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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Interview by Matteo Bussotti
Absynth Aura just published their first studio album, “Unbreakable”. You may think they are all a bunch of newcomers, but…they aren’t! Having played on various tv shows and during some important festivals and venues, they delivered an album which is a good, solid piece of Metal. We just had to interview their singer, Claudia “Klod” Saponi, to hear from her how this band so quickly made their way into the italian metal scene.
Your first song is “Will Is Power”. It is a song written specifically for CESVI and its show “Virus-Free Generation”. Was there something in particular that convinced you to write a song for that show (organized by a charitable organization), in which you officially debuted as Absynth Aura?
I had already written “Will Is Power” a few months before taking part in the competition. The song was born as a “personal reminder”, it’s a way to face up to life, it’s my story and the lyrics make me never forget that. The perseverance, the strength and the determination of the song are the key factors to the success of it.
Talking about fans, I’ve seen that you post lots of things on your wall, as Absynth Aura, but also through your personal profile pages. How important is for you your relationship with fans? In which ways you try to “please” them (I’m thinking about, as I said before, participating in first person to your facebook fan page) and make them feel involved in your activities?
I like to keep my fans up to date with photos, dates of concerts and all the latest news. However personally I do not spend much time on social networks, instead my team-mates are real computer nerds eheh :)
Do you have any precious memories you can recall with some of your fans?
All my fans are always very nice to me. Sometimes they identify themselves in our lyrics and they talk to me about episodes of their lives… precious memories? I used one of their life stories to write the lyrics of a song of Absynth Aura.
Talking about your musical style…you obviously play metal, but it’s unique, and, as you stated, you are influenced by various styles (Funk, Prog, Rock, ecc.). What’s your personal stylistic evolution? I mean, how did each one of you evolved in their style, passing from one to another and how all those styles ended in Absynth Aura and its particular sound?
Every one of us comes from a different musical background and our influences put together have resulted in our typical sound. Personally I think that the musical knowledge that I acquired during the years, such as blues, funky and rock, couldn’t be ignored or hidden away so I decided, even though it was a rock-metal disc, to include it in “small drops”. The result? Well, you have to tell me eheh… I’m satisfied eheh…
What about you, Claudia? Tell us something about yourself, your story! What do you feel it’s your greatest achievement so far, and how did you feel when “Unbreakable”” was finally released?
I was born in a family where music reigns over all. Since I was a little girl I used to dream about doing this job and I thank God that I have the possibility to do something that I really like. To write, to record, to play over and over again, to sing and re-sing…I couldn’t wish for anything else. When I opened the first copy of “Unbreakable” I felt like a child with a Christmas present eheh… Years of work where concealed in that small box…fantastic!
Talking about the releasing of “Unbreakable”, how did you feel as a band? You thought “Now the cd’s out, now can rest” or more like “Our album is out! Let’s show the world how we rock!” ?
Without doubt “let show the world how we rock”! I never stop composing for Absynth Aura, I think that none of us know the meaning of the word “pause” eheh. I don’t consider the release of “Unbreakable” as a finishing line but as a first step along a road to walk down together.
How was your “video experience”? I mean, playing on Rock Tv and shooting your first video for “Desert Flower”?
The Rock Tv experience was awesome! Having the chance to play live in a program that discovers emerging Italian bands was an excellent opportunity for us to get known to the public, and making the “Desert Flower” video was real fun…we have recently made a video for “The Fire in My Eyes” and we’ll release it very soon so…stay tuned!
Did “Unbreakable” make you know any special person? Someone who helped you a lot for your career, or someone who made your road trips funny, or unique in a certain way? What do you think about being “on the road” to play some gigs?
During the “Unbreakable” tour I have met a lot a people and each one of them has left me something special. I think that the most emotional and fun part of our job is being on the road. There are hundreds of stories I could tell and maybe a few of them could be included in our future songs!
What was your best gig so far? And why was it special?
