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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
We have already reviewed their self-titled promo in 2008, two years after that promo the Greek Atmospheric Death Metal band Korrigan have published their self-released debut called “Thy Art, Lament”. As Luisa recalls Korrigan is influenced by “Septic Flesh, but also Amorphis, Tiamat and gothic masters Tristania”. This album is avalaible as free legal download and as a digipack. Luisa advices this album to who “misses the old gothic-metal mood of the ’90s”. Are you one of this nostalgic? Just click in the link below (via Korrigan – “Thy Art, Lament” (2010) « Femme Metal Webzine)
Since the early days of FMW, US Atmospheric Progressive Metal Duo Fateless Tears were the protagonist of many many reviews and interviews during the years and this time we propose you the REVIEW of the “Halogen Dawn” EP. This EP, as Luisa writes, is focused “on the slower, sweeter side of Fateless Tears”. Are you a deep connoisseur of this act or simply are you prog metal fan? Well, it is just out this review at the following link (via Fateless Tears – “Halogen Dawn” EP (2012) « Femme Metal Webzine)
Let’s stay close and from Ukraine now we go to Russia always under the same label (Solitude Productions) with the debut of the Atmospheric Gothic Doom metal band AUT MORI called “Первая Слёза Осени” (“Pervaya Slyoza Oseni” – “The First Tears of Autumn”). This bands features in its ranks three former members of Auto-De -Fe and this album was mastered by Jerry Torstensson that figures here as the guest drummer too. Also the album sees the guest starring by Olof Gothlin, responsible for the violins on Draconian’s “A Rose for the Apocalypse”. Our dear reviewer Vard Aman this time nailed an ace review rating it 92 out of 100; as Vard states “If you like Doom Metal, especially the melancholic atmospheric side of Doom Metal, then your collection simply would not be complete without this album in it.” - so you love Draconian and this side of the Doom Metal? Make it yours but before read the review @ /(via Aut Mori – “Первая Слёза Осени” (“Pervaya Slyoza Oseni” – “The First Tears of Autumn”) (2012) « Femme Metal Webzine)
Interview by Miriam C.
The Dutch musical revolutionaries are back with “Disclosure”. Elegant, subtle and refined as their style asks. Lone gone are the days when TG used to make your head bang, define them some little genious is so predictable but TG never stops to experiment itself. Everytime that they release a full lenght album is like putting a stepping stone on their long career, also they never stop you to surprised you (see the resuscitated The Gathering ‘92 line up gigs). And this matters we have asked some questions to the (once was a) newbie singer Silje Wergeland and to Réne Rutten for some expectation about TG ‘92.
Hi Silje first of all thanks for accept this interview. At the end of August/early September your ninth album “Disclosure” will be out. What you can share about its genesis, when you have nail down your first lyric?
Hello! I started writing down lyric ideas for this album some time ago, I think 3 years maybe (I guess right after “The West Pole”), and has been an evolving process since.
“Disclosure” was, in some ways, anticipated by “Heroes for Ghosts” in 2011. Why this choice? And also what you can tell us about the videoclip backstage and preparation? And what about its story?
Yes, we wanted to release this song last year to give a little teaser from the album. We all love this song, and it was one of the first songs we finished totally for this purpose. It is reflecting the atmosphere of the album, so it was a good teaser to go public. Regarding the videoclip it was originally meant to be done in Holland, but we decided in the last minute to do it in my hometown Bergen in Norway due to the script. The band flew in Dutch director Marcus Moonen, and we hired a Norwegian producer, who together with me and my boyfriend arranged for locations, car, styling, crew etc to be ready when Marcus arrived. It was all recorded during 2-3 days. We had a lot of locations so it was a busy busy time, very fun though! Very happy with the result. The video and the song shows a love story that ends with a break up.
I’ve imagined that being your second album that you’ve recorded with The Gathering you feel more “relaxed” and you don’t feel the pressure (I mean all fans eyes’ are not pointed at “who will be the next singer” fact). Thinking backwards did you have find something that worked better this time compared with the last recording session/album “The West Pole”?
Yes, for sure. It is all about the music and the new album this time, which is a relief hehe;-) We as band members knew each other better both in person and musically, so it was an evolving process where we worked on the songs more together from the start. It was also a lot more relaxed and we took the time we needed, and never rushed things.
“Disclosure” is such an elegant and profound title. Who came out with it and what’s the meaning in your point of view? What you want to “disclosure”?
