INFOS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Label : Rare Noise Records
Review by Luisa Mercier
In May 2010 The Mantra ATSMM finally released their debut after all the expectations built up by their promising EP “Rooms”. The full-length succeded in getting raving reviews both in Italy and abroad, confirming the band as one of the most important post-rock realities in a country where this genre is almost unknown. “Defeated Song” is a sophisticated, elegant, classy record opened by “Golden Mermaids”. This already is one of the highlights of the album and is opened by guitars and vocals, the voice of Adriana, a disturbed angel. The first single is the following “Septembers”, a bit more lively than the previous one, playful but always with a vein of melancholy. Last verses are in Italian. Again sad and nostalgic is “Mangrove” with a hint of electronics in the end. Adriana performance is quite emotional here, mixed with piano and synth. My personal favourite is “Blanca”, maybe one of the most complex songs on the album, but really you can perceive the vibration of every instrument, the quiet, the sadness, the sweetness. There are many emotions in this track, all to be discovered. Gothic, romantic mood is what we find in “Rooms” and it goes on the same atmosphere in “The Inner Season” which is decadent, gloomy, dissonant, while closing track “Lines of Fire Bless The Mountain” is warm, sweet, romantic. It is sad to see such a talented Italian band forced to find success abroad, but we Italians know how the scene works here, so I am happy that they found someone able to appreciate them in England (their label).
Rating - 70/100
Label : Nadir Music
Review by Tony Cannella
While perusing the internet, I noticed that some reviews for the latest album by Morgana, “Rose of Jericho”, were less than kind, some were harsh, too harsh, in my opinion. “Rose of Jericho” is not a bad album, it’s actually pretty good. Morgana is the alter ego of vocalist Roberta DeLaude and she is no newcomer, she is actually a veteran of the Italian metal scene. She began singing in heavy metal bands in 1983 at the age of 16 and released the debut EP from Morgana in 1988. Since then she has released material sporadically, but now Morgana returns with her first album of new material in years, so long time fans of the band should rejoice. Appropriately enough the instrumental “Alive…” gets things started and announces the return of Morgana. Next is “Love Me the Way I Am” and showcases Morgana’s melodic metal sound with a grinding guitar riff. Other songs such as, “Golden Hours”, “Lady Winter” and “610” pretty much gets the point across what Morgana is all about and what “Rose of Jericho” has to offer, just simple, basic, melodic heavy metal. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. The songs are what matters and for the most part they are good. The instrumental “…And Kickin” – fittingly enough – brings “Rose of Jericho” to its conclusion. The whole thing features 9-songs and only 36-minutes worth of music, barely longer than an EP. I have to admit that while I had always heard the name Morgana, I wasn’t familiar with her music at all, so I had nothing to compare “Rose of Jericho” to. Taken on its own merit and with no preconceived ideas about her past music, “Rose of Jericho” is just a good melodic heavy metal album that recalls the 80s, while still having a hold on what is relevant in 2012.
Rating - 75/100
Review by Luisa Mercier
ElfenWald are an Italian duo who delivers us a very interesting self-released debut album. “Part I” blends industrial, ambient and neoclassical music with the dark and beautiful voice of Prinzessin Simhild. Though self-produced, the record does not suffer many flaws and it seems to be well crafted in every detail. The songs shift from German to English and Italian language with an equally effective result. For instance, “Wo Ist Meine Welt” is more industrial-oriented while “Gelide Notti” is closer to neoclassical style with its keyboards and strings, creating a Romantic atmosphere. “Darkness” is a soaring, creepy track, mostly instrumental and only graced by some vocalization of Prinzessin Simhild. “Alone” is the longest song on the album and during its seven minuts it explores various musical landscapes: from neoclassical, to dark cabaret, to a gloomy industrial sound. “Lilith (The Garden of the Damned)” closes “Part I” and it’s a track which showcases a fearsome atmosphere with some choruses all over which surround the beautiful voice of Simhild. Being self-produced, this album is overall a very good release and I hope they’ll soon find a label for their following works!
Rating - 80/100
Interview by Si Smith
Crucified Barbara will stomp across your skull and leave skidmarks, such is the impression they are having all over the world. Their style is balls-to-the-wall hard rock, no holds barred. Third album “The Midnight Chase” hits the streets soon so Femme Metal caught up with bass player Ida Evileye for a quick word.
