INFOS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Interview by Robin Stryker
Hailing from Norway, gothic metal band Where Angels Fall breaks out of the mould with electronic elements, groovy guitar riffs, and rock-inflected tracks. Femme Metal sat down with vocalist Eirin Bendigtsen to find out more about the history and future of Where Angels Fall.
Hello Eirin, and welcome to Femme Metal! Would you start off by introducing the members of Where Angels Fall and telling us a bit about the band’s history?
Hi! Where Angels Fall is André Bendigtsen, guitar and programming, Kristian Svenning, guitar, Espen Lohne, bass, Jarle “Uruz” Byberg, drums, and myself, singing. We started as a band in 2004. Back then, we had another drummer and Kristian was the bass player. In the beginning, we were very inspired by classical music and vocal music from the Middle Ages. Now we have a more electronic and rock-inspired sound.
What are the best and worst things about being married to a fellow band member? Could you imagine sharing your life with someone who is not also passionate about music?
I think the best part is that we are having a project together and share a lot of good experiences. I think the worst part is that it is easier to get annoyed/get angry at your partner than with the other members of the band. I think that it would be really strange to live with someone who is not interested in music. I see a lot of musicians who have to work hard with their relationships if their partner doesn’t share a passion for music. Being a member of a band consumes a lot of time, energy and money and you often have to use vacation days to do concerts. It is not easy to be the “musician-widow” sitting at home at weekends, while the partner is out with the band.
As I understand it, you were the bass player in a number of bands before joining Where Angels Fall as the lead vocalist. Why did you make the switch?
I made the switch because I found that I enjoyed singing much more than playing and that it is easier for me to use my voice to channel out my musical feelings. It was also strange for me to have other people singing my songs. It was OK, but I always felt that other vocalists made the songs different.
Does your background playing the clarinet and bass affect how you approach writing songs?
I think that playing bass has affected the way I write music. Before, I often used to start with the bass when I made a new song for a band. I don’t think that me playing the clarinet has made too much impact on the songwriting but I have some basic theory and training in composing music. That is often affecting the way I think when I make the choirs and instrumental parts for WAF.
The first thing that grabbed my attention with the “Marionettes” album was the lovely cover art of an angel dangling from a puppet-master’s hand as she tries to bite through the strings holding her. Please tell us more about the creator and idea behind the artwork.
The artist that made the painting for us, is a painter/coverartist from Belgium called Helcanen. We made sort of a competition on MySpace to get someone to draw or paint for us. We got a lot of good proposals, but Helcanen had something special. We had a process of mailing ideas back and forth. We wanted the cover to reflect the basic idea of the album; that we humans somehow are marionettes in this society. Although we have a free will, we are trained/socialized to be the way we are expected to be. The message is that we don’t have to. It is possible to think outside the box.
For those who have not yet heard “Marionettes”, can you describe the album’s sound?
The album is sounding like a mix of groovy guitar riffs, electronica, drumming from someone who has been playing black metal for years, classical influence, choirs,and a female voice. Some say it is sounding “angelic” but I think I disagree, it is sounding more alternative rock/metal.
In what ways has the music of Where Angels Fall evolved since its earlier EP “Dies Irae” and full-length album “Illuminate”?
I think the music has evolved to a more rock and electronic sound. “Dies Irae” and “Illuminate” was more pronounced classical sounding, as the songs were composed in a more classical/traditional way. After “Illuminate”, we started to experiment a lot more, trying out new approaches to songwriting, trying out other sounds. Some of the new songs after “Marionettes” are a lot harder than anything we have done before, and other songs are more like glossy eighties-sounding. ;-)
Where Angels Fall uses Latin from Catholic liturgies on a few of the tracks. Why do Latin passages appeal to you as a songwriter?
I think it has something to do with the veil of mystery that colours the lyrics when we use the Latin liturgy. I also find the content of the liturgy we have chosen, to be meaningful for people who live today. I have made my own interpretation of the Latin parts.
