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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Label : Underground Symphony
Review by Tony Cannella
The veteran Italian Melodic power metal band Skylark returns with their ninth album. It is hard to believe that this band has been around this long, but since their inception Skylark has maintained a certain level of consistency that their fan base has come to love. Skylark also returns with a new singer. She is an American named Ashley Watson and she makes her debut on their new album “Twilights of Sand”. Skylark is primarily known for their conceptual “Divine Gates Trilogy”, and “Twilights of Sand” has some of the same traits that “Divine Gates” had. The new lead vocalist Ashley Watson fits in quite well with the rest of the band. She’s got a likeable voice and she would not sound out of place singing in a pop band, but she also handles the heavier material quite well. In addition to Ashley, there are also a number of male vocalists who takes part as well as some other female vocalists – it really would have been helpful to have a bio sheet, because it is hard to decipher who sings what but I am pretty sure Ashley Watson handles the bulk of the female vocals. The intro track “The Tears of Jupiter” kicks things off and leads us into “The Princess and Belzebú”. This is an ok song, but I am not sure if I like the male vocals here. The female vocals are good but the male seems a bit out of place. Other than that it is a pretty up-tempo song. “She” is next and has a pounding classic power metal vibe. The next track “Love Song” is really not a love song (in fact the chorus says “This is not a love song”) and it has a really fast tempo to it and is one of my favorites. There is some other pretty cool material on here like “Tears”, “Lions Are the World” and “The Wings of the Typhoon”. Another one of my favorites instantly became “Aitakatta” I have no idea what the title means, but it is such a departure from the rest of the album. It has a fast up-tempo, bouncy and happy vibe to it. The epic 10-minute track “Little Girl” concludes this album which clocks in at almost 80-minutes. “Little Girl” features the best of the male vocals on this album in my opinion and has a classic rock feel to it. The limited edition comes with a bonus CD featuring alternative, unreleased and different takes on some of the material. Skylark has already become a hit in Japan. Let’s hope that the rest of the world will give this band a chance too.
Rating - 78/100
Disc 2 (Limited Edition)
Interview by Lindz Riot
So many forms for femme metal exist, the most common being in symphonic or heavy metal. But what about straight up metal that just rocks? I’ve been searching high and low and when out at a local show recently I found Canadian rockers Embracing Soul. Fronted by singer Chelsea Pisano and guitarist Brandon Iajecznyk, though this band may be young, they bring the energy and the old school spirit of a metal/rock infusion. Also, it’s just fun and a guilty pleasure to dip back into music that heals and fuels teen angst. Of which, this band brings forth that feeling well and honestly, especially in their recent EP “Shadow”. I (Lindz Riot) was able to catch up with this local act to ask them what Embracing Soul is all about and how it works for them at such an early stage in their musical lives.
Hey guys! I want to thank you both for joining us here at Femme Metal for this interview. First off please tell me about how Embracing Soul came to be?
Thanks for this opportunity! Well, Brandon and I met in 2007 at our high school. Brandon was already in a band playing metal that sounded kind of like Trivium and As I Lay Dying. They broke up at the end of 2008, he joined another band, and we decided to create a side project. We created it because we had all these ideas of what we wanted new metal to sound like. Also because Brandon’s current band was very progressive and he had ideas that didn’t fit into that genre. A bit after we started writing and recording, we recruited a bassist and our guitarist Tom. Brandon was our drummer. Now, we still fight with member changes, and I’ve taken on the role of bassist, but we’ve found steady ground.
Sounds like quite the switch up, but glad to hear its working for you guys now. How would you describe Embracing Souls sound?
We’ve been trying to figure that out! hahaha. So many people tell us different things like our riffs sound like Pantera or Death, our vocals sound like a collaboration between Evanescence and Opeth, and our music sounds like a mix of death metal and melodic metal.
Brandon: It ends up just being a thing that we make, and it sounds cool and we like it.
Chelsea: I just go with ‘gothic, rock/metal’ and hope that works.
You’ve released your first LP “Shadow”, how has the response been?
We always sell more at each show, so it’s going well! It was finished January 2010 so we look at it now and knowing so much more about recording, we’re not as pleased, but we still love all the songs just as much.
So this release was a self-produced effort?
Yes. We produced it, we got the copies made up, and we distribute it at shows. Slow paced, but we have big plans for our next one.
