INFOS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Label : Massacre Records
Review by Danny Robertson
VOD’s press release for “Power Dive” describes them as having a sound somewhere between gothic and symphonic metal, and it’s not wrong; at times sounding like a heavier Nightwish, or during their more restrained moments sounding reminiscent of Within Temptation, but without sounding like a cheap copy of any act within those genres. Their combination of sounds gels together well without sounding forced - the keyboards don’t overpower the rest of the instruments, whilst the guitarwork is especially impressive, epic without being pompous or gratuitous, and Maike’s vocals work well with the instruments rather than relegating them to the background, thus avoiding the pitfalls others within the genre occasionally find themselves in. Tracks such as the title song and “Dedication” show off their more operatic side, whilst standout track “Kami” is a nice demonstration of the band’s range in a single song, with some heavy riffing throughout. Voices of Destiny have delivered a strong second album here, one that should see them win new fans in further territories. If you’re fan of big, bold, unashamedly epic metal, then try this album out!
Rating - 80/100
Photo by Roberta Ilaria Rossi
Gig Review by Marcy Bell
It’s clear: Epica and Italy are entwined. The concert at the Alcatraz in Milan on the 27th October was a huge success for Simone Simons and her fellows. Stage B was almost full, there were more fans and friends than in the previous tour. As in 2008 Epica were supported by the Finnish Amberian Dawn and in this new tour also by the brand-new German band: Sons of Seasons lead by Oliver Palotai. The Dutch band presented live some songs of the new album “Design Your Universe” but most of the show was made with hits from the past such as “Black Infinity”, “Cry for the Moon”, “The Phantom Agony” and “Consign to Oblivion”. The gig started with the new “Resign To Surrender” and then it went into the old mood with “Sensorium”, hands up with Simone and the whole band with the beginning of “Quietus” and then the Oriental style of “Fools of Damnation”. It was time for “Design Your Universe” and the first single “Unleashed”, the beat of Ariën on drums started very loud running through “Martyrs of the Free World”. Epica’s classic “Obsessive Devotion” led the central part of the show, as it’s always a pleasure listen live this song with Mark on growl and Simone running back and forth the stage in a seven minutes Epica-old-style-vibes. “Tides of Time” showed all the deep and sweet part of Epica with Simone solo in all her vocal talent and Coen on piano: a moment that gave you shivers on your spine. The band went again on stage with the last three songs: “Black Infinity”, “Mother of Light” and the techno-version of “Phantom Agony”. The latter was an enjoyable surprise for the crowd that started dancing with color lights as in a dance floor. Good point for Epica indeed. The encore was with “Cry for the Moon”, “Sancta Terra” and the final “Consign to Oblivion”. The show was good, the crowd really enjoyed it and finally we can say that Epica are improving themselves live in every tour.
Interview by Eetu “Ene” Niskanen
We have reached by email Dawn of Destiny’s singer, Tanja Maul, for talking about the new album “Human Fragility” out now and more… Enjoy it!
Hello Tanja and thanks for accepting our interview.
You are very welcome.
So, you released your third album “Human Fragility” on September 21st, how much work did it take to get it out to the stores?
Most of the work is done by our songwriter Jens, who has the talent to write extraordinary songs within a very short time. The whole band decides which songs will be on the album and after the decision we practise and enter the studio. This time it took about three weeks recording and about one week mix and master. We all like the work in studio because it is an intense examination with our music that we all enjoy.
How much have you grown as musicians since your debut?
I think that “Human Fragility” contains my best performance so far. We all learn from studio and live experiences and try to improve ourselves.
On May you found a new drummer, Patrick Klose replacing your old dummer Ansgar Ludwig, how has he settled to the band?
We all are sad that Ansgar left the band but we found a very talented young drummer to join our DOD family. He fits perfectly and brings some creative ideas to the band. Although we had not much time to practice before the first shows with him he managed it very well.
Could you tell us something about your other bandmates?
Oh, where should I start? I make music with Jens for about eight years now and it is quite amazing considering our first attempts what we reached untill today. We started with a little PC, no real bandmembers, bad sound, only few ideas and a different taste of music. A few years ago Dirk joined the band and Veith completed Dawn of Destiny. Together we lived through some hard and some good times. When I speak of DOD as my second family it is more than serious. They even know me better than my parents.
Have you had any vocal training?