Unlike the two earlier discs which were released by Edgerunner Music, the band self-released “Marionettes”. Was the do-it-yourself route a good experience?
It was a lot of work, and we have learned a lot from this experience. It is risky to self-release in terms of money.
The band chose “Female Stigma” as its first music video. Are the lyrics “work twice as hard as, be twice as smart as, sing twice as good as” based on your own experience as a woman in the mostly-male world of metal?
Congratulations on your recent single “Indifferent”! Is a new album in the works?
Thank you! Yes, we are working on a new album, but I am not sure when we can release it.
Where Angels Fall toured this Spring with Theatre of Tragedy, on what may be its last major European tour before calling it quits on 2 October 2010. What were the most memorable parts of the tour?
There were a lot of memorable parts of this tour. They are really great and nice people. They treated us very well. We had a lot of fun! Most of the concerts was a really great experience.
What does the rest of 2010 look like for Where Angels Fall?
The rest of 2010 looks like recording, I think.
Thank you so much for talking with us today, Eirin! Do you have any parting words for your fans at Femme Metal?
Thank you for this great interview! If you haven’t heard any of our songs, please go to www.whereangelsfall.com and check out the soundclips there! :-)
Label : OUTO Recordings/Scarlet Records
Review by Tony Cannella
I had given up all hope that this band even still existed. It has been seven long years since the Finnish hard rock band Lullacry released their last album “Vol. 4”. Now, finally the band returns with a new label (Scarlet Records) and a brand spankin’ new album called “Where Angels Fear”. Musically, not much has changed for Lullacry. They still play hard, straight-forward songs, mixing in hard rock riffs, bordering on metal with healthy doses of melody and attitude. “Antidote to You” gets things off on the right foot, and brings to mind what was always great about Lullacry. There is no major shift in musical style for this band, which is okay in my book. “Still an Angel” is next and speeds up the tempo with a monster guitar riff. Vocalist Tanja Lainio does a great job on the material as she delivers the lyrics with attitude and passion. She really has settled in nicely in the singers’ role for this band. “Thousand Suns” is next and slows the tempo down a bit, but it is still a heavy song and has a goth edge to it. Next is the excellent “Feel My Revenge”. This song features a pretty cool duet between Tanja and producer and ex-Misery Inc. vocalist Mikko Herranen. The following songs, “Bad Blood” (the first video track), “All Behind”, “Gone Are the Days” and “I Am” are all excellent tracks that moves things along at a steady pace. The final track “Stay” is a ballad that brings things to a conclusion on a serene note. Seven years is a long time to wait between albums, but Lullacry has put that time to good use by writing some killer songs for “Where Angels Fear”. Hopefully we will not have to wait another seven years between albums. ”Where Angels Fear” is like a visit from an old friend. Welcome back, guys and girl!
Rating - 85/100
Interview by Matteo Bussotti
After six years from their previous album, Lullacry are back on the scene with a darker, perfectly-crafted new cd, and they’re ready to rock in the best way they can, rewarding all those fans who waited so long for another release. We interviewed their singer, Tanja, who kindly answered to our questions about her life, her career, and the creative process behind this long-awaited new album.
Hi Tanja! Welcome to Femme Metal Webzine, we are very glad to have you here!
Hi to you! It’s great to be here!
First of all, why name the album “Where Angels Fear”? What’s the meaning behind this name?
Well, six years period is a long time to take a break. All is still relative. We needed that time in order to create something new and we finally did. The album name comes from one of the tracks. The song “Where Angels Fear” presents something old and something new. We made the song already six years ago to the previous album, but we never recorded it. It’s a great piece so we definitely wanted it on this album. For us the name means access out from old fears.
What can you tell us about the album? Are you satisfied with it?