I think “Disclosure” reflects that we’re making a little statement with our music, constantly showing we are developing and changing musically and doing it because we want and need to. And this album shows that the Gathering is all about music, making music we like. Also the lyrics are quite personal, honest and pure about life and dealing with heavy episodes I’ve and we’ve experienced in life.
“Disclosure” is coming with a 10” EP vinyl called “Afterlights” : why remake this songs that are already present on “Disclosure”? And what’s their main differences?
3 songs are also on the CD/LP but we did the ‘mixes’ ourself to give it another touch… and they are really different that the album versions. Only “Meltown” is a edit version.
Also connected to the previous question : why don’t publish this release in CD format like for “City for Above”?
It’s a extra gift for the people who will buy the full packages, maybe we gonna release it on a CD with extra songs or remixes, but that is still a idea.
In your opinion/idea what the meaning of the cover album, but before this (congratulations for it, I really like it!) who’s the author and is it connected with the lyrics? It was random the choice of the cover to be in steampunk style?
Thank you, we love it too!:-) It is made by Carlos Vergara Rivera, a very talented Chilean artist. We have been in touch with him for some time and followed his art as he has sent us pictures he’s done. We already started thinking about using drawings and artificial artwork for “The West Pole”, but found the perfect picture for that album in a real photo. This time Carlos presented this artwork for us after we talked to him about a possible collaboration, and we all fell in love with his picture immediately. For me it reflects the beauty of expressing your heart and mind with art and music. It is something beautiful and fragile about it, messy but also very clear and atmospheric with many layers, just like our music.
Reading the tracklist, the fact that hit me so much is “Gemini I/II”. What you can tell about these songs, are entwined in each other and why split in 2 parts?
Frank made this song, sent us a demo version like “Gemini II” with only strings. We all loved it immediately. I made the vocals on top of it. After some time the song developed more and more as a band song while the other band members worked on the song as well and “Gemini I” was born too.
I know that you’ve replied maybe a million of times but in which status we must consider your previous band Octavia Sperati?
Hehe, no worries. The status is basically that the band is not active and there are no further plans with the band. We are still very good friends, but everyone has started on other chapters in life with other bands, family or studies.
Now for René : I’ve noticed that The Gathering 1992 are come back to life, when is born this idea and also how did you felt play with them after so much time? Also never thought to record a live album of the recent played gig, sort of an official bootleg? Does this “collaboration” is something occasional or must expect something (I mean for a real record)?
Réne: Playing again the first gathering album is just for fun, we started with this idea because a friend needed help with a benefit show, and we all said yes! Let’s do it for the fun! And when we announced it we got 6 more shows to do. Maybe we gonna record one club show and release it as a TG92 Live record. In 5 years form now we will come together again, but for now we have no plans for a new record with TG 92.
Now what are your next planes?
Réne: Our next plans are for The Gathering 92 line up to play some shows in September and right now we are doing a lot of interviews for the release of “Disclosure” in September and then we’ll hit the road again early 2012 to finally play the new songs live. Can’t wait!!
Thanks for both you and Réne for replying our questions. Please greet your fans as you want!
Thanks for your interest and reading this and for all the superb feedback and nice comments about our two singles released from “Disclosure” (“Meltdown” and “Heroes for Ghosts”)! Hope you like the rest of the album just as much!
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 : Metal Mind Productions
Review by Tony Cannella
Poland’s NeraNature is the new Gothic Rock project featuring Darzamat front lady Nera. Coming off the heels the 2-song sampler, “Foresting Wounds” is the full-length debut of this new musical endeavor, and what a debut it is. The dramatic opener “Shattered” gets things started and Nera’s wonderful vocal talents takes the charge. The following songs “Precious Now” and “The World Is Not Enough” (a cool cover of the song from the band Garbage) are next and two more solid tracks. Musically, the band is quite an excellent compliment to Nera’s vocal style. Other highlights include: “Woman’s Soul”, “Oblivion”, “Broken” and “Someone”. While – at times – not strictly a metal album, “Foresting Wounds” is just an excellently crafted debut from Nera and her band. While the two song sampler was in itself, quite impressive I was not prepared for the sheer power and consistency that “Foresting Wounds” would provide and NeraNature would be capable of.
