INFOS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Interview by Connie Bach
From Kiev, Infinite Tales is a unique band with a dark, fiery sound. The vocal stylings of Zolik and Kiwi contrast each other perfectly, over growling guitars and the machine gun fire of drums. The entire sound rides on a stable bass for a sound in which all elements speak to the listener. I found the sound and flavor exciting, with each song easy to ride along with.
Hello, Kiwi. Thanks for taking the time for an interview with Femme Metal.
Hey! In my turn, I would like to thank you for your interest in Infinite Tales. I really appreciate this.
As well as providing melodic vocals, you also play the cello. How did this come about? Tell me a little about how you learned both skills.
My first music lessons were coming from my family: my mom is a cellist. Later, at the age of 5, I went to the music school. Interestingly enough, I started to play the piano first. But all of my teachers were so bad that my mom decided to teach me by herself. And since that time (I was 12), cello, along with singing, became an obsession, I should say. During that time, I was singing primarily in the choir but it was really something special, exciting for me.
Infinite Tales existed before you joined them. What encouraged you to become a metal vocalist?
I like metal; I adore singing. Being a metal vocalist includes both of these preferences. So, when I met the guys from Infinite Tales, I realized that it’s my thing.
“Only the Beginning” is Infinite Tales’ debut album. What was the recording process like for you? How did the experience enhance your skills as a musician?
An experience, gained during the recording sessions, turned out to be indispensable for me. I even started to sing in a different way - and you can evaluate this difference on the next record.
“Only in the Beginning” is an album with balance and variety. How did it come together and what was the recording process like?
The recording process was something new and exciting for us. We worked really hard; we experimented a lot for those 6 months. We are very grateful to Morton (the sound producer), who’ve made the sound of the album the way it is.
Why did Infinite Tales choose to have “Running Away” appear on the Femme Metal compilation over other songs on “Only the Beginning”?
“Running Away” is a very deep and dramatic song. To me, it’s my favorite song. I like to convey emotions though it.And at the same time, this song is dynamic and heavy enough.
How does the band create its sound: music and then lyrics, or vice versa? Why?
The music comes first - and it’s all has been written by Glorf. All the lyrics and vocal arrangements for the new songs were written by Zolik (the male vocalist) and me because we know our highest and lowest notes and the main range. We’re trying to make vocal parts more complicated with every new song and it helps us to develop faster. That goes for everyone in our band.
What kind of fan feedback has “Only the Beginning” received?
We’ve received a lot of positive responses. Having seen these messages, it feels like that our work has been really appreciated and it’s really important for us. We feel like we can walk the same path we have been following for all this time and that we can make our second album even much better.
I hear Infinite Tales is working on their second release. How will this one differ from the last?
It’s going to be more technical, intense, and more powerful. We have considerably grown over the past year, so the difference between the first and our second release will be easily audible.
For a little perspective, how does it feel, up onstage with your band members around you, performing such intense music?
It’s a really great feeling! Seeing that people are enjoying the songs that you play live is an unspeakable experience. You’re just trying to put your worries aside and put more energy into the music on the stage and if you see the feedback from the audience, it becomes the highest appreciation for you. So, that’s really exciting.
Do you have any pursuits, pastimes, or hobbies besides Infinite Tales?
Now, I’m studying to receive the master’s degree in management. I devote all of my free time to music and to my friends.
Review by Vard Aman
Delia, and now Marvel – Kiev, Ukraine, seems to be holding onto some real gems currently, that’s for sure! Marvel formed in 2006, and released their debut album, “V Kazhdom iz Nas” (which at the time of writing this review I had not yet heard) in 2010. In early 2011 they released two versions of a new EP “Reduce My Pain” (in English) and “Ona” (in Russian – meaning “She”); and at the end of 2011, their new single “Naiti Sebya” (meaning “Find Yourself”). Marvel describe their music as being Alternative Rock, which is a pretty broad description but probably a good one as Marvel’s musical style going by their EP and single is a very hard one to categorize. There is a very strong Metal element in their music as well, in fact, considerably more so than many of the bands out there who do claim to be some kind of Metal (usually in the guise of Modern Metal or Nu-metal). Marvel are honest and true to themselves. They play the music they want to play. They’re Marvel. So, with that, let’s stop talking about what they play and concentrate on how well they play it instead – which is very well indeed! “Reduce My Pain” consists of 3 tracks. All 3 are very well written and arranged and very well preformed and produced (and really catchy – they’ve been dominating the in-my-head playlist for a while now, and I’m certainly not complaining). Vocalist, Olga Skripova, makes use of a perfect combination of power and control, and she uses her voice not just really well, but wisely too. Her voice is the dominant feature but compliments the music perfectly – displaying an amazing talent but never forgetting that she’s part of a band. This to me is the hallmark of a really great vocalist – which Olga most certainly is (whether you share my opinion on hallmarks or not – listen and you’ll hear). “Tantra” is the first track and has a feel to it that the song title suggests. It’s also the most uptempo song on the EP but with measured changes that lays the platform for the next 2 tracks. One criticism I do have of “Tantra” is the use of a distortion effect on some of the vocals – I don’t think the effect really adds anything to the sound other than give it a slightly industrial feel (what for?) and I think that anything that excessively masks a voice like Olga’s is really taking something away rather than adding something. Other than that one small criticism it is a really good track. The next 2 tracks, “Reduce My Pain” and “My Own Passion” are the real highlights of the EP. They are both intense and powerful songs, and superbly (and intricately) written. They are a musical journey full of rises and falls; nadirs and zeniths; calm serenity building into brutal crescendos and falling again… all within 8 minutes (12 if you count “Tantra”). There is no central lyrical concept connecting all 3 tracks, but musically it does feel as if there is – and Marvel could not have done a better job of it had this actually been their intention (or maybe it was). That said; perhaps it is a good thing then that this is just a 3 track EP. Had it been longer, might the effect of its impact have been lost? Maybe, or maybe not; but one thing for sure is that while it might be a short musical journey, it is not one that will be forgotten in a hurry. And it’s a journey that makes one want to go back to the beginning and do it all over again… and again… and again….