Each gig has something special, the public, the fans who follow us, the energy that we have on stage and the magic that is created each time we play together. It has been defined as the “Circus of Dark Fire Tour” because we have played together with a group of friends very well-known in the Heavy-Thrash Metal world, Arthemis. The public has seen quite a few eheh!
You got a lot of reviews for your “Unbreakable” but what was the one you liked the most? It doesn’t have to be the one from a famous magazine, it can also be a very moving comment on facebook from one of your fans, or something like that!
I was pleasantly surprised in finding out that the reviewers and the listeners have understood the intention I wanted to communicate in the disc, the emotions I wanted to get through have been felt and many people have approved certain style choices. Although the best words have been the ones of a female journalist who probably wanted to fly high the “girl power” flag when she said “all these male rockers will never get the better of you” eheh.
Final question: Any wish you’d like to make for the future? Any hope?
A new disc, a new tour, maybe even overseas and…my team-mates to share all this with me!
Interview by Lindz Riot
An angelical voice by the name of Claudia Uhle was brave enough to take the reins on her own solo effort “Angelzoom” in 2004. Her style is very atmospheric and ambient and would appeal to many music fans, especially those of electro-pop, classical and movie soundtracks. From East Berlin to here at Femme Metal we got to meet with her via email to talk about her current life and hear her thoughts on her newest release “Nothing is Infinite”.
Welcome to Femme Metal Claudia! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and talk with us about your musician lifestyle and everything stemming from it ? So when did music start for you? How old were you when you started singing? Who inspired and influenced you to become a singer?
I grew up in a musical family. I was singing already all day long as a small child. I sang in different children’s choirs, among other things in the children’s choir of the State Opera. Later I had singing instructions that were at first classically and then pop/musical. I made my secondary school certificate on a music-focused High School and made a study for musical early education. To be a singer came from my innermost being.With Angelzoom you have a very creepy and mystical sound going on, what inspires you to write your music? What is it that you like to write about the most?
Everything around me in my life and my feelings are a big inspiration. When I hear a song from another band it motivates me to create an idea for my own songs. Sometimes I see pictures, which give me a certain feeling and I try to write that down. It’s difficult sometimes to translate that feeling in your head. Sometimes I write the lyrics in German first and then translate it but it sounds better in English.
What was the experience like recording “Nothing Is Infinite”? How was working with your producer and what is your favorite song from it? Also what is your favorite part about being in the studio?
It was a long process. We started the work for the album in 2005 but then we had a big break because of my last album with my band X-Perience and the tour in 2007. The in April 2008 was the birth of my son William. In 2009 we started the intensive work for the album. Almost daily Bernd sent new song ideas to me. Very often when Berndplays a new theme I see pictures in my head and so I get new ideas for my texts. I wrote my lyrics down and sang it first in my home studio. When we had some good songs I took them down vocally in a Valicon Studio with Tommy Remm because Bernd had a lot other producer work at the time. Mostly I like the production and mixing work. Bernd has a fantastic feeling for harmony and sounds and he is able to create amazing ideas and likes always to test new things. I’ve know Bernd for many years. We worked together for the first and second X-perience album. He was one of the producers, I like his work. Together we had the idea to produce music, which sounds like a soundtrack to a film. He is the ideal partner for translating my feelings and thoughts. It is a beautiful work with him. Especially I like his harmonic understanding and his mood laden songs as well as the manner how he embeds my voice. On the new album there are instrumental pieces, which are based on a common idea. They express the internal rapture, which you can find in everyone. We called them “Battle Angel Chapters”. The majority of my lyrics I like to write myself. But also Nik Page has written two beautiful pieces on “Nothing Is Infinite”, which I liked to get to perform “Handsome World” and “Everyone Cares” (as Co-Writer). My favourite song on this release is “My Innermost”. It is about me and I like the sound and the whole feeling in it.
Do you feel you have evolved as an artist in “Nothing Is Infinite”? Do you think your sound has changed and you yourself have as a musician and singer?