“Where Angels Fear” turned out to be darker and not so party rock, if you know what I mean. This new album has its own style, which of course is a good thing. It’s a bit different than previous albums, but still has the same old Lullacry elements on it, you know.
You’ve published 3 albums so far with Lullacry and you’ve played with them for 10 years so far. Has something changed for you from the beginning of your career? In your opinion, how were Lullacry and how are them now?
When the guys asked me to join the band I was like really uncertain what to do. I mean it wasn’t really sure thing to me to join this band at first. Maybe because I wasn’t familiar with this type of music and I was thinking if I had the power to do it. Otherwise I thought that my own unique style of singing would bring its spice to the whole combination and it did. With this journey I have experienced many things and learned a lot. Ten years ago Lullacry were a punch of crazy youngsters with full of energy and now only with full of energy.. haha!!! (Laughing out hard!) The band has grown over the years as a band musically and mentally.
Moreover, how do you want to be in the future? Is there something you feel you’d do, like, I don’t know, trying new musical genres or experimenting with heavy metal?
I have thought that it would be great to do some kind of other music, experimenting new musical genres. Yeah, it would be great. I have always liked many kind of music. Example I don’t have only one genre that I like. Maybe some kind of solo album would be nice. And of course I would like to do my own music too. In fact, I already have a few of my own songs waiting to be finished.
We know Sami plays a key role in Lullacry. What do you think about Sami as a composer?
Sami has his own unique Lullacry style as a composer. He’s really precise on what he’s doing. He wants to keep the puzzle together, you know. The key role is to keep the vision clear. You can easily say that Sami is the engine of the whole band.
Talking about “Where Angels Fear”, Sami said that : “Last year has probably been the best we’ve had in Lullacry, at least when it comes to vibes. And you can hear that in the album. For the first time I made the songs without thinking that I have to do a goth ballad or a rock song. We just did things more spontaneously and it led to an album that is a lot more dark, ambitious and multi-dimensional than its predecessors.” So, how was the creative process behind this album?
Well, Sami just made those songs. He told us that there were no boundaries. Songs are darker and there are also more complicated arrangements. On the other hand there are some really easy songs like “Stay”. That song is very personal to me. I have made the words with Sami and Mikko. On this album there’s also song from our bass player Heavy. He has done a few songs, which is great.
You sang some songs in the album “Virus” for the French power metal band Heavenly. Can you tell us how this collaboration was born? Have you learned something from Heavenly or from the “French way” of doing metal?
Heavenly guys asked me to sing the duet with their vocalist Ben Sotto. It was a cover song called “When the Rain Begins to Fall” (originally Pia Zadora and Jermaine Jackson). When I heard what the song would be I was like yes I want to sing it! Our schedules fit together and the rest is history. Co-operation went really well. It was a nice experiment for me musically! I wish all the best for the band.
What do you think about music industry in Finland? How was working with your producer, Mikko?And how did you feel singing with him?
If thinking the Finnish music industry I think there’s a variation of potential music makers. It just needs more support from the Finnish government. It was really easy to work with Herranen. He has the right attitude on doing things. He‘s also a singer so it was very easy to communicate with him.
Have you already planned a tour for your album? Where are you most excited to go?
We focus on touring this fall. I personally would want to tour all around the world! Example Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, USA…everywhere! We’ll start tour in our home country. We do not yet have any more plans. Currently we’re focus on getting things together.
Are there any places that you’ve never visited on a tour but you want to, one day? And what is the best place you remember you’ve been while touring?
There are a lot of places I haven’t been before! South America, Italy (expect Rock Im Ring festival), Spain, France… North American tour was awesome! It’s very hard to mention only one best place.
Last question, how’s your fan base in Finland? How and how often do you interact with them?
When we made this new album we didn’t know how our fans would remember us or if they remember us at all. It was great to notice that we still have the loyal fans out here and there. We’re very grateful about it. I just hope that people spread the word about us, because there are still a lot of those fans, who don’t know about the activation.