First of all thank you for taking the time for this interview, and a warm welcome from all at Femme Metal Webzine. For those who are presently unfamiliar with the band, would you like to introduce the different members to us?
Yeah. We’re a four piece band and I (Ida) play the bass, Mia sings and plays lead guitar, Klara plays rhythm guitar and Nicki plays the drums.
Almost 15 years since your humble beginnings you are back with another powerful album. From the outset it is clear that you mean business, with opener “The Crucifier” giving it large 100%. For this listener it is a remarkable trip back into the early Motorhead days and punk-influenced heavy metal. Do you think the band in 2012 still reflects those kind of influences?
Absolutely, we love that type of music. We listen to a lot of different music (Mainly old school for me) and of course that shines through in our songwriting.
You certainly have a memorable band name – could you enlighten us as to where it originates from?
Actually “Barbara” in Sweden is the name for a blowup doll (a sextoy). We were at the Roskilde festival many years ago and we saw that somebody had pinned a barbara on a cross and it looked really evil and cool so that’s where it comes from.
You guys look great in all the promo shots we see and have a very distinct look that reflects your music style – how important is image to the band?
The music is of course the most important thing without a doubt but image is important too. I love to go to concerts and it’s always more fun when the band wants to entertain the audience. So that what we’re trying to do with clothes and makeup!
It has been a remarkable journey across three albums. What are the highlights of the journey for the band?
Oooohhh, there are soo many. The Motörhead tour, the Nuclear Blast deal, the Russian tour, playing at the Download festival, the Australian tour. Meeting Brian May, having a drink with Lemmy……the list goes on!
Throughout the band’s life your lyrics have touched on all the usual hard rock topics. Does this reflect your lifestyle? Who is the biggest party animal?
Hahaha, of course! I am the party animal. You can always count on me and Nicki!
Three years on from “‘Till Death…” , you seem to have a tradition of working a long time on your albums, what is it you are looking for in the final product?
We don’t want it to take so long time but we’ve toured a lot and there has also been business things that’s prolonging the releases. And of course that we don’t wanna release something that we aren’t 100 percent happy with!
“The Midnight Chase” has 11 well-crafted anthems. How does the song-writing process work for you as a band?
It’s different with every song. Some of the songs has been written by one person only and then we’ve worked on the arrangements together (“Kid for the Upperclass” in on example, Mia wrote that song). Other songs we’ve done based on a riff or a melody and we’re written it together (“The Crucifier”, “Shut Your Mouth”). So it’s different with every song really!
By the time this interview gets to you, the band will have just played the Sweden Rock Festival. How did it go?
Greaaaaat! It was fantastic, so many people and a really good crowd! We had a great time, I love that festival!
In July you are heading to Italy alongside Elvenking. That should be some good shows! How have you found the band’s reception in different countries? Have you a favourite?
Italy is really good for us and France is very good too. It’s been good from the beginning and it’s always so nice to come back, you feel like home!
You have also recently been booked for the Getaway Rock Festival in Sweden alongside bands such as Manowar, Saxon and Nightwish. What are your hopes for the festivals this year?
I really like that festival, it’s a bit smaller than Sweden Rock but a lot of cool bands are playing. So we’re gonna have a great show and then drink some beers and watch the other band, so it’ll be a fun night!!!
Finally, what is the next stage for the band? After all the touring this year is there a plan?
More touring, another album etc! This is what we love to do and we’ve just got started so you won’t get rid of us anytime soon!
Thanks for your time, we at Femme Metal wsih the band all the best for the rest of 2012.
Thank you! I wish you the same!!!!!!!
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
The first question: Can you tell us something about La-Ventura because the bio on your website isn’t exactly full of details.
La-Ventura started with an advertisement on the internet. Erwin was looking for musicians to form a new band and I responded to his add. We decided to work together and started to write material. After a year we went on looking for other band members and asked Mike and Sascha to join in. From the first moment we played it was chemistry and things went on like a whirlwind. A half year after the formation we recorded our first song “Trefoil” and placed it on MySpace. The reactions we received from all over the world, were (and still are!!!) very positive and two weeks later an American record label showed interest, which resulted in a contract. We were then offered to record a full length album and managed to write and record all the songs in only five months time. Unfortunately the record company was not able to release our album in the right timeline and didn’t come up with a finished (mixed and mastered) product for over half a year. That’s when we decided to pull out the plug and took over the whole production process ourselves. A couple of months later another American Label: Renaissance Records showed up and this time we are very confident that this is the right company for us. Our album will now be released in The US, Canada and Mexico on March 18th and will be distributed worldwide through Koch.