Yes, for about half a year I had a vocal coach. Afterwards I joined an acapella band for nearly two years that improved my auditory and my technique.
What kind of music do you listen yourself and how often?
I love melodic metal. Of course I sometimes listen to the big idols maybe to copy some little things. I do not listen to other kinds of music and I need to listen to it every day. It seems like the air to breathe for me.
Who are your biggest influences? I try to perform my own style but influences for me are Stratovarius, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Nightwish, Evergrey, Kamelot or Within Temptation, just to mention some. No, I can only concentrate on one band and that is Dawn Of Destiny. From your new album, what is your personal favourite song? “Unchained Someday” and “Silent Suffering”. Do you think “Human Fragility” is your best release so far? Yes, defintively! Songs on “Human Fragility” are compact, complex but always possible to follow. Although the tunes are very catchy the songs do not become boring. Apart from this “Human Fragility” has the best sound so far. Every band likes to improve themselves on every album and I think we managed it. *smile* I guess I couldn’t do that to Veith :) No, there is nothing that we miss on stage. Maybe a second guitar would make it even worse than better. There is nothing planned concerning this. We have no classic vocals, not so much keyboards, it is more Metal! So, to whom can we be really compared? We offer power, catchy tunes, songs to think about and songs to party. We like to present diversified songs which offer always something new to the listener. I believe that everyone who likes melodic metal in any way might find him/herself in Dawn of Destiny. Links
I try to perform my own style but influences for me are Stratovarius, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Nightwish, Evergrey, Kamelot or Within Temptation, just to mention some.Do you have any musical projects out of DOD?
No, I can only concentrate on one band and that is Dawn Of Destiny.
From your new album, what is your personal favourite song?
“Unchained Someday” and “Silent Suffering”.
Do you think “Human Fragility” is your best release so far?
Yes, defintively! Songs on “Human Fragility” are compact, complex but always possible to follow. Although the tunes are very catchy the songs do not become boring. Apart from this “Human Fragility” has the best sound so far. Every band likes to improve themselves on every album and I think we managed it.As a band, have you ever thought of getting second guitarist?
*smile* I guess I couldn’t do that to Veith :) No, there is nothing that we miss on stage. Maybe a second guitar would make it even worse than better. There is nothing planned concerning this.The last question, there are tons of female fronted bands out there, how does DOD keep unique?
We have no classic vocals, not so much keyboards, it is more Metal! So, to whom can we be really compared? We offer power, catchy tunes, songs to think about and songs to party. We like to present diversified songs which offer always something new to the listener. I believe that everyone who likes melodic metal in any way might find him/herself in Dawn of Destiny.
Review by Vard Aman
“Ash” (Witchcraft’s 2011 album) was a Progressive Metal masterpiece for me, not just because it was a damn fine Prog Metal concept album but because it incorporated so many other elements into it – it was so much more than standard Prog Metal fare. It was also much darker; and for someone (e.g. me) whose tastes lean rather favourably towards music’s darker side, that was another big plus. Now Witchcraft have a new EP out, “Parallel Worlds”, and with it the band presents an even more experimental package than before, moving into the territory of Dark Experimental Metal rather than Dark Progressive Metal. There are some new sounds; new styles; new effects; some scratching; a guest rapper; and vocalist, Ludmila Angel, tries out a few new and different vocal styles (in addition to her normal hauntingly beautiful melodic vocal style) – most notably an angry semi-sung shout that for some reason made me think “Riot Grrrl” at first, but then I went and listened to a selection of various Riot Grrrl vocal styles on the internet and it sounded nothing like them at all, so I still don’t know what to compare it to. OK, I’ll give it my own name then: I’ll call it Riot Angggl style (as a tribute to the vocalist who has now, as far as I’m concerned, made it her own). Anyway, to call this EP an “interesting and a fascinating listening experience” would be quite an understatement. Yet for all the experimentation it is still unmistakably Witchcraft, so it is a well controlled experiment. In Witchcraft, nothing happens by chance. “Parallel Worlds” consists of 4 songs. Each of the 4 comes with its own artwork and the front cover of the EP is made up of a collage of the 4 together. All the songs are in Russian, thus moving away from the predominantly English trend of their previous releases. First up is “Ваше (7-й Ангел)”. It starts off with some fast and heavy riffing before going into the verses, where Ludmila uses a combination of vocal styles that I can best describe as quirky, mixed with her normal vocal style and with a bit of Riot Angggl thrown in. The chorus is simply amazing! Good luck getting that melody out of your head once it’s stuck there – not that you’d ever want to, trust me on that!