Thank you very much for your answers and your time! Good luck for everything, I hope to see you in Italy very soon! Thank you! This was a pleasure. We would love to come to Italy! Rock on everybody and check out the latest Lullacry news on www.lullacry.com. Links Latest Multimedia
Thank you! This was a pleasure. We would love to come to Italy! Rock on everybody and check out the latest Lullacry news on www.lullacry.com.
Interview by Marc “Peston” Sels
Brasil. Pele, football, almost naked women dancing the samba at Rio’s carnaval, but also the favelas, the disappearing rainforest and indian tribes. In this enormous country is a very active metalscene, and from this metalscene I had a short talk with Debora Serri, frontwoman of Seven Angels. Hope you enjoy this interview from this promising band soon. In the mean time you can try to find their cd’s (not an easy task, believe me, I haven’ found them yet) and hope to see them soon on a European stage.
The first, and usually boring question, can you give us a brief history of Seven Angels? (members, cd’s etc.)
Seven Angels is a melodic metal band with christian lyrics. Me and my husband Karim (Guitar) are the band formers. It was born in 1999. We have always lived from the music market. We are professional musicians, we played in coverbands for years but at this time we decided to form our own band and Seven Angels was born. We had from this time four different line-ups that can be checked at our home page. We recorded a 3 song demo-cd and 2 full lenght cd’s, “The Second Floor” (2002) and “Faceless Man” (2005). We play heavy metal because we love it, and no matter the line-up changes, we’ll always play metal!
Most of us over here in Europe think about Sepultura or Angra when you mention Brasil (and football and carnaval of course), but is there a big music (metal) scene ?
Yes, we have a big metal scene down here in Brasil with a lot of great metal bands. But from 3 years ago the scene has changed a lot, maybe due to the increasing of illegal downloads, it’s harder now to sell CD’s and to have money to keep recording new albums.
The Brasilian Indians are, together with the rainforest, endangered. Does this interest the musicians, are is music just for fun?
Brasilian Indians are in danger since the Portugueses arrived here in 1500. A lot of them are now civilized and nowadays we only have about 30.000 of them in our country between 180 million Brasilian citizens. We have a lot of programs from the government to protect them, but it’s not sufficient, unfortunately the progress doesn’t stop and the weaker will suffer more. About this on lyrics, we don’t use it, but it’s possible. Some bands have used those themes, but we never did it.
Have you played in Europe or North America yet?
Not yet. We are planning a tour in Europe for 2010 or 2011. Our last album was distributed in the USA and Europe by Bombwork Records but we never toured in the USA. We have a great public in South America and we have toured down here some times.
How would you describe your music? I would call it Female fronted power.
Female fronted woman melodic power metal.
What is for you the difference between touring and playing live, and recording in the studio?
These are two different sensations and both unique. Stage is pure adrenaline and studio is concentration. At the stage, we are free, no pressure. At the studio, everything must sound perfectly. These are incredible and amazing sensations.
When you are touring, can you see something from the cities you’re in, or is it just back in the bus/plane and to the next city?
Both. We never know what will happen. We always try to do what the public is expecting from us. But we like a lot to know new places, new cultures and new countries.
Can you live by being a musician or do you (and the other bandmembers) have got a regular job?
Me and my husband Karim are actually surviving on the music industry by teaching, playing or recording music, the others have regular jobs.
The famous musician Gilberto Gil was minister of culture for a while. Did this change a lot for the musicians in Brasil?
Not for the metal market. Maybe for the Brasilian popular music, but not for us.
What is for you the book, move, cd and concert of 2009, and why of course?
Book : “The Future of Humanity”, from a Brasilian writer called Augusto Cury, I’m a fan, I learned a lot from him.
Music: That’s a difficult question, but the first one in my mind is….“Alone” from the band Heart. I love Ann Wilson. I always try to know what she is doing, she’s an amazing singer.