Rating - 93/100
Label : KScope Music
Review by Luisa Mercier
There are records that have the power to leave you completely speechless, to leave you there wondering if what you have just listened was just music or also something else. Records that are able to raise such a storm of emotions that you cannot even say what you are feeling in that moment. This is what I felt when I listened for the first time to “Weather Systems”, the new Anathema masterpiece. It is the perfect follower of “We Are Here Because We Are Here” retaining the same mood, full of light and atmosphere. You cannot help but crying on the melodies contained in “Untouchable part 2” or “The Storm Before the Calm”, every time you will be surrounded by melancholy and nostalgia. Musically speaking, the album is a little bit rockier, but there are songs like the two already mentioned that have completely different structure, relying mostly on vocals, piano and electronica. A bigger role now is played by Lee Douglas, the female singer, who sings much more than just some versed and the whole “Lightning Song”, who will give you chills. I cannot really pick up a song that will stand over the others, thay are all unique on their own right, perfect and fragile. Anathema succeeded in building a caleidoscope of feelings, ranging from calm to sadness to a hint of despair in “The Gathering of Clouds” and as I have said to someone if you cannot be moved listening to “Weather Systems”, you must have a heart of stone.
Rating - 90/100
Label : Metal Blade Records
Review by Tony Cannella & Luisa Mercier
It is hard to believe that the first EP from the Dutch Metal Band Autumn was released 10-years ago. Since that initial EP (“Spring Starts With Autumn”), the band has grown and flourished before our very eyes and that continues on their just released 5th album “Cold Comfort”. This is the second Autumn album to feature lead singer Marjan Welman, and she seems to be growing more into the role of the voice of this talented Dutch band. Musically, Autumn has adapted a more of a proggy, more atmospheric – and sometimes relaxing – sound on “Cold Comfort”. The band pretty much adheres to the same basic tempo, but having said that, the songs and musicianship are good and should not be dismissed. From the thumping opener “The Scarecrow” and then the title track “Cold Comfort”, Autumn is indeed back. The third track “Black Stars in a Blue Sky” is easily my favorite and the band – especially Marjan are sounding great. Maybe this isn’t the perfect album, but songs like “End of Sorrow”, “Truth Be Told (Exhale)” and especially the closing track “The Venamoured” are all excellent and memorable. “Cold Comfort” is not one of those albums that have an immediate impact – at least it wasn’t for me. It definitely took a few listens to warm up to, but once I did I really grew to like many of the songs and the direction that Autumn has taken.
Rating - 80/100
I will not hide my love towards this band and above all towards the vocals of Marjan Welman, so you might imagine how excited I could be when I came to know that they were releasing a new album. So here I am, listening to “Cold Comfort”, their fifth release, in which the band took a step further in the evolution of their sound: from the alternative, catchy rock of “Altitude” to atmospheric, elegant, classy prog rock. Since the beginning, you will perceive a soulful yet technical feeling; the band did not bend itself to classic song structure, preferring to conjure up a new one like in “The Scarecrow”. The choruses are completely instrumental, but the guitar riffs and the background keys are as emotional as the female vocals in the verses. “Cold Comfort”, the title track, follows. Many of you may have already listened to this since it was chosen as appetizer for the album. Lively guitars lead to the calm pond of the verse where Marjan delivers her amazing vocal lines. This girl has been graced by a great talent, she can create a pathos that, mixed with the perfectly crafted music, can make your heart beat faster. Just listen to “Black Stars in a Blue Sky”, one of my personal favourite. The chorus will send shivers down your spine as she soars above guitars and synths. This track is maybe the catchiest on the record, which overall is not easy to grasp at first listen. Something I absolutely adore about “Cold Comfort” are the bridges of the songs. There you will find the most emotional moments of the CD and “Retrospect” is no exception. Despite being one of the fastest songs, it gradually builds up a certain melacholy which results in the epic bridge, crowned by impressive guitar work.