Well congrats! That takes a ton of time and effort. And how have people responded to your live show?
We’ve noticed we get a really good response from the crowd at our shows. We don’t bring a room full of people, but normally once we start playing, the room fills out and the crowd thickens. People have a good time and they tell us afterwards, so we’re happy about it.
From your experience so far how do you feel about the Toronto hard rock and heavy metal scene?
Brandon: It’s terrible.
Chelsea: There’s a lot of good talent in Toronto, our only problem is that we play shows with the wrong group of metal heads. We’ve ended up playing a lot of death core shows and that’s not who we are at all, but that’s the main genre out in Toronto now. The people out here don’t seem to like it live as much if they can’t mosh the entire time or if a whole song isn’t only growling
It is quite a mash up, at least we have good bands tour through, but you are definitely right about local show grouping. With the strong underground Femme Metal movement, do you feel things would be different for Embracing Soul if you were relocated in Europe?
I think we would get a lot more recognition. Even looking at our list of Facebook fans, the more dedicated fans are from European countries. The arts scene and appreciation for women and music, no matter the genre, is also a lot greater there. I think it would be fun to tour there lol
Amen to that! So briefly tell us about your musical training and backgrounds?
Brandon: HA! None. I taught myself guitar and basically everything I know about song writing. I just screw around until it sounds good.
Chelsea: I’ve never taken vocal lessons and I learned all I know about guitar and writing musical compositions from Brandon and I learned bass on my own. Neither of us have taken lessons for anything, nor even have taken music in school. Well, I don’t think the year of Clarinet helped Brandon in high school…
Brandon: No… not at all lol
That certainly is impressive guys. K next question: Top 10 most influential bands for both of you! GO!
Evanescence, Opeth, Korn, Godsmack, Disturbed, Tool, Slayer, In Flames, Trivium, Epica.
Wicked. If you could play with any three bands, who would they be?
Korn, Evanescence and Disturbed.
Outside of the band, what do you guys do in your daily life?
The band is our daily life! Well, not all the time, but when we do break, it’s for school and video games. We do spend a lot of our time just jamming, writing and recording though. It’s what we find fun and what we’re studying in school anyway.
What is it that you two study in school anyways?
Chelsea: I am studying Entertainment Management. This is basically for managing bands or artists, getting to know all the legal aspects of the industry and all the right ways to get bands higher up in the music industry.
Brandon: I study Audio Engineering. Basically I want to record bands in the studio.
You guys seriously sound like a super team of which any band would be jealous of, or well, wish to have. So with all of this being said, what does the future hold for Embracing Soul? Can we expect to hear some new music soon? Any other big plans?
We are currently taking a writing break. With all the stress involved with school, we don’t really have time to practice too much, but we’re always writing. We’ve already started on some new recordings actually. These will just be promotional copies until we get into the studio (which we plan on doing after school). Our song writing is constantly improving, so the songs we’re currently working on, we’re very excited about. So yes, there is a lot to come from Embracing Soul in the next year! We’re looking forward to it.
Label : Independent Release/Revalve Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Pursuing the End is an interesting little band from Italy. In 2011 they released their 4-song 15 ½ minute EP, “Dawn of Expiation”. Now the band returns with a new 3-song, 10 ½ minute single titled “Withering”. There is actually a lot to like about this operatic, symphonic metal band as their debut EP hinted at. “Withering” is mostly a good effort. The male vocals by Giacomo Benamati are clean metal vocals, no screaming or grunt here, they are more along the lines of the male singer from Visions of Atlantis. The angelic sounding female vocals by Caterina Bonfanti are excellent as well. Unfortunately though, in my opinion the female operatic vocals are a little too over-the-top. Others may disagree and find this right up their alley, but I think Pursuing the End would be better served if they toned down the opera elements. That is not to say that there are not parts where it could definitely work.“Overture” starts things off with its orchestral intro setting the stage for “Withering” which starts off with the ultra-operatic vocals when Giacomo takes over and the angelic female vocals come in, these definitely save the song for me. There are a hint of grunt vocals in the background but they are very low in the mix. Musically, “Withering” is a beautiful song that shows that this band is capable of so much more. “A Glimpse of Forbidden” closes out the trio of songs and once again has a lot going for it musically. Thankfully the band relies mostly on the clean male vocals and the angelic female vocals and strong choir-like background vocals. The operatic vocals are utilized but not as much as in the previous song. “Withering” is definitely a step forward from “Dawn of Expiation”, but the operatic vocals are certainly going to be an acquired taste for some, but others may love them and others may be turned off by them. There is no accounting for taste, I guess. Pursuing the End is a good band, but in my opinion could be so much better.