And, why did you choose the name La–Ventura?
La-Ventura is a combination of letters from the words Ventilator and Venturi, the name of an Italian physicist. Both words stand for dynamics which represents our music and show on stage. Later on, we discovered to our surprise that it meant ‘luck’ in Spanish. It has proven to be a very fortunate name for us, because we have had our share of luck already!
You have sung in other bands in the past but those were not really gothic oriented. Are you different in La–Ventura?
During the years of singing, my voice has grown and developed in a mature way. Due to the experience on stage and singing lessons, I now have more power at the higher range of my voice. It helps and challenges me to fully express my passion for this style of Metal orientated music.
What made you decide to become a singer and do you have any role models in the music scene?
It was always a dream to become a singer and I was very lucky to get the opportunity to do so. What first started as a hobby has now grown into a job on a professional level. It was a long way of improving my vocal skills as much as getting enough confidence in myself to be a front lady. Someone who inspired me a lot is Alanis Morissette. Her creative freedom in both composing and lyrics has been a real eye-opener for me.
La–Ventura is not the first Female Fronted Metal band in Holland and most likely not the last. What makes La–Ventura different from all those others that have followed The Gathering since 1993?
I think that the success of band or project lies within the strength of the combination of musicians, each with a different musical and personal background, but with the same passion, ambition, motivation and high level of playing. Then the journey begins but as you point out: nowadays the female fronted metal is overcrowded with good bands and female singers. Therefore we are driven to make the right moves. Thanks to a wonderful management we can make sure that everything is in place. Never the less we will need that little bit of (la ventura) luck….
And, do you think there is a reason behind the fact that female fronted metal or rock bands from Holland have a worldwide succes while traditional male fronted band like Kane to name one have only success in Holland?
All I know is that this type of Metal we play is luckily gaining in popularity all over the world. At this moment the market outside Holland is wide open for this style of music. There is the right attention from the industry and most important the support from the fans for female fronted (Dutch) bands. We are nowhere without the support from those who support us in our work, buying our cd’s, seeing us live and letting us know what they think of the music and all. They make things happen!
Some people might know Erwin Polderman from his years with Orphanage. Who are the other members of La–Ventura? And what can you tell us about them?
We all participated in several bands and projects to name a few: Mike and Sascha spend most of their time with their band Badly Preserved and I joined in bands called Red Alert and DV-us besides other great projects some with big choir and full orchestra. It has certainly helped and devolved us to become the musicians we are today.
La–Ventura’s debut album will be released at 03.18.2008 and is called “A New Beginning”. What can you tell us about this album? Who wrote the lyrics and the music? Is there a musical mastermind in the band or was the writing of the songs teamwork?
I wrote all the lyrics on the album myself. The writing was definitely a band process. We worked with blueprints based on a riff or let’s say a 60% finished idea from one of the band members. We all worked out our own ideas and contributions at home and passed it on through email. This way it was build up piece by piece and later we talked it over to decide its definite form and structure.
What are La–Ventura’s plans for the near future? Are there more gigs to come like the one with Stream of Passion?
Yes, there are some great things in progress. Our US tour is now scheduled for September this year and we are waiting for the exact dates to be confirmed. In the meantime bookers in Belgium, France, UK and Holland are working hard to get us out there. I am sure that in the near future we’ll share the stage with more big names. Keep checking our websites!
Are there things the reader should know that I haven’t ask?
We are very happy with the opportunity to do interviews like this. Thanks to the support of many dedicated people there is now a lot of information to be found on the internet. And of course people are always welcome to meet us live at our gigs so we can answer their questions personally.
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Barbara from Todio. Todio is a crossover progressive metal band from Italy. The band has been active since 1992 and have released a new album little time ago called “Sixteen”. This interview is with Barbara, the singer of the band.
Did you always want to become a singer?
I always loved to sing but I know that if I want to consider singing as a pleasure it must not be a job for me.
And to what kind of music do you listen yourself?
Every kind of music, I started with rock in the eighties, then lots of pop and blues, now I have again lots of rock music CD in my car.