And here we are to “Alloy”. What can I say? Acoustic guitar and piano accompany us in an emotional trip with no end. Marjan vocals caresses your ears, sweet, soft, versatile. Never heard such an intimate song before by them. At about half of the song you will be suspended in a instrumental limbo where only a few notes can be be heard and then just listen as the tension rises higher and higher til it explodes. Best song on the album. Another little masterpiece is the mid-tempo “End of Sorrow”: an atmospheric, moody track which will lead you in a different dimension. Try not to be moved by the words of the chorus “I dream we are the last couple dancing, let me be the one to hold your hand, see that I can hold on forever, nothing can convince me otherwise”. You might perceive echoes of “Altitude” in the song, underlining the continuity between the two albums. “Naeon” and “Truth to Be Told (Exhale)” are the two songs in which the prog influence is more apparent. I would like to highlight the wonderful bridge of the first in which Marjan sounds almost otherwordly and the jazz-like break in the second. “The Venamoured” is the closing track. Heavy guitar riffs mix with the heavenly voice of the singer ; while the final minutes are literally a metal explosion. Aggressive guitars portray an energetic ending to this amazing album. Feelings, tecnique, atmosphere, different musical landscapes and moods, all of this can be found in “Cold Comfort”, one of the best rock/metal releases of 2011.
Rating - 100/100
Review by Tony Cannella
Introducing from the Netherlands, Kowai. The beautiful country of Holland has produced many great metal bands over the years, particularly of the femme metal variety. Just a few examples: Within Temptation, The Gathering, Epica and After Forever have all gone on to varying degrees of success. Now, another very talented band is ready to emerge from Holland. Kowai has just issued their debut demo “Prelude”. The CD features only 5-songs and 19-minutes worth of good, atmospheric Gothic Metal. Kowai are fronted by the clean vocals of 21 year old Laura and Guitarist Bertran is also on hand to provide male vocals at certain points throughout the CD. Some nice piano opens the CD on “Eternal Night”, before the guitars come crashing in as “Prelude” begins with a nice mid-tempo guitar based opening number. Lead vocalist Laura sings most of the song, but soon she is joined by some male, brutal vocals and Laura provides some harmony vocals as well. There are also some clean male vocals present on this track. This is a high-quality opening track that also showcases some stellar lead guitar work. The next track “Devotion” has an eerie vibe to it, thanks to the keyboards on the track that give the song a horror movie feel to it. Once again, Laura’s vocals are joined by the extreme male of vocals. I believe these vocals are handled by Guitarist Bertran. Kowai slows the pace down a bit with the third track, “Pride”. As the guitars come in, the general pace of “Pride” remains in the mid-range. This is probably my favorite song here. The final track is the 6 ½ minute, mini-epic “Hideaway” which starts hard and fast before changing tempos throughout the song. The main riff for this song is actually quite infectious and serves as a catalyst to make this an excellent closing number. “Prelude” is a good debut from Kowai. The Netherlands has an ever-growing rich metal heritage, and Kowai are poised to add to that legacy.
Rating - 90/100
Label : Thundering Records/Manitou Music
Review by Tony Cannella
Karmic Link is the progressive/atmospheric metal project founded by Stathis Kassios. The band had previously released their debut in 2008 and now they are back with their latest output, “Esoterica”. Mina G. from Greece’s The Rain I Bleed returns to contribute her vocals to “Esoterica” which weaves a complex tale that should be well received by fans of conceptual metal. Definitely at the heart of “Esoterica” is the stellar musicianship that the band displays and the stunning vocals of Mina G. that offers such a great compliment to the music that is being played. The songs range from up-tempo to atmospheric to soaring metal tracks, and all are expertly played. The story that unfolds throughout “Esoterica” is quite involved so I won’t go into it here (if you want to read more about it, you can do so at their official MySpace site). The opening number, “Cold” is a strong beginning that sets the story in motion. The following track, “Esoterica” is a fast paced, pounding metal number that also features quite a few tempo changes, the band follow that up with three more standout tracks, “Fire”, “Whispers on a Breeze” and “Still” became instant favorites. “The Separate Reality” is one of the more interesting tracks as the band features male and female newscasters accompanied by some great instrumental backing, I don’t know if that description does the track justice, but it is one that should definitely be heard. Other highlights include: the instrumental track, “Pleasure Is Nothing Without Pain”, “Twisting Patterns” and the closing number, “Vanilla Skies”. Stylistically, I would say that Karmic Link compare favorably to “Operation: Mindcrime” era Queensryche. Mina G. continues to be a great choice by Stathis Kassios to be the lead singer, her voice has many different layers to it, she can do the more melodic, commercial metal stuff and at times even an operatic style, she is quite the complete vocalist. With a playing time of about 48-minutes, Karmic Link offers the listener a challenging 11-song opus that picks up strength as the album progresses and never gets boring. “Esoterica” is not only a great concept album, but a great album period.
Rating - 89/100