Rating - 75/100
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
Review by Vard Aman
Founded in St. Peterburg in 2006, Guaho are certainly one of the more original bands around from both a musical and a topical perspective. The name Guaho, meaning “secret power” is taken from the works of Carlos Castaneda who wrote much on the topics of shamanism and the occult practices of the Yaqui Indians of northern Mexico. Castaneda himself became an apprentice to the Yaqui shaman Don Juan Matus. The album title is derived from one of Castaneda’s books, “Journey to Ixtlan”. A nagual, from which Guaho’s guitarist and songwriter, Erema Nagual takes his name, is a powerful Mesoamerican sorcerer skilled in the arts of shapeshifting. However, Guaho do not limit themselves to the topics of Castaneda and the philosophies, spiritualism and occult practices of Mesoamerica only, they cover similar topics from elsewhere too. So Guaho incorporates a lot of magic, mysticism and ancient teachings into their imagery and lyrics; but it does not stop there (which is fortunate for those who don’t understand Russian): their music is magical too – which is no doubt why I am unable to stop listening to it. Despite the Mesoamerican influences, do not expect something along the lines of Tenochtitlan (a Russian supergroup combining Doom Metal with Mayan and Aztec folk music). Guaho play what has been described as “Esoteric Dark Metal” or “Esoteric Gothic Metal”; the esoteric part being mostly in their imagery and lyrical topics.
But they are by no means ordinary Gothic Metal either; Guaho have a sound that is distinctly theirs – a sound they have created, mastered and perfected. Two things in particular have contributed to Guaho’s musical rise above most of the inhabitants of the vast sea of Gothic Metaldom: the exceptional songwriting skills of Erema Nagual, and the exceptional vocal skills of Daria Ivlitskaya (also known as “Mau” – an ancient Egyptian half-feline half-human goddess). The songwriting and arrangements are excellent. The songs are melodic; conjuring the appropriate desired moods, often of a melancholic nature. Meticulous attention has been paid to the details; everything is done right and in just the right amounts. Daria’s vocals are perfect for the music and she sings with immaculate control. She uses her voice wisely so that her vocal style best suits the part she is singing over, and this to me is the trademark of a really good vocalist. She also has a unique voice and stock vocal style, particularly in the way she ends many of her notes, so it is hard to mistake her for or to compare her with any other vocalist. To top it all off, she is capable of operatic vocals as well, which she uses sparingly but to great effect (e.g. in “Kadga Saditsya Solntse”).
Few vocalists have the kind of range and versatility that Daria has, and even fewer have the self-control to use it so effectively. Yep, Mau has a new worshipper! Erema Nagual does his fair share of singing too (as well as a few spoken passages) and he is also a very competent vocalist. His rich, dark Gothic vocal style is very effective, especially in the parts where he and Daria sing together (e.g. in “Sumerki”). There are 12 songs on this album, including an intro (“Bhītabhāvana”), outro (“Dharma”) and an interlude (“Lepis”). The intro is fantastic, and the interlude a bit chaotic (which it is no doubt meant to be). The songs on “Na Puti v Ixtlan” are all very good, but some are real stand outs: they are “Kadga Saditsya Solntse”, “Era Vodoleya” and “Sumerki”. “Magiya” is the song Guaho recorded a video for, and thus I presume it is the single. I don’t rate it quite as highly as the other three I mentioned, but it does incorporate more of Guaho’s versatility into one song than the others do. Guaho manage their variations (style and tempo) well throughout the album, but listening to the album from beginning to end the general tendency is that it gets gradually slower and more powerful, from the fast paced tracks near the beginning, “Guaho” and “Vostok”, to the slow paced melancholic Gothic song at the end, “Koliybelnaya”. The album as a whole is as well crafted as the individual songs on it. So, what is this band’s secret power? Well, their power is in a combination of everything, and everything done in exactly the right amounts and in the right places; and their secret is… I can’t say: that secret is locked in the talented creative minds of a shapeshifting sorcerer, a half-feline goddess, and their powerful mythical and arcane companions.