So what if they had added a fourth track to the EP? Well, just listen to “Naiti Sebya” straight afterwards and find out. Marvel’s musical journey continues. The single is similarly well written to the material on “Reduce My Pain” with all of the musical crests and troughs and interesting extras that seem to typify Marvel’s music. “Naiti Sebya” is slower (in parts) than the material on “Reduce My Pain”; almost a ballad (in parts). The production is a little muddier here compared to the crystal-clear production on the EP but only when compared to the EP (in other words, if you listen to “Naiti Sebya” on it’s own you won’t notice). I’ve listened to both versions of the EP (“Reduce My Pain” and “Ona”) and think that overall I prefer the English version. Olga has a firm grip on the English language and the vocals on the English version seem to flow better than on the Russian version. In this case it is to do with Olga’s lyrics and vocal delivery on the 2 different versions and on the English version she has absolutely nailed it! There is only one version of “Naiti Sebya” – in Russian. Both versions of the EP and “Naiti Sebya” are available for FREE DOWNLOAD from Marvel’s website and I very strongly recommend you head over there, download it and listen to it. (For the Cyrillicly impaired: Скачать = download. Go to the Музыка tab to find “Reduce My Pain”). You’ll be very glad you did, and there is something here for everyone. I tried all review to resist the temptation to put it this way but in the end I had to give in: Marvel are just, well, marvellous!
Rating - 95/100
“Reduce My Pain” EP
“Naiti Sebya” SINGLE
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 & Vard Aman
From the Ukraine, the band Delia was formed in 2005 and has previously released one full-length and two singles. Now, they return with their new EP “Fire”. Like with their previous full-length “Recollection” (or “Spogad”), the band has issued two different versions, one sung in English and the other in their native Ukrainian. “Fire” features a playing time of only about 13-minutes and shows a Symphonic Metal band brimming with confidence. Of course, “Fire” is the English version and from the opening strains of the title song, Delia are on fire (sorry, bad pun), but from the outset the band seems comfortable in singing in the English language. Some nice bits of melody, combined with heaviness and some strong vocals by Anastasia highlight this excellent opener. “Try” is up next and continues in pretty much the same vein as the previous song; perhaps the vocals are a little more dramatic. I really like Anastasia’s vocals throughout “Fire”. They are very strong and authoritative, and also very straight-forward vocals sung in a very metal style. She reminds me a bit of Heike from the German band BackSlash (whatever happened to them?). The final song “Limit” starts of a little different than the previous two, with some nice piano as Anastasia joins in with a sort of distorted effect on her vocals, which caught me a bit off guard, before the song settles into a more familiar Delia groove, bringing “Fire” to a close after, seemingly it had just begun. At only 13-minutes, “Fire” is a good way to introduce you to the metal world. Now, we can only hope that Delia has another full-length in them and soon.