Next is “Шаг Назад” which features Latvian Rapper DragN as a guest vocalist in the verses. He uses a style of Rap known as fast flow, which is a generally more melodic rapping style, but is most often distinguished by the speed of the rapping; often it is an attempt to see how many syllables can be fitted into as short a time as possible without losing clarity and DragN is pretty fast. I don’t really like Rap of any kind, but I have to admit that this is very well done indeed, and Witchcraft have made it work for them. Most of all, the rapped verses provide a sharp contrast to another beautiful and melodic chorus sung by Ludmila. “Дыши со Мной” is the third song, which after a very promising start, turned out to be the weakest of the four songs on the EP for me. The verses are not as contrasting and the chorus is not quite as melodic and catchy as the previous two, but the second half of the song finished off the promising start. It’s still a good song, just not quite as good as the others on the EP. (Having said that, guess which song’s chorus I currently have stuck in my head…).The last song is “Зверь”, perhaps the least “experimental” song on the EP, closer to some of the material from “Ash”. It has a driving rhythm throughout, the verses are sung as duets (with Roman Arsafes of Nevid’?) and the chorus consists of more of Ludmila’s amazing melodies. And with that ends a short, but excellent and captivating EP. Having conquered the world of Dark Progressive Metal, Witchcraft have made it known that they are now moving on to new worlds, and onto to worlds that they are creating themselves where they did not exist before. This EP presents the first taste of some of these new (parallel) worlds, and after listening to it one can’t help but wonder where they will be going or what they will be creating next. I for one am certainly looking forward to finding out. This is, after all, Witchcraft!
Rating - 87/100
Label : Darknagar Records
Review by Vard Aman
NeverDie formed in 2005 in Oktyabrsky, Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia. You’d better look that up on Wikipedia – Oktyabrsky that is, you should already know where Russia is by now: it’s the place that Sarah Palin can see from her house. Or perhaps I should rather say “allegedly see” – we are talking about Sarah Palin here. It is possible that she has simply named her vegetable garden “Russia” – and that might be another reason she’s so determined to shoot all the wolves in the area: perhaps “they might not have lost the vegetarian instincts that they picked up on Noah’s Ark yet”. Anyway, I digress; on with the review. “The Source of Black Water” is NeverDie’s second full length album (the first being “Forgotten World” in 2008). There are things that I like about this album, things that I don’t and things that I think are OK. I’ve actually made one of those brainstorming mind map things that I used to make in high school, complete with a drawing of mind mapping superhero, Captain Brainstorm: with a flowing cape; a tight-fitting top with the letters “BS” written on it; and an enormous har… *ahem*… REVIEW!!! Let’s start off with the “OK” category: after an impressive intro and an equally impressive opening of the first song, we get our first taste of the vocalist, Regina. Regina uses two different vocal styles: an operatic style (more on that later) and growls. She is a good growler, but not great; she certainly does not have the growling capacity of singers like Angela Gossow, Elvira Alchemida or Masha Scream. When you hear Angela for the first time, you take another look at the CD booklet: maybe it was a misprint, maybe it was meant to be “Angelo”. When you hear Elvira for the first time you start backing away from the speakers expecting a demon to emerge from their depths to rip your heart out with steel-like claws. When you hear Masha for the first time you suddenly realize that the shield you brought to this particular battle isn’t going to be nearly strong enough. But when you hear Regina for the first time, all you think is “Ahh, she’s growling. Cool!”. She is no Cadaveria either.
