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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
In occasion of their upcoming European tour with Stratovarius and Amaranthe, Alessandra interviewed for us Sabrina Valentine, frontwoman of the US power metal band Seven Kingdoms. This time, Sabrina opened her heart about the band’s passion for George R.R. Martin “Games of Thrones” saga (she likes Tyrion too, good choice girl!) and the big Eve’s Apple event held during the MFVF X. But she expresses also the difficulty to being a woman in the music business and about this matter she says: “One thing that does suck about being a Female in music (no matter what style) is that the visual perception has been warped due to the media.” So, are you ready for the war? Join our heroine @ (via Sabrine Valentine – Seven Kingdoms (2012) « Femme Metal Webzine)
For the beginning, you just released your new album “My Fatal Kiss”, how much work did it take to get it written, recorded and finished?
Label : Red Pony Records
Review by Tony Cannella
From Italy (where else?), comes the symphonic metal band TeodasiA. The band is fronted by vocalist Priscilla Fiazza and has just issued their debut album titled “Upwards”. “Upwards” begins with the 3-minute intro/instrumental “Intro-Spection” and then segues into “Temptress” which proves to be a powerful opening number. The next song “Revelations” immediately became a favorite of mine, thanks to the stellar instrumentation and Priscilla’s soaring vocals. That is followed by the monumental song “Lost Words of Forgiveness”. This song sees Priscilla sharing vocals with Rhapsody of Fire front man Fabio Leone – the song has a huge epic vibe to it, and the two vocalists show great chemistry together. This is another highlight. I really like the way TeodasiA uses the symphonic, orchestral elements throughout the album. Nothing is overdone and they don’t rely on the orchestral side of things too much. Everything ties right in with the songs and it complements the music perfectly. Moving on, the ballad “Close Call” brings the tempo down a bit and is a good change of pace from the previous material, but in my opinion it is one of the weaker songs. Other highlights include: “Aurora”, “Eulogy” and the fabulous closing number “My Minotaur”. With “Upwards”, TeodasiA offers the listener a perfect combination of sophisticated, dramatic metal with a lot of melody while still being moody and emotional as well. For a debut, “Upwards” is a great first step. For fans of the symphonic metal genre – and even if you just love good metal – there is a lot to like about TeodasiA.
Rating - 93/100
Gig Review & Photos by Erwin van Dijk
Epica has released their new album and this evening is more or less the release party. And because Epica is sponsored by Jägermeister the first 200 visitors will get an Epic USB stick full of exclusive, rare and previously unreleased Epica stuff. Also, the band will play the entire “Design Your Universe” album at this gig. Like Kamelot and Megadeth last year the venue was indeed sold out and this resulted once again in a queue from the doors of the Paradiso to the Leidseplein (Leiden Square) The last time for me at the Paradiso was for CHIC and Jello Biafra. Jello Biafra is the legendary singer of the Dead Kennedys and CHIC is a funk/disco/rock band from the seventies. Two cool bands but the opposite of Epica so to say. This was the second time for Epica at the Paradiso. The first time was supposed to be released on DVD but all we got was a book: “The Road to Paradiso”. This was years ago and the band has grown since then. Kingfisher Sky is a nice band who had the honour to be the opener tonight. Every band in Holland will sell thesouls to the devil to do a Paradiso gig so this was for Kingfisher Sky the opportunity of a life time. The Paradiso might be one of the most prestigious venues in the Netherlands, it does not have the biggest stage and with seven band members and your own drum kit and keyboards next to all the gear Epica uses the stage was very cramped. But Kingfisher Sky managed to squeeze six songs in the little time they had. Kingfisher Sky had barely 30 minutes. To save the Polar bears there was no light on stage - good for environment but not for us. But there were no budget cuts concerning the use of smoke machines and this gave the gig a mysterious feeling which suited the music. Kingfisher did a good gig but personally I would not be in their shoes this night. Epica is way out of their league and even a band like Within Temptation should be worried right now with this new incarnation of Epica. In short, Kingfisher Sky is an ‘art house movie’ while Epica is popcorn entertainment for the masses.