I think I myself have evolved as a musician and singer, also since the birth of my son. Now I´m a mother and you can hear it in my music and my lyrics. I think more about the life and the future. “What will be when my son is 20 years old ?”, “Is every progressing positively ?”, “Are gene manipulations and clones good for us ?”. The album expresses more of my inner feeling and therefore the sound has developed. The evolving you can also hear in my voice as I tried to sing more extremely in the parts particularly with depth. “Nothing Is Infinite” is more personal and intensive.
Your first single “The Things You Said” is a wonderful twist on a Depeche Mode song, have they been a big influence on you? Who are some of your biggest influences?
I grew up with Depeche Mode. I like their music and the feeling in their songs. I like particularly the melancholy tendency in “The Things You Said”, the song fits me well.
I’m influenced also by bands like The Police, Pet Shop Boys, Camouflage and artists like Björk, Sting. Also soundtracks of films from composers like Hans Zimmer and Alan Silvestri. What was it like making your new music video for “The Things You Said”? Where was it filmed?
We recorded it in May in Ireland when it was really cold. It was my first time there and I like the landscape and the people. It was very wind then and in the video I wore two warm winter coats, warm trousers, a kilt, and boots but nothing on my head so it was frozen. We selected two little children from there to act in the video. They looked really Irish and it was funny to work with them. They pursued me, like little rumors. I was very scared ?
So what is the meaning of the name Angelzoom? How did you come up with the idea for this artist name?
The name was first used for a song on the first X-Perience album “Magic Fields”. I was the singer of this band from 1994-2007. This song was produced and written by Bernd Wendlandt, who is the same producer of Angelzoom and this song has the same atmospheric style like Angelzoom. The name also fits to my voice and the content of my music. Many people say I have an angelic voice, very clear and high. With my music I try to look deeper into things, what means I zoom through things closer to me.
In your past self titled release you had the chance to do a song with Apocalyptica, how was that experience? What was it like writing and recording with them?
The song “Turn the Sky” was written by my producer, the lyrics are from Nik Page. We send it to Apocalyptica and after the guys had listen to the song they signaled their eagerness and so we sent the song to Finland. There they completed the song with their string instruments and send it back to us and we mixed it in Berlin. When I was on Tour with them I had the chance to meet them personally. They are great musicians and very funny.How has your life changed now being a solo artist as apposed to being in a band? Do you enjoy the solo artist life more? Do you miss anything about being in a band?
To the public through media it seems as if you are alone but in reality many people are working around and with you. Only a good team makes that you look like a good solo artist. But the internal band communication is much easier? On tour I have a good group of musicians around me.
What is your background with vocal training? Do you study a lot of classical? Have you ever tried any other singing styles?
I mostly study with Pop and Musical teachers. The sound of my voice is very clear and bright but the style I sing is not classical like opera. I think, me and my voice do not fit to Rock Style singing. I sang some Jazz Songs but in my own interpretation of it.
Do you play any instruments? How long have you been playing them for?
I play the piano and the church organ. My first piano lessons I had when I was 8 years old. Later I had 3 years of lessons under an organist. Do you have a unique talent or hobby that isn’t musical you would like to share with the world?
I do not really have another big other hobby but I like to cook. I try to realize healthy food and to use products which are biologically produced and they taste much better.
What is the biggest achievement you have accomplished so far?
The birth of my son in April 2008 and the second are “Angelzoom” and my album “Nothing Is Infinite”.What are your hopes for the future?
More understanding for human nature. All together more understanding for the world and more tolerance of people and their mistakes. Only in a secure world my family can grow up reliably.