OK, she’s a young Cadaveria – I do get the impression that growling is a fairly recently acquired talent for Regina and that she will get much better at it. Still, her growling is decent; and is most certainly the more listenable of her two vocal styles on this album. The production is quite good, although the distorted guitars are a little muddy in places. They sound as if they’ve been downtuned quite a lot which is not an uncommon practice by bands playing this kind of music. Now for “what I don’t like”: What kills NeverDie for me (pun intended) are Regina’s operatic vocals on this album. She is certainly not a bad operatic singer technically and she hits all the notes perfectly, but it is the way that she uses her voice that is the problem. There is no feeling or emotion in her voice at all, she just sings. The vocal melodies are all over the place, in some places it even sounds as if she is just singing random notes over a particular part of the song. The result is that her operatic vocals do not compliment the music at all, but instead clashes and fights with it. There seems to be such a conscious effort, even desperation to write vocal melodies that are different to the rest of the music (or maybe just to show off) that considerations as to what would best suit the music are an afterthought at best. “Because I can” beats “because I should”; and the result is that both the music and the vocals suffer. NeverDie suffers. Occasionally she does come good: for example in certain parts between 2:00 and 2:30 in “Red Marble”, then it sounds great; but it doesn’t last, Regina soon returns to her wailing battle with the music again. Sorry, but no! And finally “what I do like”: Instrumentally, the band is great. They conjure up some powerful riffs, driving rhythms and intricate melodies; and when they slow it down they sound adequately doomy. The songwriting is good and well thought out, although it does lack a bit of variation from song to song despite the tempo changes. NeverDie has their sound, and although it is molded around a tried-and-tested formula, it is still something that they can honestly enough call their own. In conclusion: I’ve seen NeverDie described as “Gothic Doom Metal”, and “Extreme Gothic Metal”, but on “The Source of Black Water” they are neither. I would describe them as Melodic Death elements of Thrash and Doom Metal. I fail to find any Gothic influences anywhere. I cannot really pick any highlights off the album, I’d have to choose the songs where the operatic vocals annoy me the least or the instrumentation is good enough to make up for it: if pressed, I’d choose “Water Shine” as my favourite. After listening to “The Source of Black Water” I was interested to hear some material off their previous album “Forgotten World”, and discovered 4 tracks off that album available for download from their official website.
There are no growls on these 4 tracks, the sound is clearer (although the drum sound is not as good) and they are more Doom orientated. The vocals are better; some of the problems are still present (or “starting to develop” I should rather say) but much less so, and I found all 4 of these songs better than anything from “The Source of Black Water”. I do not know what the rest of “Forgotten World” sounds like, but based on the strength of the 4 songs available from their website, NeverDie seem to have taken a step backwards. If Regina can rein herself in and cut out her needless vocal antics and if she can vary her vocal styles so that they better suit the music she is singing over, and if she can learn to sing with a bit of feeling and emotion, NeverDie would be much better (and “The Source of Black Water” would have been a much better album). Her growls are fine; they just need a little more time to develop into something that could be described as awesome… like a hungry leopard that does not approve of the fence between itself and that delicious McDonalds burger you keep bouncing on the ground in front of it. So that’s that; the thingymajigs on my mind map are now all crossed out; and all that remains is the drawing of mind mapping superhero, Captain Brainstorm: with his flowing cape; his tight-fitting top; and his enormous hard hat.
Rating - 65/100
Label : Out of Line Music
Review by Vard Aman
From 2004-2008, Dark Princess was a band that had perfected rather than pioneered the art of producing fairly mainstream Gothic Metal/Rock in a way that few of their counterparts had managed, including many of their more illustrious ones. They produced 3 full length albums and a compilation, which included some of the best songs the subgenre has ever had to offer; songs such as “Cry”, “My Fragile Winter Dream” and “Close to the Sky”; songs that I still listen to on a regular basis. So when I read that Dark Princess were about to release a new album I almost fell off my chair (in a good way). This is their first full length album since 2007, so the expectation was high. The brilliance of their lone single “We Can Not Fly So High” in 2009 elevated that expectation even further. Now that the wait is over and I have my promo copy of the “The World I’ve Lost” right here, it’s time to find out if the album lives up to those high expectations. I’ll need to give it a few more listens, and on more than one system and over a few days – as I usually do; once/one is never enough I find (old engineer/producer habits die hard). In the meantime, let me introduce you to someone by the name of Natalia Terekhova: Olga Romanova, who had become synonymous with Dark Princess, left the band in early 2008 due to personal reasons. She was replaced later that year by Natalia. A vocalist of the quality of Olga Romanova is hard to replace, so no doubt there must have been questions in the minds of fans along the lines of “Is she a worthy replacement and is she as good?”. Natalia answered all of those questions with a resounding “Yes!”. The single in 2009 was as good as anything Dark Princess had produced previously,and Natalia suited the role perfectly (and for those of you who are wondering if I have eyes in my head, yes, she is every bit as nice to look at as well – she is Russian after all…) Natalia Terekhova was already a name on the music scene, participating in several national and international singing competitions, TV shows and musicals (she’s a member of The Moscow Four).