Maaike, who plays the cello said about this gig: “Supporting Epica in a Sold Out Paradiso really was one of the best things happening in 2009, we had a blast and in our opinion it was over far too soon. Thanks Epica and Epica Fans”. From the first notes it was clear that this gig would contain the usual ingredients: smoke pillars, firework, flamethrowers, etc - enough to start World War III Visually it was a very entertaining show to see but, more important, the songs from Epica’s latest album are strong enough to keep their own against all that visual violence. Not many bands dare to play their entire album live (and if they do, like Iron Maiden, there is a lot of critic and / or negative response) but Epica got away with it. And Medusa, who the true Epica fans will remember from the 2008 autumn gigs, says : “We had a great time, it was very crowded and hot, but of course we added some heath as well :)”. Medusa would also show up at Metal Female Voices Fest, together with Floor Jansen. Like Jello Biafra a month earlier Mark did a crowd surf but while Jello did the full round from stage to bar and back again Mark vanished somewhere midway into the crowd. And the Jägermeister girls also had a small appearance on stage with an air pressure cannon designed to shoot t shirts into the audience. Funny enough a lot of those shirts ended up on stage again. Poor marksmanship I guess. A word about the album: Like the latest Leaves’Eyes I would say it is a save buy for the fans. It has all the ingredients for an Epica album and the fresh blood from the God Dethroned boys makes it more metal. Epica did not reinvent themselves with this album. They took the best parts of their music and improved them even more. And, if I am really honest, this gig was better than the one at Metal Female Voices Fest.
Label : Sire/Warner Music
Review by Luisa Mercier
I have to admit I am not that much into this kind of American blues/folk tinged rock, so I approached this record being a little bit cold. Gladly I had to change my mind quite soon, since the first track. “Holding on to Good” where the soaring female vocals and keyboards instantly captured my attention. The song is sweet, epic and slowly builds up its mood with guitars and drums til the catchy chorus. The strings in the instrumental break are just emotional as well the keyboards. The following “Is Anybody Out There” is much more rockish and groovy, sung by a warm, soft male voice, while girls are to be found in background choirs. Once again the instrumental break captured me. These guys know how to create an emotional atmosphere, for sure. “Morning Comes” is the typical American acoustic ballad at the beginning which becomes more uptempo after a few seconds. It could make a perfect second single. Another slow tempo song is “If I Loved You” where female vocals are back behind the mic. Beautiful as the previous ones, it has a distinctive country influence. First single was the short “Bottom of The River”. The southern influence is very apparent and brings me back to “Gone with the Wind” mood. Lovely really. “Country House” is another delicate, romantic song with acoustic guitars, strings, keyboards and soft male vocals. Trumpets open “Surrounded” before a nice piano and vocalisings start a melody that reminded me of old Coldplay before bursting out into rock. “Dance in the Graveyards” is once again a folk tinged rock song lively and uptempo, while “Fire” has in the vocals a bit of the Southern melancholy mixed with anger. One of the highlights of the record according to me. Another ballad is “Forgive the Children We Once Were”, full of pathos and emotions. Piano and female voice for “Unlike Any Other”, another ballad, maybe more traditional than the previous ones. Closing song is “Hey Hey Hey”, which is quite fun and soulful. Perfect closure for an adorable album. If you are a fan of typical Southern rock this record is perfect for you, but it can appeal you even if you are part of a more mainstream audience.
Rating - 80/100
Interview By Andy Axworthy
A band unafraid to liberally sprinkle some synth and associated electronica into the mix, Amiens’ C-Rom are an intriguing mélange of styles, ranging from the mellifluous and melancholic through dance and darkwave to martial metal, all dusted with a soaring, soulful vocal. With second album “Flames of Knowledge” now safely under their belt, Femme Metal caught up with vocalist Christelle to talk about the latest release, styles and themes, opera and amongst other things, a penchant for of tea and cakes.Hi Christelle, welcome to the Femme Metal experience. Let’s start, if we may, with a little of the story so far. How did you come to join C-Rom and could you introduce us to, and tell us a little about your fellow band members?
I started with C-ROM in 2001. At that time, the band had only begun rehearsals for a few months, and had only 3 members: François (keyboards and programming), Cédric (guitar) and Laurent (bass). They were looking for a clear female voice and my first tries were conclusive as they wanted something contrasting with C-ROM’s first songs. After 2 demos, Christian (guitar) and Axel (percussions) joined the band and gave C-ROM a new dimension on stage.
What about the band’s name? How did you all decide and settle on C-Rom?
The founder members wanted something short, without any “real” sense. The only connotations that can be found suited C-ROM quite well: the similarity with the terms “cd-rom” and “serum”.