Concert: The best one I have ever seen was Helloween in Sao Paolo in 2003, the best one we have ever performed was Seven Angels playing at that same concert as guest appearance, everything was perfect, unforgettable.
CD: Stratovarius’ “Visions of Europe” live.
What can we expect in 2010? A new cd? Touring in Europe?
We have a big dream, it’s about touring in Europe. We will work very hard to do this. We also will record a new cd.
And at last, any famous last words?
Thank you Marc for the opportunity of this interview. We really hope that the Brasilian scene will grow up again in 2010. The best to you and the mag.
Seven Angels : MySpace
Interview by Miriam NocturnalConcerto
Transcription by Robin Stryker
I cannot tell you how excited I was to doing this interview with Danny Cavanagh, Anathema singer and guitarist, for a lot of causes, take it because was my first phoner interview, take it because I was worried that something gone wrong. The interview has started with a delay of 30 minutes preview by the slot I was very nervous but in the end I’m happy to share with you this interview, hope like it!
Since are passed 7 years from your last album “A Natural Disaster”, why it passed so much time?
Well, mainly it is because we didn’t have a manager. We didn’t have a record company, and one or two of our band members had family commitments they had to attend to. Different things were happening in their lives. You know, at the time, you don’t realise… one month becomes another month, becomes another month. It was just one of those things. Without a record company, it was just something that happened, and it will never happen again.
And also we must add that is your first album under KScope Music (excluding the semi acoustic album “Hindsights”), why have you chosen this label?
Why did we choose KScope Records? Well, they are very good and they believe in us very much and they wanted it more than anybody else did. They were really keen to have our record, and they wanted it for many years. We saw that, with the work they did on “Hindsight”, they are actually quite good. They do things properly and they don’t spend a fortune. They don’t spend quite a lot of money wastefully. Our manager — we have a manager now — he recommends we take this and we did. We were not the kind of band at that time that could attract a much bigger label, so we went with that one. We are happy and I am happy that we did.
I make a question about the title of the new album - it sound like a statement, who came up with title and why?
Well it’s not very very important and it’s not very meaningful. It is the title that we all liked. It’s the only title that everybody in the band liked. We couldn’t find another one where six people agreed. That’s the only one that six people agreed on. For me personally, it doesn’t have the greatest meaning for the songs. It does though, however, suggest the bond that we have as a band together… the family, the friendships, the caring that we have for each other. It is suggested in that title because we are here for each other, so I like it for that reason. I like it because it suggests “being there for each other” to me. It’s not a great statement, it’s not a spiritual statement or an anti-religious statement, or anything. It is just the fact that we all like it. Also, the fact is, it comes from a very moving story from the First World War in Europe when many, many millions of men and women died for no real reason. That was one of the most extreme situations that humanity has ever seen. And, during that war, young men in England used to sing this song, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. You can actually hear a very small selection of that song… as the song “Hindsight” is tuning into the radio, you can hear it there. They used to sing that song in defiance of the situation that they were in. They were in an impossible situation, and there was no reason for them to be there, so they used to sing that song, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. We like that story. And we like the meaning behind it and the memory of those men, so we chose it.
A question about the cover - How’s your interpretation and in some manner, is it related to the lyrics of the album?
Yes and no, really. The front cover and all of the artwork is related to Anathema, to the people and to our childhood, our story, and to our personalities. They are childhood memories of everyone… an old school, an old playing field, an old street that we lived in. The beach with the man in the distance is actually Liverpool Beach in the north of Liverpool. The mountains in the distance are the Welsh Mountains, the mountains of Wales where we spent many, many years on holiday as kids. So, what I love about the artwork and title is not that it relates very, very, very closely to the meaning of the songs. It relates to the meaning of the band and to the people in the band and the personalities and the family and the heritage and the love and the memories that we have together. And that’s why I like it.
I’ve listened to album like I said before and my favourite album song is “Everything” with the duet of Lee. What your favourite track?