And who are your favourite bands and musicians?
Faith No More, Guns N’Roses, Dio, Velvet Revolver, Sheryl Crow, Elio e Le Storie Tese..
Did you have any other bands before Todio and/or are you active in any other bands now besides Todio?
Yes I had others bands but some don’t exist anymore, others changed singers and musicians.
How do you choose your stage gear?
I sing with a Shure Beta 58, I always loved it. Todio use their own equipment and I’m proud to say that it’s very professional. We make very much attention to every single sound.
What are your other passions besides music?
Travel with our motorbike or however to travel (no matter how and where), cinema, to spend some time with my friends. I would like to say sport but I am lazy.
Why did you choose Todio as name for the band?
It’s the name band from the beginning so, before me. Todio means in Italian “I hate you”, they told me it was because of their hate for womans and for the problems they were giving to them
And how would you describe your music?
I know what our music is not, it’s not obvious, the songs are not similar as often happens in many productions, it’s a mix of styles and experiences, sometimes it happens that you feel more the rock spirit, sometimes pop, sometimes you can hear hard core or classical moments. That’s why we think about us as a crossover band.
And what makes Todio different compared to all those other female fronted bands?
I think that the previous answer can give the explanations to this question. But maybe, the difference is that often the front woman has a particular attitude, I’m only the front singer of a group, no one in the band is essential more than other; we create good music only because of the mix of talents.
Is song writing teamwork in Todio or is there one mastermind behind the music?
Often I write the lyrics and the band compose the music (all together), sometimes someone in the band gives me lyrics, I adjust them if necessary and they become songs like “Wild Road”, for example.
Can you introduce us to the other members of Todio?
Ok, there’s Andrea Ercoli on keyboards, Fausto Ferrara on guitar, Massimo Ferrara on bass and Andriy Poltavets on drums.
You have just released “Sixteen”. How did the media, and more important, the fans react on the album?
Different labels contacted us after listening to our work, but as I already said, we love playing with our music and it must be always a pleasure, so if the contracts are not clear or they don’t allow us to exhibit our self at the right conditions, we simply go on using our strength. The fans are a pleasure, a confirmation that we are on the right way and that if we work seriously, people understand the difference. We don’t lose our had because of the fans, we are more motivated to do our music, better and better.
And what are the differences between “Sixteen” and his precessor, “Dobermann”?
With “Sixteen” the experience is double, the boys are all grown up, they listened to more music, they saw more live concerts and they played their instruments more than ever. They had time to see what really represent them more; “Dobermann” has a male voice, “Sixteen” has melodies good for my voice, “Dobermann” is a rock album, “Sixteen” starts from this point and crosses many styles.
And why did it took so long to come with a new album?
Members of the band are gone, then back, someone is changed, they made an Italian project three years ago but it seemed not to satisfy them so much. It was the beginning of the last transformation of the band. Of course these are not good moments to write new music.
All the songs are in the English language. Have you ever considered to use your native Italian instead?
Already done in the past album. The guys weren’t satisfied of the result. And one of the problem was the language. In this way the band is open to more countries.
Who was responsible for the artwork on “Sixteen”?
Andrea Ercoli has directly followed the realization of the CD’s artwork but the main idea comes from all of us.
What is your favourite song on the album and why?
I prefer rock songs so my favourite ones are “Wet Day” and “Dobermann”.
Will you do a tour in Europe and beyond to promote “Sixteen”?
We’d really like to do a European tour supported by a good managing. Of course if the proposal is compatible with our jobs.
What are for you the highlights with Todio so far?
Todio recorded a CD in LA some years ago, then they made many gigs in important Italian clubs, I remember a beautiful concert at the biggest motorbike Italian meeting in Osoppo.
And what can we expect from Todio in the nearby future?
The new album, many, many live concerts and only good music.
And the last question: is there anything the reader should know that I have not asked? I think the better is not come yet, so stay tuned ! Links
I think the better is not come yet, so stay tuned !