We have not played live that much in 2010 but “Flames of Knowledge” received a lot of good reviews in magazines, fanzines or on the web. We are proud of that album, because it looks like we wanted it to become since the first songs were written by François.
“Flames of Knowledge” plays as a rock opera with its theme based upon the myths of Prometheus and Pandora. How were you drawn to this idea and do the tracks play out as episodes from the original stories or is there a more contemporary message within the songwriting?
I understand that you also sing opera. Can you tell us a little about that part of your life? What is your favourite opera, part or aria?
I sing in a lyrical group called “Les Mezzos Sopranos”. Currently, we play Jacques Offenbach’s “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” which is funny, fairy and really interesting.
I play the role of a man who collects women: “Le Prince Qui Passe Par Là” (the role was rewritten for soprano voice). I sing alone (very impressive!) and sometimes sing together with the choir. I like operas because it’s a complete art: I can be a singer, an actor and share many good moments. At the moment, I work (during my lessons) on a beautiful aria extracted from “Il Re Pastore” from Mozart. Otherwise, I like “La Traviata” from Verdi, Puccini’s opera: “Turandot”, “Madame Butterfly” (very sad but beautiful), “Carmen” from Bizet…
Both “Temptation” and the video to “Doubt” (from first album “The Winding Star”) feature a motif and use symbolism to help illuminate the songs and their themes. What is the story behind this? Does it represent a common thread within each album and can we look forward to this continuing with future C-Rom videos?Yes, the symbol used on the albums should be used in the video clips….and the flames can also be found somewhere on our third video clip (“Narthex”, which has just been released…this is a scoop: cf. link below). In a way it is a graphic summary of the albums’ themes. Our third album would probably have one too. But it is too early to say…
When you are touring is there any venue that you really look forward to playing? Also, if you could play a show/festival anywhere, where would you choose and why would that be?Touring in Europe with bands like Samael or Pain would be great. Their public and ours is sensible to the same things and we would enjoy to meet another public which would be more electro and “darker” than the one of female singing voices bands.
Interview by Scott Johnson
If Battlelore and Nightwish got in a fight and Celine Dion were the referee then a big meteor fell from the sky and smashed them all together the survivor would be called Ancient Bards. Their EPIC songs and beautifully hand crafted musicianship plus the not of this world vocals of Sara Squadrani make for a combo that would fire up any battle weary warrior and help him find new energy to slay a thousand dragons. I had a chance to talk to Sara and to eneter the world of Ancient Bards.
Hello Sara, so nice of you to give me this oppritunity to talk to you today. I would like to ask you if a person were to ask you to descibe the music of Ancient Bards what would be the first thing that would pop in your head?
Hi Scott! Well Limb described us as a Symphonic Epic Power Metal band and I think this label suits our music pretty well but I would add the word “imaginary” or maybe “fictional” because every time I hear the tunes I can perfectly picture the deeds of the heroes we’re talking about. This is some kind of magic Daniele does when he writes, I starts by thinking about what’s happening in the story and then the music comes out naturally from his fingers playing the piano!
How long has the band been together?
We became an actual band in the summer of 2007, it seems like it was yesterday! Daniele was looking for musicians to join his project, he found me through MySpace; he wasn’t really searching for a female vocalist but when he first heard me he thought that he could give it a try!
Have you been with them from the beginning?
I’ve been with them from the beginning. Daniele had tried before to form a band though but with no results, as he coulnd’t find people who shared his same visions and had the same aims.
What is the metal scene like in Italy?
In Italy the metal scene is nothing like the ones of the other European countries. Here metal music is followed by few, it never went mainstream and good metal bands too often remain underground realities. It’s just that it isn’t part of our culture, here Italian pop music has a long story and people are not attracted to heavier sounds, they’re not interested and I’m afraid that there can also be a little prejudice towards those who listen to metal, as ignorance can easily lead you to make the logical association metal=satan (I’m not saying Italians are ignorant, I just meant to say that whenever one doesn’t have the curiosity to really get to know something he accepts the common judgment). That’s too bad!
Taking a listen to the album, Who are some of your personal influences as a singer?