My favourite track is “Dreaming Light” because it is probably the most personal one to me, and it is the one I am most proud of it. That’s my favourite one, but I love them all really. I think it’s the first record that … okay, well maybe not … I would say that it’s a consistently good album. All the songs are very good, and (for me) one or two are truly great. Those two would probably be “Dreaming Light” and “Universal”. What I like about “Dreaming Light” is the optimism in the melody and the emotion in the melody. I remember the day it was written, I remember how it came through me and I remember how I felt after it was written. It was just a special time. It was a special feeling to have that feeling come through. To feel that tune and feel those words. I do think it’s a gift. That song is a gift.
So now I have three curiosity to satisfy: How’s born the collaboration with HIM singer Ville Valo, how’s working with Steven Wilson and who sang the spoken words on “Presence”?
Ville Valo is a lovely guy. He is a very nice person, and I like him very much. He is a good friend. And that is the only reason, really, that we asked him to do it. He’s been very kind to Anathema and he’s been a loyal fan, if you like, of the band. He likes the band very much and he’s been supportive of Anathema very much. I wanted in a way to say “thanks” to Ville Valo because he’s been such a gentleman and a kind person to us that it felt appropriate for me to ask him. And he said yes. It was simple and he has added something very good to the song. It’s a background, but it works for me. He adds something to the song “Angels” and doesn’t take anything away. I like it very much. And that was really just a matter of friendship, he’s a good friend. Second question, Steve Wilson. Well, that was much more involved because we worked together for two weeks to mix the record, or maybe longer. It was a great pleasure working with him because he is very very very good at what he does. So I would go to his house, sit on the couch and drink tea and listen to his work and comment and work on the collaboration and he would suggest some things. He would try to make us think carefully about all the choices that we’re making, and he would try to encourage more simplicity in the record. I had a clear vision, almost, of how it should sound. What I appreciated about Steve was his willingness to allow us to follow that vision and to only speak up when he really felt that something was a little bit wrong. We worked well together. There was no real difficulty and I like him very much. So that was a great pleasure and I am delighted we did that collaboration with him. I think it makes a difference in the impact of the record also, because people are talking about this record because of it. The final question was the spoken word on “Presence”. That is an interview I made with a gentleman in Liverpool , England where I was living at the time. A gentleman called Stan Ambrose. He is a very beautiful person, he’s a musician and a radio presenter. He was involved in counselling for a long time and he is a local activist. Just a gentleman who many people like… many people like this man. He is very humble, very kind and we became friends. We started to talk about spiritual things and the essence of life and these things. He’s always been interested in those things, interested in mediation and all that stuff. So I interviewed him actually in the Cathedral — in Liverpool Cathedral I interviewed him – and he began talking about a book by Eckhart Tolle, who is a spiritual writer, a very successful spiritual writer whose message of stillness is making an impact around the world. Stan is a person who is very much interested in these things and very sincere. When he spoke to me about this, he almost had a tear in his eye. I made the interview with him, and it just seemed to fit with the song, “Presence”. Also, the fact is that he is talking a little bit about the possibility of life beyond death and I know that he was thinking about that. And that relates directly to “Angels Walk Among Us”, which is also asking that question. Just the same as “Are You There?” was asking that question: “Is there something beyond?”
With this album you have confirmed Lee Douglas like a full member in Anathema. Can you give more infos about her and say something about the decision to confirm her in the line up.
Lee is family, and a very good friend, and a very very good singer. She was always there… she sang on all the records since “Judgement”. Ever since “A Natural Disaster”, she became more involved because she sang the lead vocal on that song. It just, you know, developed. When she came to the studio to record, she did say that she would like to be more present at the live concerts because she has to balance it with work and stuff. She has always been there, really. If I’m honest, she’s always been there, so it’s okay. We are very glad about it because she is one of us. She does fit very well — a very good singer, easy-going and easy to be around, fun. So, no problem there, really. We’re happy about it.