Label : Wannasee Records
Review by Tony Cannella
My only knowledge of the German singer Claudia Uhle – otherwise known as Angelzoom – has been through various compilation albums. Her new album “Nothing Is Infinite” is out now and this is my first chance to sample an entire album from this talented singer. Musically, Angelzoom offers a wide scope of ambient, electro and gothic influences. “Nothing s Infinite” features 14-songs and 50-minutes worth of cohesive, innovative and atmospheric music. Some of the strongest tracks are: “The Things You Said”, “Runaway”, “My Innermost” and “Fragile”. The vocals of Claudia Uhle are on full display throughout the album and it helps to create an enjoyable listening experience. The music on “Nothing Is Infinite” is pretty laid back and at times relaxing to listen to. Angelzoom is a different kind of animal than what your average metal head might listen to but still it is cool to put on for a change of pace, besides you can’t bang your head all the time. Can you?
Rating - 75/100
Label : Metal Mind Productions
Review by Tony Cannella
Germany’s Angelzoom is a non-metal project led by Claudia Uhle. In 2004, Claudia released her self-titled debut album under the Angelzoom banner and now that album has been re-issued via Metal Mind Productions out of Poland. Not only is the original album presented here but there is also some cool bonus material included on the re-issue. So fans of the band will have an added incentive to include this CD in their collection. First off, Claudia Uhle has got such an expressive voice and vocal style. The debut from Angelzoom is an albums worth of dreamy, soundscapes. This re-issue is filled to capacity with great music. Songs like “Turn the Sky”, “Back in the Moment” (which I believe she made a video out of), “Guardian Angel” and “Fairyland” all highlight the strong material contained within. Instead of playing Metal, Angelzoom offers a unique mixture of Classical, New Wave, Dark Wave, Gothic and Electro Pop. Whatever Genre, Angelzoom lies in; there is no denying that Claudia packs plenty of atmosphere into the songs on her debut.
Rating - 75/100
Label : Street Symphonies/Logic(Il)Logic
Review by Tony Cannella & Matteo Bussotti
The inception of Italy’s Absynth Aura goes back to 2007, and with “Unbreakable” has finally issued their debut album. Their style is guitar driven, modern metal with a serious groove and melody running through the songs. “Believe Me” is a pounding opener that shows off the groove side of Absynth Aura. “Desert Flower” and the excellent “That’s Why You Die” follow and continue in a similar direction. “That’s Why You Die” is ironically followed by “Smile”, a beautifully, accessible song that comes close to the ballad end of the spectrum, but not quite. I liked the singer Claudia Saponi a lot. Her style is just straight-forward hard rock, at times she can deliver a raspy style and at other moments her voice is more sensitive and passionate like on “Smile” which quickly became my favorite song. Guitarist Michele Vioni also deserves a special mention for his work on “Unbreakable”, especially with his solos. “Understand My Fight” starts off with a slow, deliberate, sludgy heavy guitar riff before the song shifts into overdrive and speeds up, and includes another smoking guitar solo, Michele Vioni could wind up being a legitimate guitar hero, and not to be out done Giorgio Terenziani adds a bass solo near the end of the song, which is also very cool. “Looking for the One” heads into full on ballad territory. Claudia’s passionate vocals shine through as she is accompanied by a piano. So, is there anything else good on “Unbreakable”? There sure is, in particular “Will is Power” and “Unbreakable” also became favorites of mine. “Life” is pretty cool too and features Claudia performing a duet with a male vocalist. The songs on “Unbreakable” are all infused with some great melodic moments and memorable songs.A funny thing happened when I was reviewing “Unbreakable”, I originally gave it a grade of 70 out of 100, but by the third listen I came to the conclusion that it definitely deserved a higher grade. “Unbreakable” really grew on me big time. A lot of times first impressions can be deceiving and “Unbreakable” by Absynth Aura is a perfect example of this. This is a very good debut from another great Italian band.