She participated in the Russian qualifying finals for Eurovision in 2008 (Dima Bilan won – which he only did because he got rid of his mullet… well, OK, at least I like to imagine that was the reason) and again in 2010, this time with Dark Princess although she performed one of her own songs, called “Everything” (I forget who won that year, but I dare say it was probably someone not nearly as good). She also has a solo album out, called “The First Step”. She is a versatile and multitalented vocal powerhouse. And, above all, she is the new Dark Princess of Dark Princess! OK, on to “The World I’ve Lost”. The album starts off with “Fight With Myself”, which is an awesome track full of powerful guitar riffs, certainly one of the highlights off the album. Next comes the single “We Can Not Fly So High” and… things suddenly start to go a little wrong. The 2009 version of this song was better. My main reason for saying that arrives halfway through the song and is a problem that haunts the album in a few other places as well, particularly in the following 2 tracks; and that problem is the various synth sounds and electronic percussion. Half way though “We Can Not Fly So High” a synth that is often used in various kinds of Dance music comes in (there are several different kinds and variants of these synths out there so I can’t name the exact one used here). It sits just below the mix, not loud enough to be an integral part of the song but just loud enough to be a distraction and therefore really annoying. The next song, “Fields of Youth” has some percussion SFX that sounds like some sort of sucking sound; and the next, “The Key” has electronic percussion throughout. Why? They add nothing to the sound but instead provide a distraction from the excellent guitars and vocals that make these songs what they are, which therefore ends up taking something away.
What was the producer/band thinking? These songs would have been so much better without the synths and percussion SFX. I’ll finish off my list of beefs with the vocal effect on the sustained note at the end of the first chorus of “Fields of Youth” (again why?) and the male vocals later in the same song. Otherwise, both “Fields of Youth” and “The Key” are good songs with some beautiful and very catchy vocal melodies. Natalia saves the day! Things start improving (i.e. the distractions become less) from the next track onwards. “Everlasting Pain” is a good solid Rock/Metal song followed by “Paradise Land”, which is beautiful melodic ballad with folk influences and is another of the highlights off the album. Then comes “Point of No Return”, which is some more melodic Metal/Rock; and then a rock ballad called “The Temple of Darkness”. “The Temple of Darkness” comes with an interesting change at the end where Dark Princess start playing something in the vein of Doom Metal (and they’re as good at that as they are at everything else). “The Last Page” is more of a Gothic song, and is another of the highlights off the album. The synths and percussion SFX still turn up occasionally on the second half of the album, but in the second half they are used more appropriately and more sparingly so that they aren’t such an annoyance (it would still be better without them though). In the final song (on my promo version), “The Way of Passion”, the Rave synth is used again, but this time it is used in a way that really works and really adds something to the song. It is a poppy Rock/Metal song with a catchy, almost ABBA-esque chorus.
The track list that came with the press release lists another song afterwards, entitled “Caruso”, but it is not on my promo copy. “The World I’ve Lost” is Dark Princess’s most mainstream release to date. To people who follow the ideals of Manowar style metal-elitism or “Tr00 Kvlt”, don’t bother; to everyone else, if you like solid Gothic Metal/Rock, then this is a must have – it is full of great riffs, well written songs, very catchy melodies and, most of all, excellent vocals. So, to close off: - “Is Natalia as good as Olga?”- Yes, most definitely! - “Is it a good album?” - Yes, very! (Aside from the unnecessary SFX). - “Will fans of Dark Princess and of the subgenre in general like this?”- Yes, without a doubt! - “Is it accessible to fans of other types of Metal and/or to people who don’t like Metal?” - Yes, absolutely! - “Does it live up to the expectations?” Yes, to a point. - “Is it as good as old Dark Princess?”Hmm… - “…so close to the sky, the spirit of my sorrow…” - No, I personally don’t think so. But whether you agree with me on that opinion or not, one thing is for sure: Dark Princess is one of the best bands this subgenre has to offer. They have come far, and they’re going farther. Don’t miss out on this if you’re a fan of Gothic Metal. Actually, don’t miss out on this if you’re a fan of any kind of good solid Rock music. Actually, just don’t miss out on this, full stop.
Rating - 85/100
Interview by Danny Robertson
We caught up with Dani Nolden, singer for Brazilian heavy power metallers Shadowside, to get a glimpse into the band’s history and talk about the new album “Dare to Dream”.