My personal influences are very particular for a metal singer… my first choice would be Celine Dion, ever since I heard her singing “My Heart Will Go On” I literally fell in love with her, she is a strong woman with an amazing voice she can do everything she wants with! She is also very versatile as we can see in her last album “Thaking Chances”. Celine is like my beacon but I also love Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, the amazingly talented Jessie J, I adore Adele and Giorgia Todrani, the best Italian singer of all times I think. I obviously take inspiration from female singers, though I “steal” something from Gavin DeGraw too.
Have you ever been compared with Celine Dion before as far as singing style? I love her. :)
Once someone wrote a comment on an Ancient Bards YouTube video saying “Celine Dion is that you I hear?” and that made me go crazy! It was and it still is a huge compliment for me to be compared to my vocal hero. Of course I don’t have her warm and lovely timbre but I grew up listening to her every song so I must have absorbed her singing style a bit.
I noticed that the musicianship of everyone in the band is very very technical and wonderfully detailed. Have you all been studying music and all of the centain instruments for a long time?
The guys started studying when they were kids and they all took lessons in academies (some of them now are teachers). In our kind of metal you need to be very prepared technically and my boys are really good, because the all have a great passion for music, which make it easier to find the strength to practise and practise and practise…
I really love all of the elements within the band. From the epic big full over all sound to the choir to all of the beautiful notes flying from the guitars and the thunderous drums and especially your voice that gives me utter goosebumps every time you open your mouth to sing. Where did the idea to tie all of these elements together come from?
Everything comes from the mind of Daniele, when he composes he can imagine all these elements together and the rest is the natural consequence of the fusion of our different personalities, our diverse musical tastes and our different musical aptitude. All these elements create our particular sound.
Can you explain the concept of the Black Crystal Sword Saga?
I honestly don’t know everything about the saga, only Daniele knows the whole story, he just gave me a few hints but I don’t know exactly how it’s going to end. It’s all about this Black Crystal Sword and all the people that happen to know about it. In the first two chapters the story is entangled enough so I suggest you to go on our website (www.ancientbards.com), in the download tab you’ll find a pdf file with all you need to know about what happened so far!
Let’s talk about “Soulless Child” which was released last November. What is the over all story and message with this album? Is it a continuation of the Black Crystal Sword Saga?
Yes, “Soulless Child” is the second chapter of the first part of the Saga, that was created by Daniele when he was just a kid (he was like 16 or something) and right because Daniele was so young that the story is full of that naïvety which is typical of the pureness of a young heart. The characters are virtuous, never-failing, brave and fearless but also so so human! I think the great message is this, in this world we need heroes and we look for them everywhere but the real thing is that anyone can be a hero just by being the best person one can be!
What character from the saga do you relate too the most?
I relate to Shena because she’s the only female character of the story so far and I’m the only female musician among the bards! I like her because she’s a tough woman, she has the responsability of her realm on her shoulders so she needs to be flawless and blameless even when it’s not easy to… I wish I could be as brave as her (I’m doing my best)!
Are all of you big fans of fantasy fiction?
Not really, the ones into fantasy fiction are Daniele, Martino and Federico, they are the experts in those things. I personally was never attracted too much to these kind of things.
How many parts of the story do you think there will be?
I don’t know precisely as Daniele himself is not sure of it. The only thing I know is that there will be three parts, each one divided into (I don’t know how many) chapters
Will there be a tour for the “Soulless Child”?
Nothing sure yet, we will be having a few gigs around Italy and we will attend a few festivals we’ll soon give news about. For an emerging bang is still very hard to play abroad, we need to wait for one of those chances that happen only once in a while and take it!
Is Daltor dead?????? :)
It’s what we are let to believe at the end of TAOTK… but at the beginning of “Soulless Child” it’s clear that maybe it takes more than some dragon bites to kill a hero!
I can’t wait for us to find out what is next in the story of the Black Crystal Sword Saga and in the story of Ancient Bards. I would like to thank you for your time Sara and do you have anything that you would like to add?
It’s always an enormous pleasure to talk with Femme Metal, I wanna thank all of you guys who bring on this beautiful webzine! I hope to see you all from the stage soon! Cheers!
Interview by Robin Stryker
Gritty, Jack Daniels-fueled punk rock is alive and well in London. Nemhain, formed in 2006 by vocalist Amber Erlandsson and her husband, drumming maestro Adrian Erlandsson (ex-Cradle of Filth, The Haunted, At the Gates), have just unleashed their debut album, “From the Ashes” (released 22 January 2010 on Tiefdruck Musik). The band’s name captures the essence of its music perfectly – Nemhain is the Celtic goddess of battle frenzy. And what a frenzy it is! With a pair of oven mitts and a fire extinguisher close at hand, Femme Metal sat down with Amber (aka Morrigan Hel) to get the whole story from the fire-breathing Welsh dragon herself.