So, now some advices for the new fans, what Anathema album to advise to start from?
I would advise to begin with the new album, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. That’s what I would advise. And the reason is because that is the best one, and also it’s the picture of who Anathema really is right now. I would start with this record. I would suggest that it is just open-minded music. A powerful rock band, it’s emotional and it’s honest and it’s real … from the heart.
I would say that you have similitaries with The Gathering, you know, you first started like a doom metal band after you came through with an alternative rock band.
I understand what you’re saying. They really developed and changed and grew into much more of an alternative rock band. And I suppose we did the same. But, I’m looking at the interview schedule and it’s still Metal webzine, it’s in Metal Maniac, it’s in Metal Hammer (Germany). Those are our roots. The band is much more than metal and has not been a metal band for many years. Real musicians — like Radiohead or The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, U2, band like this – the real musicians, they do evolve. We are of that stock. I love Iron Maiden and their music has evolved a little bit. Our heritage is much more in the Radiohead, the Pink Floyd, the Led Zeppelin and the Sabbath and that area of evolution, which is much more expansive and open-minded. That’s just our style. And if they don’t like it, that’s tough shit.
What are the next band planes (talking about tours ecc.)?
We are in between playing Turkey and Russia right now. In three days we’re going to Russia, and then there is a show in London. Then I’m touring with Anneke van Giersbergen in South America. It’s just one or two festivals over the summer and a time over the summer to collect ourselves, to relax, to gather our strength and to do some new writing. Then, in the autumn, a natural machine will start, and a long tour will happen. I look forward to that, actually.
We know that you do acoustic tours with Anneke van Giersbergen andnow I make you a question, do you think that in the future there will be a project or a collaboration with Anathema? I mean not only with your solo project…
We have talked about that, and she would be welcome because she is such a great person and such a great singer. So, she would be welcome. But, the fact is, we have a female vocalist in the band. You know what I mean? Lee has the voice for our style, so she’s in the band. I did have ideas for Anneke to sing on the new record and she would have sounded beautiful. But Lee Douglas is there and she’s committed and it wouldn’t really be appropriate. But we certainly love Anneke very much. She has sung live with Anathema. We love her very much. I think she is a wonderful person and a really wonderful singer and a really good professional. Of course, it’s a possibility.
So we’re at end greet as you want our readers.
Thank you, my dear. Ciao and grazie.
Label : Lion Music
Review by Tony Cannella
Mastermind are a progressive rock/metal band from New Jersey. The band was originally formed in 1986 by the Berends Brothers (Bill & Rich). Their newest release titled “Insomnia” is the bands seventh release, but it is their first new material since 2000’s “Angels of the Apocalypse”. “Insomnia” also marks the debut of new vocalist Tracy McShane. Obviously, 10-years is a long time to go between albums and many long time fans were wondering if Mastermind even existed anymore. Thankfully, with the release of “Insomnia” the band not only still exists, but they are better than ever. From the opening track “Desire”, fans of the band will feel like they are being re-visited by an old friend. The vocals of Tracy McShane are perfect for the band and she is a good fit. “Break Me Down”, “One More Night” and “No Answer” are three more highlights. One of my favorite tracks on the new opus is the aggressive “Piggy World”. This is just a great up-tempo track with lyrics that I think we can all relate to at times. I found myself hitting the ‘replay’ button a few times on this one. The band members are allowed to shine on the instrumental “Night Flier” and the 9-minute closing number “Last Cigarette” is a great way to end things. The band still maintains it’s progressive element that the old fans will love, but the songs on “Insomnia” have a definite accessibility factor that are sure to attract new fans. “Insomnia” is an impressive release from a band that have been away for far too long. The addition of Tracy McShane on vocals was a good one as she definitely adds a new dimension, attitude and swagger to the band. Overall, “Insomnia” is a good release that is a worthy follow-up to “Angels of the Apocalypse”. Fans of quality prog music should definitely give this band a listen.