How did it all get started - who initially formed the group?
We pretty much got started as a garage band that wanted to have fun and register permanently some ideas we had. We were good friends that had never played a real gig, had never recorded a CD, we were very inexperienced, very naive and didn’t have much in mind regarding what we would do with the demo in hands. We would always joke to each other about being rockstars someday *laughs*. But we didn’t really know much about the music industry or what we really wanted to achieve. However, after we released that demo EP, we got so much attention from the press and from people that we saw ourselves in the magazines as a very promising band and our 6th show as a real band was supporting Nightwish in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in front of 7000 people that went just crazy. It was a bit too much for some of our members since we were teenagers… kids, if you wanna put it that way. Some thought making music seriously and professionaly was too much of a responsability and decided to quit. Another one got a bit carried away with all that and thought he was already a rockstar *laughs*. So I’m the only one left from that original lineup. I managed to keep myself together because I surrounded myself with friends and family who would help me keep my feet on the ground. We were just starting out - as we still are, so there’s a lot of work ahead before we can say “we did it!”. I found Fabio shortly after we started so I consider him as being with the band since its birth. Since then we’ve toured with Helloween, co-headlined concerts with bands like Kittie, Divine Heresy, Metalium, so it’s been an awesome ride so far.
Who/what were the group’s main influences back then? Are they all still a source for inspiration?
We never had one or more set influences, we had the bands we listened to more but they haven’t changed much since then. We are all into more or less the same thing - everything *laughs*. We all love from 80’s pop like Duran Duran to Slayer. Some of our favorite bands are Deep Purple, Judas Priest… but at the same time we all dig different stuff. Fabio’s favorite bands are Tears for Fears and Slayer, mine are Disturbed, Rammstein and Skid Row, just to name a few. Raphael is really into Pantera and Scorpions. We all like all of those bands but we don’t have the same favorite bands and definitely not the same influences. I think what influences us is everything we listen to combined with our own personalities. We just try to make sure we do not sound like other artists so we don’t think of anything in specific that we want to sound like.
What was your local scene like back then? Did it take long for you to get noticed?
No, not at all, we didn’t expect anything that happened to us back then. Let’s put it this way, the scene back then in my hometown was boiling water. We had a large number of great musicians and bands so we thought it’d be harder to get noticed but we packed a 500 seat venue on the first show we played in Santos, that’s how fast things happened for us. That kinda set fire on the scene and even more bands started activities. There’s still a lot of talent alive here. The old venues were all shut down though. We still have places to play because we don’t have to play only Rock venues anymore back home, but young bands that haven’t proven they can draw a crowd don’t get to play at a decent place and rarely get attention. We always try to pick at least one band from Santos to support us whenever we are in town.
How would you say that the new album compares to your older material? Has much changed?
We want to give a new direction to our sound, I mean, we want to keep focusing on our style, but, this time, we also want to make it more experimental. Heavy guitars with modern synths and an alternative, powerful bass. Some has definitely changed as it’s only natural to evolve and modify some things with time but the essence is exactly the same. Energy, intensity, anger, passion - it’s all there. The heavy guitars are there as well as the catchy melodies. We just decided we didn’t want to sound like other bands and go 100% for our own identity. Nowadays we are a more mature band, we aren’t afraid to try and rely on our own personalities anymore, that’s why we’ll dare even more on the next record! We found our thing, we’re a raw Metal band, Hard Rock influenced, that plays music to make you bang your head and go crazy. We don’t really want you to come out of one of our concerts thinking “wow they are great musicians”. We just want you to escape your reality for those 2 hours, scream your problems out and just have fun.
How long did it take to write and record the new album, “Dare to Dream”?
Not long at all, we recorded the whole album in exact 23 days. Maybe a month more writing it. There wasn’t much time to really think hard of what we were doing because all our plans changed pretty much on the last minute. We had plans to write and record in like 6 months, no rush but right as we started the songwriting process, “Theatre of Shadows” was released worldwide. We had no plans for that record anymore as it had been out in Brazil for a while already. So we had to prepare for the first U.S. tour at the same time as we were working on the new album. In the end that was the best thing that could have happened to us because it kept us from overthinking arrangements and changing stuff that didn’t have to be changed and also kept the live feel that we wanted. We just trusted our guts and went along with it.
Are there any main themes or concepts which run through the new album?