Welcome, Amber! Please tell us more about Nemhain’s blues-stained style of punk rock.
Cheers! It’s best listened to when absolutely hammered apparently. We’re loud, confident and wrong!
“From the Ashes” includes a raging cover of The Gits’ “Second Skin” as a duet with Pete Dolving (The Haunted). Why did you choose this song to cover?
It was actually Lakis who came up with the idea. He came to try out for us and said whether he joined the band or not we had to hear this song and maybe cover it. It’s a great song and fits what we’re about. It’s also a tribute to Mia Zapata and The Gits.
Which tracks mean the most to you personally?
They all do really, although my personal favourites are “Clear My Eyes”, “Heroin Child”, “Jane Doe”, “Babylonia”, “Speed Queen” and “Second Skin”.
If I understand correctly, you were in a couple of bands and wrote many of the lyrics to “Girls Like Honey” as a teenager but Nemhain is your first experience with recording and gigging. What made you decide to go for it as a professional musician?
It’s something I’d always wanted to do. I got to my 27th birthday and figured if I don’t make a go of it now I’ll have missed the rock n roll boat for good :S
Would you introduce the other members of Nemhain and tell us a little something about each one?
Lakis (Guitar): Is a strange creature from the planet Lak. He gets tangled in guitar leads, has nearly been run over a few times and attracts nutcases where ever we go. He also likes to pace a lot, especially in confined spaces!
Sam (Guitar): Is currently being taken over by his own beard. He has a talent for scat and does some cracking drive by scatting! He also seems to have a hat fetish and smokes brown roll ups.
Lisa (Bass & Vocals): Has OCD and a herd of wild Shitzus. She seems to attract hairy things. She also has narcolepsy and is made up of really intense energy drinks and the blackest coffee…
Adrian (Drums): Likes to hit things, a violent love/hate relationship with mobile phones, horrendous flatulence and a pocket full of pranks ready to weaken people at every opportunity. He’s also extremely food aggressive, be warned.
Here at Femme Metal, we are suckers for romance. How did you meet your husband, Adrian? Was there a specific moment that made you think, “yeah, he’s the one”?
I was working for Cradle of Filth at a signing when we first met, he’d only just joined the band. He chased me around plying me with Jack Daniels and trying to feed me things. He also fixed my boot which is always a winner. We got married after 7 weeks and now we’re coming up to our 9 year anniversary! J
Lest people think that my dragon remark was rude, you really are a fire performer who has torched the stage with bands like Motorhead, Cradle of Filth and Godhead. How in the world does one get into the fire-breathing biz? Have you had any close calls?
Initially I was just messing around with a load of friends in the park, just for fun. A few years later I met my partner Sophia Landi and she taught me a lot and it all went from there really. When I was learning to eat fire and body burn, I got quite a few burns in my mouth/tongue and on my body but nothing too serious. The worst thing that’s happened is that I ended up with Chemical Pneumonia from fire breathing. I was really sick for almost a month. Fire breathing is pretty lethal and I really wouldn’t recommend it, it can kill you if you’re not careful.
Turning from one type of blistering vocals to another, I understand that you have been working with a vocal coach for quite some time now. What areas are you focusing on at the moment?
I’d never had any vocal coaching other than two lessons with a friend back in 2006 and one three weeks ago with a lady called Tona Da Brett. I’ve got some vocal books and CDs but other than that I’ve just learned through trial and error and believe me there’s been a lot of it ha ha!
Do you play any instruments?
I played violin at school but haven’t touched one in years. I’ve got a lovely matt black Les Paul guitar and a red Zombie. I play mainly for fun and writing vocal harmonies but I’d really love to play live one day when I’m good enough.
With a background as a professional dancer, movie actress, performance artist, fetish model and Domina, you had extensive exposure to bands, performing and the media before forming Nemhain. Do you feel that your previous experience has been helpful?
To an extent it helps with stage fright but singing live for up to an hour takes a lot of stamina which is something I’ve really had to build up. When I first started out, I’d lose my voice but you learn to breathe and use the right muscles pretty quick! It’s either that or no voice.