Label : Ravenheart Music
Review by Tony Cannella
The new album from Italian Gothic metal band Dama is titled “Eirwen”. It is separated into 2 discs. The first one is called “Immaginario” and features 8-songs sung in the bands native Italian. The second disc is called “Imaginary” and includes 7-songs sung in English. This combination makes up, what is collectively titled “Eirwen”. Dama was formed in 2007 and “Eirwen” is their debut album. My first introduction to Dama came on the “Beauty and Brutality” compilation, with their excellent contribution “Rainy Roads”. I am glad to say that exceptional track is included here with a whole lot more solid material. “Immaginario” kicks off with some beautiful piano as the song “Alba” kicks in. The vocals of Barbara Schera Vanoli are just beautiful and words cannot do them justice. Her voice is not too over-the-top or too laid back, it is just right and is a perfect complement to the music. The next track “Regina d’Inverno” has a deliberate pacing to it and a sexy vibe. If you were expecting full-on heaviness from Dama than you will disappointed. Instead what you get is symphonic mid-tempo music with cool musicianship and excellent vocals. The point is more than proven with songs like: “Scatola di Vetro (Oriente)”, “Seta” and “Ombre”. Moving on to the English disc “Imaginary”, Dama continues to move in a direction that evokes a lot of passion, and the music and vocals clearly reflect this. The seven track English disc opens with “Eliot” and whether singing in Italian or English Barbara has a tremendous voice. “Eliot” has almost a pop like feel to it but there are some heavier moments. This track is one that sticks with you after you’ve heard it for the first time, thanks to its catchy melody. The next track is “Breaking Dawn” and I believe this is actually the English version of “Alba”. One of the biggest surprises is Dama’s inclusion of a cover of the Madonna song “Live to Tell”. I’ve never been a huge Madonna fan and this is one of the few songs of hers that I like. There is no doubt that Dama did their version in their own way, and it works, big time. Also it is cool that they went a little bit different with their choice of covers and it turns out to be one of the best covers I’ve heard recently. The beautiful and sorrowful “Rainy Roads” is next and this is one hell of a track. It is mostly a ballad, but there are symphonic elements and heavier moments. I don’t know what it is about this song but it has a sad, melancholic vibe to it. The next track “Lost” picks up the tempo and energy whilst the closer “Scarlet Thoughts in Room” features Barbara accompanied only by a piano and wistfully “Eirwen” to its conclusion. “Eirwen” is an album that will take you in many different directions, and bring out many different emotions with their songs. Maybe Dama is not the heaviest band you will ever hear, in fact I don’t find them all that heavy (in a musical sense) at all, but I couldn’t help but be impressed with the writing, pacing of the songs and most of all the vocals of Barbara Schera Vanoli, but the rest of the band is to be commended as well. With “Eirwen” Dama has released a damn fine debut.
Rating - 93/100
Disc 1 - “Immaginario”
Disc 2 - “Imaginary”
Label : Artoffact Records
Review by Tony Cannella
The German band Haggard recently had two of their CDs re-issued by Artoffact Records. Good thing too, because otherwise I would never have gotten the chance to check out this seminal band. “Eppur Si Muove” originally was released in 2004 and it was the bands third release. It is a concept album based around the life of Italian Astronomer Galileo. Of course, one thing you’ll notice is that Haggard is a huge band, maybe not in terms of success but the band/orchestra features about 20-members. The impressive thing is that frontman and band visionary Asis Nasseri really makes it all come together to create a sterling piece of art. The total playing is 50-minutes and 10-songs. The opening “All’Inizio è La Morte” is a strong orchestral/symphonic opener that features male extreme vocals along with female operatic vocals. The band utilize many different instruments that are often associated with with a symphony or orchestra and different vocal styles (male and female) are present throughout this recording as well. There are plenty of complex songs featured including “Minuetto In Fa-Minore”, “Of a Might Divine” and one of the many highlights “Herr Mannelig” which is also included as ‘shorter version’. The songs on “Eppur Si Muove” are all quite beautifully arranged and performed, but this CD is also not without it’s metal moments (a perfect example of this is “Per Aspera Ad Astra”, which is just brilliant) that help to make it a truly unique piece of art from Asis Nasseri and the gang. Kudos to Artoffact for re-issuing these great albums and hopefully getting them out to a new fan base. Haggard are a band that require attention while listening - in other words, you can’t just put these CDs on as background music (well okay, maybe you can) but it is fun to see what is coming around the next corner, musically. I would love to see how Haggard pulls all of this off live and on stage. “Eppur Si Muove” is a great album that is difficult to put into words - suffice it to say, “Eppur Si Muove” features some of the highest caliber of Symphonic Metal and so much more. A true musical journey.
Rating - 90/100