just typing here to see where it goes Arluna - Universal Destiny (review) - MetalFromNL

Arluna – Universal Destiny (review)

Arluna is a relatively new symphonic metal band formed around Leiden. The band has been around for a while, but didn’t release much of their music up till the 8th of March, when they released the first single from their now fully released album Universal Destiny. The band did have a demo online, but that was more of a callingcard towards venues and promotors, however it did gave us some insight in how the band has grown over time. Let’s dive into Universal Destiny.

Arluna takes inspiration from symphonic metal giants like Nightwish and Epica, and as all bands do, try to put their own spin on the music with interesting riffs and layers. But before I get into reviewing this album, I have to put out a disclaimer. It’s very hard for me to listen to this album because I don’t really like the vocals. 

With any music, a vocalist can make or break the band. And with Arluna I’m not sure they’ve found the right person for the job just yet. I might be overly critical, so please listen to the album to form your own opinion. My opinion on the vocalist, however, is that there isn’t enough power, conviction in the delivery of the lines to really make an impact. Also, their are either too much or too little words to the melody to have a natural flow. It feels forced, and it’s probably the reason why I dislike these vocals so much, more so than any of the other arguments. The final argument being the monotonous melodies, that are basically the same for each of the songs. 

That being said; For the review, I will try to review the tracks and the vocal melodies and performance as two separate things, to give an honest and objective review of the full album. 

Universal Destiny

The album starts with the intro track ‘My Dying Breath’. It starts with a nice build-up and an intro that fits the bands mentioned previously well. In terms of the mix, each of the instruments is clearly heard, especially the bass, which I really enjoy. All of the instruments have interesting riffs and loops as well. One point of feedback towards the mix might be that the synths are maybe a little too loud compared to the rest. Their overall sound might improve by turning up the drums just a little bit, maybe. My Dying Breath immediately treats us to the first solos. There are a couple of those on the album, just enough to give little extra to each of the tracks. 

From My Dying Breath, we turn to Purification. This track starts with a nice, grooving riff, that continues through the verse. The whole track reminded me a bit of old Circus Maximus, which I’m sure is an inspiration for this band. I like the instrumental break in the middle, which gives more room for the instruments to shine. 

Escape from Darkness has already been released as a single a week prior to the album release. From the first notes, you hear the (old) Nightwish inspiration seep through. I love the guitars and bass following the vocal lines in the chorus part, but the real power is in the post-chorus. 

Onto Meeting Me. The band could have invested in a better piano sample since it kinda lacks reverb. I wouldn’t mind as much, if it was just an intro, but Meeting Me seems to be the band’s ballad, and the quality of that sound makes the whole thing a little ‘thin’, for lack of better words. The melody reminded me of La Marseillaise in the chorus, which was a little weird for me. Probably because it switches from minor to major at some point. 

From ballad into the most heavy and epic track on the album. Freedom starts on a epic note with a Latin choir and the heaviest guitars on the album so far. The break in the middle has some samples laid over it as well. This is probably the track with the most energy en groovy riffs, and because of that probably the one track that I enjoyed the most. 

The album ends with Destiny, which starts with a happy, recognizable riff. Very fitting for the ending track of the concept album, delivering us to our final Destiny. It’s the riff that carries this song, and the album, and it’s a fitting ending to the album, and I imagine a fitting ending to a live performance as well. 

Final thoughts

I like the composition and riffs on Universal Destiny. The orchestrations work nicely with the guitar riffs, and the bass has its own place in between the various riffs and layers to make it stand out nicely. And for a debut album, Universal Destiny certainly is a nice introduction to Arluna. However, I cannot step over the vocals, the delivery and the vocal lines. When I try to listen to the album as an instrumental piece, sure I have some feedback for the band, but the overall thing is pretty great. However, the vocals really are a let down for me. This is of course solely my opinion, so feel free to have a different one! Favorite track of the album would probably be Freedom, or the previously released single Escape From Darkness.


  1. My Dying Breath
  2. Purification
  3. Escape from Darkness
  4. Meeting Me
  5. Freedom
  6. Destiny

You can find Arluna on their own website, on Facebook, or in our database.

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