On the flip side, are you ever underestimated as “just an über-babe propped behind a microphone” (which completely ignores the fact that you write the lyrics)?
Ha ha, propped up! I do tend to prop myself up with my mic stand if I’ve had a few too many I’m sure there are probably plenty of negative opinions out there, but if you let that bother you’ll just end up turning into a paranoid wreck. Anyone who knows me will know the amount of hard work that’s gone into this band, there’s a lot more than just writing and performing. There’s artwork, promotion, booking gigs, organising shoots, the list goes on…
Nemhain and your stage name (Morrigan Hel) are both based on mythology. What is the lure of Celtic and Norse mythology for you?
I was fascinated by the Occult from an early age and part of it involved connecting with aspects of a deity. Celtic mythology is closest to my heart as it all comes from the UK & Ireland. I came across a book which featured The Morrigan pretty heavily & I had some really weird dreams after reading it. I then decided to take it on as a stage name, I think I was about 18 at the time. The Hel part is the Norse Goddess of the underworld and seemed like a good coupling. I used to skive off of school quite a lot as a teenager and spent a lot of my time reading about the Occult and Astrology, writing lyrics, drinking way too much cider and generally being a pain in the arse!
Time for random non-musical trivia … Favourite pair of ridiculously high shoes?
I’ve got a beautiful pair of black leather Alexander McQueen shoe/boots with skull details.
Cheese-toasties or chocolate?
Definitely cheese toasties, preferably with red onion and mayonnaise!!! Chocolate I can take or leave
Favourite piece of weaponry?
I’ve got a really nice, almost surgical style Japanese knife that I love.
Things you love?
My husband and close friends/band mates, my geriatric cat andsnakes. The smell of leather, music, fire, garlic, cheese, chili, travel, wildlife, food, booze, freedom, humour, the ridiculous and a good pub!
Things you hate?
Mediocrity, single white females, insecurity and jealousy are horrible traits, liars. Teddy bears, Hello Kitty, the overly processed, people with delusions of grandeur. Crowds and people who have loads of children without thinking about the consequences and then neglect them.
Causes that are closest to your heart?
Preventing animal cruelty, hate crimes and rape.
Your idea of a perfect day?
Being in bed with my husband
I was disappointed to read that the RockInvasion tour with Nemhain, Black Sonic and Die So Fluid has been postponed. Is Nemhain lining up new gigs?
It was a real shame but it will hopefully be rescheduled for later in the year. We have another tour planned for May with The Cumshots, M.A.N and Superbutt. It’s a longer tour and we’re really excited about it.
What plans do you and Nemhain have for 2010?
Finishing “Murder Mile” our photo studio, finishing and recording the second Nemhain album, filming a new video, tearing it up at festivals and live shows, and draining bars all around the world dry!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with Femme Metal, Amber. Any last words for your fans?
Thanks so much for all the support, it means a lot. Be sure to pour yourself a stiff one (or ten) and play “From the Ashes” until your ears bleed! XxX
Interview by Vard Aman
We are all familiar with the big names of female fronted Metal: Nightwish; Within Temptation; Lacuna Coil; etc. These are the names that dominate the scene and these are the names that dominate conversations when the topic turns to female fronted Metal. We may say, and correctly so, that this is deserved because they are all really good bands, but there is another reason too; and that reason is simply that these are the names that we have all gotten to know, one way or another. Beyond these big names, there are numerous bands that are much less well known. Some of these bands, it is probably true to say, are mediocre at best; but some of them we will find are very good bands indeed! We just have to look for them. And if we do, every now and then, we may find a band that is of truly outstanding quality – an overall package of both artistry and professionalism that easily rivals, and even surpasses many of the best and the biggest that the scene has to offer. I believe that I have found just such a band! They’re called Delia, and they come from Kiev, Ukraine. Delia present a highly professional and complete package, excelling in all aspects of what they do: their creativity; their songwriting; their performance; their live shows; the quality of their productions; and their music videos. They have very quickly become one of my favorite bands! Fronting Delia is Anastasia Sverkunova – a vocalist with a truly immense voice. She is highly versatile and possesses a huge range. She is capable of both raw power and intricate subtlety, and she sings with real feeling and emotion. Her voice dominates, yet blends with the music simultaneously. She has very quickly become one of my favorite singers! And I got the chance to interview her!
Hi Anastasia! Welcome to Femme Metal Webzine, it’s a great pleasure to have the chance to talk to you! First of all, could you introduce us to the members of Delia?