There’s no real concept, lyrics are simply based on real life situations that happened either to me or to people close to me. ‘“In the Night” is about a secret relationship when one of the parts isn’t interested in keeping the secret anymore. I took the humorous approach and told the story of a woman, probably in PMS, going absolutely nuts and threatening to tell all *laughs*. Lots of people have seen themselves in that situation or know of someone, sometimes it’s an office relationship that’s not allowed, or dating someone much older or much younger or simply dating someone already committed that’s promising you things. “Baby in the Dark” is about a friend of mine who was desperately trying to fit in. He wanted to be loved by everyone so he would mold his personality according to the group he was currently in. He ended up not knowing who he was anymore and for a while I had lost one of my best friends. Nowadays he’s back to his old self but lots of people just become generic and boring. I don’t mean generic regarding looks, anyone can look and act “normal”, you don’t have to be eccentric to be special, you can if you want to, but you don’t have to. But you always should stick to what you are. “Dare to Dream” is that song to push you, to make you believe you can actually achieve stuff if you try. You might not reach every single thing you wanted but you’ll never achieve anything if you don’t try. And the end result will surely be better than what you had before you started out. Whether the dreams are of a job change, a trip or being a Rock musician, anything is possible.
You recently shot a video for the track “Hideaway” - how did that go? Where and when can we expect to see the video?
That was a lot of fun, we are still to record the second part of the video in the next few days, that will “test” me as an actress, you’ll be able to tell me how I did very soon *laughs*. It will be very intense and dramatic. First part was the band playing and we were asked to make it angry and very energetic. We recorded at an old warehouse and the place was huge, we thought the whole area was abandoned but it turned out there was this building right behind the warehouse. Fabio’s drums were really loud and people got so mad because of the noise that they called the police on us. We are very proud to have annoyed our neighbors *laughs*. The video should see daylight in early February. I can’t wait to see it finished!
What would you say have been your biggest achievements, or favourite moments as a band thus far?
All the 5 U.S. tours, the 2 Spanish tours, all the big concerts we’ve played as well. Being on the road is always fun and whenever we are all together, I always have a great time. We were recently one of the top 5 best selling Metal bands in Brazil, along with Iron Maiden and Heaven and Hell so that was a huge achievement for me. We also were picked as the best band in Brazil in 2009 by Roadie Crew magazine, which is currently the most important one here.
What are your future goals?
To keep making music, keep touring and take it as far as possible. We’re not nearly done yet! *laughs*
Who are your favourite current acts?
I’d say Disturbed and Rammstein… they’re not exactly new bands but are some of the non-80’s bands that I’m really into.
What’s next for the band? Where can we expect to see you next?
Hopefully you’ll see us touring the U.S. and Europe at some point this year, not only in places we’ve played before but also some new ones as well. We’re also going to play Brazil and who knows where else! After that, we’ll go back to the studio to work on new material. We won’t stop in 2010, whether we are on a stage or in the studio, we’ll be extremely active.
Any last messages for people?
I hope you all started 2010 well and that you go for your dreams, believe in them and try to make them real. Hope you like “Dare to Dream”, it’s a very honest and straight to the point album. If you don’t, just listen to it louder and you will automatically start to bang your head *laughs*. I’ll see you all on the road at some point… when I do, show me your horns! Cheers!
Label : Relapse Records
Review by Luisa Mercier
This record is not the usual Relapse record, it is an album that is quite far away from the styles which are usually proposed by this label: the debut by Royal Thunder is neither death metal nor sludge, but it is a mix of southern rock and doom with the vocals of Mlny Parsonz on top. The band deliver us a full-lenght that unites hard-rock, psychedelia, Southern rock and progressive. The powerful voice of Mlny is accompanied by dreamy atmospheres created by the guitar riffs, courtesy of guitarist Josh Weaver and drummer Jesse Stuber (who recorded the album). Doubtlesse, this is a record that catches the listener attention and the will to listen to it again after the last track is stronger than ever. What are the main highlights of “CVI”? It is hard to say since every track is really worthy on its own, but I will try to point out some that have impressed me the most: the opener “Parsonz Curse”, “Whispering World”, “Sleeping Witch” and the closing track “Black Water Vision”. This album is a true cult for all the people who love the styles I listed above, but it can be suitable also for newbies since I find it not too difficult to listen to, and this is a good quality given the genres here involved.
Rating - 75/100