. (The song "A Farewell That Wasn't Meant To Be" is about him, and essentially dedicated to him.) Ronnie's brother Tommy, who is also a Christian, wrote the lyrics for four of the songs.
Musically it is an excellent album; great symphonic power metal. I especially enjoy the first song, "King of Persia", with the lead vocal being a trio between both leads and a guest mezzo-soprano vocalist for harmony. The album doesn't have the massive wall of sound caused by non-stop, double-bass like some power metal, and sometimes I think it's more melodic power metal than symphonic, but that's splitting hairs (what I like to call "over genre-sizing"). And I don't know if it's his accent or his tone, but Olaf doesn't click for me as well as Herbie does, and as such I find my favorite songs being the ones Herbie sings. That's not to say Olaf's singing is bad; a lot of people like him from what I hear (I've never heard of Treasure Seeker; I'll have to look them up). I just like Herbie better.
Overall, though, the entire CD is excellent musically.
As for reviewing it on your site, I would recommend against it. First of all, your site is about reviewing Christian metal, and even if you stretch that to say metal made by Christians, this doesn't really qualify. Granted, you've veered from that a time or two, such as your review of Sinbreed's When Worlds Collide
and Amaseffer's Slaves for Life
, but in the latter case at least it can be argued that their subject material, while part of the Hebrew faith, is also part of the Christian faith. With Symphonity your only real tie to Christianity is more like what it was for the Sinbreed album, which is some of the people involved being Christian or formerly involved with Christian bands. Lyrically, there is only one song that might be considered a Christian song, thanks to Tommy having written it: "Children of the Light" (here are the lyrics). The rest are relatively safe to listen to, but there are a couple that I would not recommend for new believers as they could cause doubt, and IMO could even keep someone from coming to Christ. Case in point, "The Choice". The full lyrics are here, but here's the chorus:
You've got the choice
your inner voice
just do whatever you need to
Don't have no fear
future is clear
you have that strength
and the will to go on
The lyrics are right; we can survive by sheer will, and many people do. We can even find success in life that way. But IMO the song is unsafe because ultimately we need Jesus, sometimes just to survive, but always to get to Heaven and to find true peace and joy. I should also point out that Herbie wrote the lyrics for that song, and he is currently the lead singer for Sinbreed, a band that has emphatically denied being a Christian band, and he wrote all the lyrics for that band's album Shadows
, some of which were very anti-Christian; not satanic, just "you don't need Jesus". In fact, that album disturbed me so much I got rid of it (I think I traded it to Jim on this forum). Don't take my word for it though; read the lyrics for "Reborn" and decide for yourself: "Reborn" lyrics. Herbie also wrote the lyrics for "Flying" on the Symphonity album we are discussing, lyrics that IMO are very much like those of "Reborn" from Shadows. ("Flying" lyrics)
One other note about Herbie. I don't have documented proof, but I was told by someone in the Facebook group Christian Metalheads International that he has publicly stated he is tired of people always asking him about his faith. That doesn't say he has chosen to turn his back on God (as the lyrics to "Reborn" and "Flying" seem to suggest), but assuming it is true it is disturbing. One should never be ashamed of the Gospel (Matthew 10:33) or tired of sharing it.
The other song that I think tends to point away from Christ is, ironically, "In the Name of God". This one was written by Olaf (the other member that was once in a Christian band). Here are the full lyrics, but note the chorus:
All in the name of god
And all under the sign of the cross
For their might they will never stop
Until the last unbeliever is gone
Some would argue the song is about the crusades, considering it starts with the line "Legions of knights riding for God". However, note the second stanza:
Look at the priest in his holy robe
Preaching on us from above
But behind the walls, when everyone´s gone
He's beating and raping a boy
As long as there's nobody telling the truth
He will go on with this mess
And after the “Amen” he's smiling to him
Telling him: “You're forgiven”
While not exactly anti-Christian, definitely anti-Catholic church. And there is no distinction made to suggest that other denominations, or even other Catholics, are not like the priest mentioned in the song. IMO it is a broad stroke interpretation of Christianity in general.
Another thing to consider before deciding to review the album: in the liner notes someone (I think it was Libor Křivák, the guitar player, but it's hard to tell because there is a space between his "thank you" notes and this statement) stated "since I personally don't believe in Heaven." Just something to consider.
My final thought: I bought this album because Ronnie mentioned it in a Facebook post. However, before doing so I discussed it with him, as I had never heard of the band. He told me about Tommy writing some of the lyrics, but he warned that I might be offended by some of the lyrics to some of the songs Tommy didn't write. I'm not offended by them, but I now understand his concern; after all, based on some of his other posts he is Catholic. And from what I know of him via Signum Regis and other Facebook posts he is a true Believer. So even though he's in the band, if he was concerned enough about the lyrics to warn another Believer then maybe it's not something that should be reviewed on a "Christian metal" site.
My final, final thought
: If you review this one, where do you draw the line? I know you reviewed Sinbreed's first CD for similar reasons (as I indicated above), but were I in your place I would be wary of delving too far into the "not really Christian but ... " reviews. In fact, and this is just my opinion so don't be offended, but based on Sinbreed's last two albums I would even remove my review of their first one. It disturbs me when I see people refer to them as a Christian band. But that's another topic.
I hope this helps or at least creates some friendly, helpful discussion. Ultimately the choice is yours, and as Alldat states, definitely pray about it.