Hi Vard! I’m very glad to talk to you too. Here we are: me, Anastasia Sverkunova – vocals, Sergey Sirko – guitars, Michael Gudzenko – bass-guitars and Vitaliy Tolkachev – drums.
How did you all meet and how did the band start?
One night of August 2005 I was reading some topics on the music forum and found some ads about needed vocalists to different bands. I had already had experience in playing and singing in bands before and decided to try again. So I called to the first phone number I saw on the first ad and Sergey replied me. The next weekend was our first rehearsal.
How did you choose the name Delia? Does it have any special meaning?
When we just started to play together we still didn’t have a name. All of us offered different variants but we couldn’t find the best one. And one day I was reading psychological vocabulary and found the word “delia” (which means “illusion” in Greek) and it was the right choice! But the meaning of the name according to our music is the issue for long thinking and discussions – everyone can explain it as he likes.
How would you describe Delia’s music?
Mmm… it’s the most FAQ, that we have no clear answer. Mostly our style is described as “symphonic metal”, earlier it used to be described as “gothic metal”. But each new song has a bit different sound than previous, and we don’t like to put our music in “style framework”. So… let it be metal, just not ordinary Ukrainian metal.
What would you say are the main influences for you music?
There are lots of bands we like, and they are really very different as every member of Delia has absolutely different music preferences. But in common, they are Lacuna Coil, Rammstein, Evanescence, Korn, Within Temptation and from non-metal – Bjork, Lara Fabian, even Skrillex and many many others.
Tell us a little about your releases so far.
Our first serious release was in February 2010, it was our CD “Spogad” (“Recollection”). We have 2 versions of the album – Ukrainian and English. Ukrainian version we released at ЯОК Music company – Ukrainian label and English one we didn’t release officially yet as we are still looking for a good label abroad to cooperate with. The CD consists of 13 songs and 2 bonus-tracks, one of which is in Spanish. In autumn 2011 we also released EP “Vogon” (“Fire”), also in 2 versions – 1 for our Ukrainian and Russian fans, and 2 – for our fans abroad. You can download both versions for free on our official website.
Do you have any personal favorites from your releases and/or songs that have a special meaning for you?
Every song is special for me, ‘cause every song is kind of the description of a period of my life - not only real events that happened to me, but my thoughts, worries, doubts, memories, hopes, impressions etc. And each 2-3 months I have my new favorites. Previous one was “Sprobuy” (“Try”) form the EP, now it’s the new song that will be released soon (I hope).
You were born in Pripyat just before the Chernobyl disaster and the song “Dead City” is about Pripyat and dedicated to its memory. Many of the scenes for the video were shot on location in Pripyat. What was it like going back there and filming there?
It wasn’t my first trip to Pripyat after Chernobyl disaster. I have already visited my native city before making the video. But each time I come back to that place I feel mix of emotions – from despair, sadness and even fear to enchantment, unreality… Absolutely empty city… just huge trees through the buildings and total silence… It’s very hard to explain – you should visit that place.
What are your plans for the future and what can we expect from your next album?
The nearest upcoming event is the release of our new video to the song “Vogon” (“Fire”) – both in Ukrainian and English versions. Hopefully we all can enjoy it in February. Next album is a difficult question, because now Delia has a period of experiments and all our new songs are in different styles and mixed languages and there are still many things we want to try and to use in our new tracks. I hope that this year we will have some releases but it’s the question if it’s gonna be an album or some different singles. Anyway we will try our best to surprise our fans and extend our capabilities!
Do you have plans to get a permanent keyboardist?
We don’t have a plan to find a permanent keyboardist, but we are open for cooperation and will be happy if one more good person will join our “family” – whether keyboardist, DJ, violinist etc.
One of the many things I really like about Delia is the amount of creative attention to detail in all aspects of what you do – from your songwriting and playing, to your videos and your live shows. A good example for me is some of the subtleties in the storyline (and in the editing) of the video for “Zabutiy Krai” (“Forgotten Land”) that I only picked up after watching it several times, and the overall product certainly made me want to watch it on repeat. Is this a dedicated effort or is it just the natural way you do things? Or both?
We really pay much attention to the details because the details are the least visible but the most important part of the product. But we don’t make any special effort, we just work like we do and hope that our fans enjoy the results.