Rating - 85/100
The first time you’ll listen to this album you’ll probably think about Nightwish, I’ll tell you. “Female singer? Melodic hard rock/metal? I’ve had enough of this!” Luckily, you will be proven wrong. Sure, Absynth Aura’s sound is nothing new, but it has personality, it’s a great mixture of very powerful and perfectly crafted musics, along with a really enjoyable voice, very melodic and also “cheerful” in some points. The result is an album able to entertain you every time you’ll listen to it. Surely we can say Claudia has a beautiful voice, and she makes sure to show us her vocal abilities, going from an heavy sound (“Believe Me”) to a softer one (“Looking for the One”), finally reaching its perfection between those sounds in the title track, “Unbreakable”. With a unique sound, coming from influences which goes from Funky to Prog Rock, an unexpected Cranberries’ “Zombie” cover and beautiful vocals Absynth Aura grant themselves a place in your hearth…or your ears, at least. With their live experience, which brought AA to play in various clubs and on Rock Tv, this album can only strenghten Absynth Aura’s impact on the public, and their fame. We will expect to hear more from them soon, and to hear their musical evolution, maybe with another album which will highlight their best.
Rating - 78/100
Label: Twilight Zone Records
Review By Tony Cannella
Swiss symphonic metal band Legenda Aurea have already been around for a few years. In 2007 they released their debut CD with then singer Claudia Hofer. Now the band are back with a new CD titled “Ellipsis”. This CD marks the band debut of Simone Christinat. The band is completed by Odilo von Ins (Guitars), Michael Herkenrath (Bass), Renato Trinkler (Keyboards) and Philipp Eichenberger (Drums). “Ellipsis” features 11-songs and 1 hour worth of music that is complete nirvana for fans of symphonic and progressive metal and the bands choice of new singer Simone is a solid one as she is a great addition to this band. The CD begins with the riff-heavy opener of “Reflections” and man what a great intro to this band for those (like myself) who have never heard them and for fans of their previous release, this is a strong welcome back moment. The next track “The Root” keeps the heaviness going and features some cool tempo changes. The piano piece at the end is very cool indeed. The next track “Parasomnia” provides no let-up whatsoever as this CD just continues to blast through the speakers. This is definitely a highlight. New Lead singer Simone has a diversified singing style as she can go from operatic to mid-range and it totally compliments the music and the rest of the band aren’t too shabby either. This riffs are heavy and biting and the music offers a definite cinematic and dramatic feel at times as well. “F44.8” continues with the heaviness but it is also one of the more unique songs on offered here and it definitely stands out. “Discouraged”, “Abscondence Prt. I”, “Abscondence Prt. II”, “Superbia” and the instrumental “Purgatory” are more brilliant moments before the dramatic 8-minute closer “Resurrection” ends things on a definite high note. After listening to this beautiful CD, I am definitely now a fan of Legenda Aurea. The material contained within is just so strong and the vocals of Simone Christinat quite impressive. There is a lot to like about this band but the main focus is definitely the songs and the band deliver a CDs worth of strong material that sounds better and better with each listen.
Rating - 85/100
Review by Tony Cannella
The Swedish band En Tu Alma are tough band to figure out. They mix really heavy, doomy, death metal with progressive rock and some strange kind of jazz fusion like passages and musical tangents that show that this band does have a lot of talent. Those ingredients are truly what make their new demo such a fascinating listen. Okay, I will admit that I was ready to dismiss this band after the over 7-minute opening track “Loosing Impatience”. It’s a good enough song, but it doesn’t really stand out that much and isn’t all that memorable. I’m glad I did stay with it though because the second song “Silent Cry” is where things really take off. The band keep the momentum going with the next song “Put Me To Sleep”, which is even better than “Silent Cry”, it features a number tempo changes. The changes in tempo keep on coming with the ballad-ish “The War”, another strong one that features some great musicianship from everyone. The final song with the strange title “Twaggot” (I have no idea what that means either), is a great closer. En Tu Alma employs the tried and true formula of male and female duel vocals, although I would say that the female Claudia Gonzalez handles most of the vocal duties, quite well I might add. She is also credited with providing growls along with Leo Gonzalez Morales, but the more extreme type of vocals only pop up occasionally throughout these 5-tracks. For some reason I never expected to like this CD as much as I did, but it turned out to be quite an enjoyable listen.
Rating - 83/100