Rating - 85/100
Label : Frontiers Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Issa is the name of a 26 year old vocalist from Norway. She plays hook laden, arena ready Melodic Rock and has just released her debut “Sign of Angels” via the Frontiers label. On “Sign of Angels”, Issa was helped out by some big names in the world of metal. Ronny Milianowicz of Saint Deamon was the producer and Helloween drummer Uli Kusch lent his considerable talents on drums and add in the impressive vocals of Issa and you get 12-songs and 47-minutes worth of extremely catchy, big sounding melodic rock. The opener “Angels Crying” shows you exactly what to expect from this point on. The vibe is up-tempo, and kind of happy sounding. “I’m Alive” keeps the hard rocking pace going, before giving way to the first ballad, “Give Me a Sign”. Next is “River of Love” another up-tempo number, which is followed by the mid-tempo, “What Can I Do”. Other highlights include: “Closer”, “Flying High” and “Following Angel”. There is something extremely like-able and endearing about this CD. Maybe, it’s because it is impossible to be sad or angry while listening to “Sign of Angels”, there is an upbeat, positive vibe running through the songs. With “Sign of Angels”, Issa has produced a solid hard rock record and one that should appeal to fans who love their music with a lot of melody.
Rating - 83/100
Review By Tony Cannella
Darksky are a speed/progressive metal band from Italy. Their debut release (excluding their previous EP “Crimson Butterfly”)“Where Angels Hide” has just been issued, and it features 9-songs and 41-minutes worth of high quality and classy prog metal that should please fans of the genre. Although the band gets lumped into the progressive metal genre, there are other styles involved as well, like Symphonic Metal and Hard Rock. Whatever the case, “Where Angels Hide” is a highly enjoyable debut.From the opening track “Memento” you get a pretty good indicator of what to expect throughout “Where Angels Hide”. Intricately played musicianship is combined with some great melodicism and tempo changes, with the crystal clear vocals of Alis leading the way. The CD continues at a pretty good pace throughout with songs like “The Door”, “The Colours of Dream”, “Lightstorm”, “Lex Aeterna” and “Fatal Frame”.There are plenty of strong moments throughout the CD, but probably the biggest highlight for me is the great ballad “The Last Rose”. Alis’s vocals are simply breathtaking on this one and the musicianship and style make it more interesting than most ballads. All-in-all a pretty good debut effort from this Italian band. This band is certainly very talented but they also have some great songs which is quite apparent throughout “Where Angels Hide”.
Rating - 88/100
Label : KScope Records
Review By Tony Cannella
From the U.K., Anathema are a long-running atmospheric metal band. Their career first started way back in 1990, with the band releasing their full-length debut in 1993. In that time they have built up quite a cult following all over the world, and now with the release of their new album, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”, Anathema are sure to build up their fan base even more. The majority of the vocals are handled by Vincent Cavanagh with Lee Douglas adding female vocals throughout the album. The songs on “We’re Here Because We’re Here” continues the evolution of this legendary band. The songs are well thought out - and at times - progressive and quite addicting. With a playing time of about 1-hour, “We’re Here…” includes a couple of songs in the 7 - 8 minute range, with the best of these being, “A Simple Mistake”. This song features some outstanding musicianship and great male and female vocals. The track, “Everything” quickly became a favorite, with it’s piano driven opening as the song builds slowly and the vocals provided by Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas work well together. Other highlights include, “Angels Walk Among Us” (featuring Ville Vallo of H.I.M. on backing vocals), “Universal”, “Presence” and “Hindsight”. There are quite a few big, orchestral moments throughout the CD. Even though Anathema have been at it for 20-years, they continue to release good, quality music, “We’re Here Because We’re Here” is a testament to the longevity and consistency of Anathema.
Rating - 80/100
Label: AFM Records
Rating - 90/100