What is the metal scene like in Ukraine? Do you get a lot of support at your shows?
Unfortunately Ukrainian metal bands are not very demanded among Ukrainians. When world metal stars come to Ukraine – there are thousands of fans who come to their shows. But when Ukrainian bands perform we can hardly see more than 300 people in a hall. Of course everything depends on organization, how popular is the band and how many shows are the same day. But it’s strange that even our band, who is popular enough in Ukraine and not very popular outside the country, receives more requests for CD purchase from abroad than from our native country. Ukrainians are very special people, if you want them to love you, you should firstly become popular somewhere abroad. But those people who come to our shows give us really as much support as we expect and to play for them is a real pleasure!
Have you played any shows outside Ukraine?
No, unfortunately we haven’t yet. Honestly, before previous year we didn’t try hard to become well-known abroad but now we have changed our approach and hopefully will perform somewhere outside Ukraine very soon.
What parts of playing in a band do you like the most?
At rehearsals I like when we play new songs and make new covers to our favorite bands. But all of us like the most the live shows, especially if it is recital or themed concert. And, of course, the process of songwriting is also one of my favorite part of work!
And what parts, if any, don’t you like so much?
Hmm… as for me, it’s the time of the last editing of a song at the studio. All the time I find something that I’d like to change and can not stop! I always need someone to stop me or we would never finish this process.
Outside of Delia do you have any special interests and things you like doing?
OMG, there are soooooo many things… I like travelling, learning languages, dancing (each term different style), roller skating, playing the violin and the piano, snowboarding, kart racing, translating poetry, kayaking, horse riding and lots of other things… Honestly it’s a problem for me because I want to try everything but at the end I’m not good enough in anything… But it’s who I am.
I hear Michael is an avid rally driver. Does he race often?
Michael is really very interested in racing, he participates in some local rallies and hopefully we will see him on the pedestal of WRC soon!
Thank you very much for the interview Anastasia! We’re hoping to hear and see much more of you in the future, and I am certainly going to be following Delia very closely!
Thank you very much! We will be happy to inform you and all our fans about all our news and upcoming events!
Review by Tony Cannella
Fans who have a love for melodic, up-tempo, symphonic epic metal ala classic Helloween, Dark Moor and Rhapsody of Fire and can’t get enough of the genre, the Spanish band Eternal Dream are one to check out for sure. This band first came on our radar with their 2009 7-song EP “The Seed of Naryll”. Right away they established what the band represents both musically and lyrically. Eternal Dream returns with their debut full-length “The Fall of Salanthine” and compared to the aforementioned EP, Eternal Dream has definitely hit another gear and has come into their own. First off, five of the seven songs that appeared on the EP are also on “The Fall of Salanthine”. They have been re-recorded and benefit greatly from the superior production. Eternal Dream are firing on all cylinders and vocalist Ana Moronta is singing so good and has a strong vocal range. Maybe from a variety stand point; this is not the most varied release you will ever hear. You pretty much know what you are going to get from Eternal Dream, which is up-tempo metal with a huge, extravagant presentation and songs that are fantasy based. They do what they do and do it very well. The intro “March of the Immortals” has an epic fantasy movie soundtrack vibe to it as it segues into the intense opener “God of War”. This is a great way to start things as the track is just a fast paced, up-tempo masterpiece. Songs like the powerful “Last Battle of a Hero”, “Symphony of Horizon” and “Elysion Era” keeps things pretty much on a steady course. The ballad “Farewell” slows the pace down a bit and allows the listener to catch their breath. Ana performs a duet with Alexis Serrano of the band Anamnesis on “Farewell” and it proves to be one of the highlights. The violin and piano dominated “The Rising” is just a short interlude between songs as “Frozen Salanthine” picks up the tempo once again. This song is just flat out intense, with an awesome guitar solo and a galloping rhythm that just won’t quit. “The Fall of Salanthine” is concluded by the epic trilogy “Memories of a Lyliac at Dawn”, thus ending this beautiful album with an exclamation point. While bands who play this epic symphonic power metal tend to sound the same at times, Eternal Dream definitely has the ability to stand out thanks to the material on “The Fall of Salanthine”. Sometimes when a band releases concept albums they paint themselves into a corner and tend to get pigeonholed as a conceptual band. I hope that doesn’t happen with Eternal Dream. Their songs are good enough to stand on their own and that is all that matters in the grand scheme of things.
Rating - 95/100