Rating - 85/100
Delia are from Kiev in Ukraine and have been around since 2005, yet this EP was my first proper introduction to them. This EP is their second offering – the first being, and I’m not going to hold back here, the work of genius that was their debut album “Spogad”. Had I heard “Spogad” first, I would have been left wondering how on Earth a band could top anything of the quality of such a debut! Well, the answer would have been that they didn’t; but they have made something that is just as good (albeit quite a bit shorter). The atmosphere they create on their EP is slightly different to that on their debut, but still with the unmistakable elements that make Delia what they are. “Fire” (“Vogon” is the separate Ukrainian version of the EP) is made up of 3 songs: “Try” (“Sprobuy”) creates the kind of deep introspective moody, almost melancholic atmosphere that can be heard on some of the songs on their debut and is a very powerful track; while “Fire”(“Vogon”) and “Limit” (“Predel”) are generally more energetic and upbeat. Just like on “Spogad”, the professionalism, musicianship, songwriting and production are superb; but what really stands out, just like on “Spogad” are the immense vocals of Anastasia Sverkunova. She is amazingly versatile and has a huge range – as can be fully appreciated on “Fire” and on “Limit”; and she can sing with an almost wrenching emotion – as can be fully appreciated on “Try”. The cumulative result of it all is that Delia’s music, both on “Fire” / “Vogon” and on “Spogad” is something that can be (quite deeply) felt as much as it can be listened to – and that is something that puts Delia well above most other bands, including some of the biggest names in world of Female Fronted Metal, or any kind of Metal, or the music industry as a whole for that matter. It is hard to put Delia into any specific genre or sub-genre. I have seen the labels “Symphonic Metal”, “Gothic Metal”, and “Symphonic Gothic Metal” (to merge the two) being applied to Delia, and I suppose it is fair enough to say that if such labels are going to be used in general terms then that is where Delia belong, but only in so far as applying it to a broad generalization of their sound. The influences they draw from are many and it is reflected in the sound they create. I will admit that the first time I heard the opening chords of “Fire” I was reminded a bit of Lacuna Coil, but that is where the comparison ended. Oh, and should I say here that I think Delia are better than Lacuna Coil? Yes, because I really do think they are! The difference is that Lacuna Coil, and yes they are very talented, are signed to a major record label and through promotion have become a household name in the Metal world; while Delia are 4 equally talented musicians who have 9-5 jobs in Kiev (and one who drives very fast around dirt tracks sometimes… and doesn’t pick up hitchhikers…) and so they are not so well known to the world. But on merit alone, they should be and deserve to be every bit as much as any big-name act out there! Delia were a massive discovery for me! Now they are a discovery that you can make too – and there is no reason for you not to as they have made both versions of their EP available for free download from their official website. This is something that should not be missed out on! Seriously!
Rating - 98/100
Review by Tony Cannella
To be completely honest with you, once I received the debut full-length from the Ukraine’s Infinite Tales, dubbed “Only the Beginning”, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for, than I put said CD into the player and for 14-songs and one hour I sat listening with my jaw on the floor in stunned admiration for the music that was emanating from my speakers. The songs are just so unrelenting and unapologetic that it is an easy CD to love and play again and again. Infinite Tales hail from the Ukraine and they play a melodic and technical brand of thrash metal mixed with traditional metal elements, they also feature the duel male/female vocals of Kiwi (female) and Zolik (male), who present two styles that could not be any more different from one another, a trait that really propels “Only the Beginning”. The opener “Intro: Infinite Tales” starts things off and it is a symphonic opener that builds to crescendo before segueing into the frenzied track “Amoxicillan… Extermination”. A great song that kicks off the mayhem. The male vocals of Zolik are a strong force that really drives this song, his style is more of an aggressive screaming style with a harsh tone to it. In contrast to that the female vocals of Kiwi are the exact opposite, she showcases a mid to high range with operatic influences. The next track “Running Away” is next and this is one of the heavier and faster songs included in this collection, again I can’t say enough about the vocals. The songs are definitely aggressive and thrashy, yet there is a hint of classic metal influences thrown in as well. “Point of No Return” is a definite highlight with Kiwi handling most of the vocals here as the pace is slowed somewhat, but the heaviness remains, a great guitar riff is included on this track as well. Other highlights include: “No War for This Century”, “Wings”, “Dethtale”, the awesome instrumental “Bridge Going Down”, “The Night at the Cemetery” and “Waltz in the Flame”. Okay, maybe I have really gone overboard in praising this band. I realize that all musical tastes are subjective to the individual and Infinite Tales may not impress others as much as they’ve impressed me, so proceed with caution. I will say however, that it has been a long time since I have been this excited about a new thrash band. For Infinite Tales, this is indeed “Only the Beginning” (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Rating - 100/100
Label : ROK Music
Review By Tony Cannella
From the Ukraine, the Symphonic Metal band Delia was formed in 2005. Their debut album, out now on ROK Music is titled “Spogad” or “Recollection” (the English translation). Delia sings mainly in their native language and display quite a lot of musical diversity and talent throughout the course of the 60-minutes or so we are treated to on “Spogad”.The vocalist Anastasia has a simply huge voice and the songs have a majestic quality to them, thanks to the combination of the vocals and musicianship that is on display. The 15-songs presented here have a rich texture to them, with the band utilizing choirs and symphony elements to contribute to the massive sound on the CD. There are many highlights on “Spogad” but my favorites were tracks 6 and 7. The 7th track (“Знайди мене”) in particular is a huge favorite, with Anastasia really delivering just a great vocal performance on this ballad. Throughout “Spogad”, Delia creates a definite mournful atmosphere and vibe that comes shining through loud and clear. “Spogad” is a potent debut from this excellent new voice in the Symphonic Metal genre.
Rating – 85/100