Rating - 92/100
Label : Candlelight Records
Review by Luisa Mercier
Back in 2006, when “The Butcher’s Ballroom” was released, I truly felt it was something totally new, a breath of fresh air in the female fronted scene that started to show signs of lack of inspiration. They also were really underground, it was hard to find a copy of the album, but thanks to the very effective “word of mouth” on the web, soon their fame increased. And here we are, six years later, with a world tour incoming and albums sold all over the Internet and physical shops. In the meanwhile, they released another album “Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious” which showcased their classy trademark avantgarde metal mixing Russian folk, Italian opera, metal and much more. After three years, a new record deal with Candlelight, D:S:O are again on the stage with “Pandora’s Piñata”. I have to admit that I did not expect a great surprise since, after the first album, the avantgarde scene got filled up with bands, and a lot of ideas were alreay taken. I am happy to say that Diablo Swing Orchestra changed my mind after a few listenings. “Pandora’s Piñata” is a mix of metal of various kinds and folk from all over the world blended by D:S:O unique way of doing music. The opener “Voodoo Mon Amour” is a classic DSO tune that reminds me a bit of “Ballrog Boogie”. Metal meets swing, while in the following “Guerrilla Laments”, Diablo Swing Orchestra have created a new genre: samba metal. The usual jazz influences are not missing. Ann-Louice really is shining through the record with her opera vocals mixed with an atmosphere that seems coming out straight of Rio de Janeiro Carnival. “Kevlar Sweethearts” is one of my personal favourite and has a beautiful soft string arrangement, while Ann-Louice uses her non-opera vocals. They are beautiful, elegant showing how she can handle different styles. The song is a bit less fast than the previous ones, more guitar driven but the hook never misses his goal. “How to Organize a Lynch Mob” is just a string instrumental break. One of the craziest tracks is “Black Box Messiah” with its crazy kids chorus that reminded me of Pin-Up Went Down. Male vocals make their appearance and I can hear some folk influences from distant China. A nice contrast between chunking guitar riffs and strings in the intro of “Exit Strategy of a Wrecking Ball”, finding its way through electronics, trumpets and drums. The way male vocals have been handled in the end, recalled me some of the more symphonic Muse stuff. A musical feeling is what you get from “Aurora”, a track to let Ann-Louice show all her skills. It is a completely orchestral aria that would not make a poor impression on a Broadway stage. Middle-Eastern feelings is what you get from the beginning of “Mass Rapture”, and all over it is a very symphonic piece, quite different from the rest. Another gem, for sure. “Honey Trap Aftermath” is not metal, it is very jazzy, swing oriented, while “Of Kali Ma Calibre” has almost black metal blast-beats. Another highlight of the record. Closing track “Justice for Saint Mary” was a bit of a let-down since til half of the track sounds the same. It is a ballad that slowly changed and turns into a stormy metal track and in the end into a dubstep track. We are at the end of this crazy trip and all I can say is that D:S:O again delivered a very good record. They are among the strongholds of avantgarde metal.
Rating - 75/100
Label : Prikosnovenie
Review by Stina
If you have a weak spot for haunting, subtly transporting soundscapes crossed by quiet rivers, inhabited by mythical creatures and enveloped in the soothing darkness of an Autumn wood, there are many wonderful moments on “Vernes-Monde” that are bound to inspire undiluted awe. Made up of textural, spacious three- to six-minute coldwave/ethereal/Dark folk compositions with ‘heavenly voices’-like, mostly French-sung vocal lines, “Vernes-Monde” is a welcome reminder of how some albums do not need bombastic, pumped up arrangements to feel magniloquent and absorbing. Whether heard in earphones or on a stereo, the music of this long-standing collective going by the name of Collection d’Arnell-Andréa – who has thus far flown beneath my radar, or rather maybe soared far above it, in spite of having a long story that traces back to the 80’s! – is so warm and enveloping that will be felt all around the listener, weaved through lush synths, cello laments, cherubic acoustic guitars and lead singer Chloé Saint-Liphard’s flawlessly discreet, almost fragile vocal performance laying down Romanticism-inspired lyrics – elements that coalesce into a sound that it’s solemn and evocative without coming off as artefact or redundant. For these reasons and much more, “Vernes-Monde” will appeal to anyone with even a casual interest in the genre, and the outstanding vocals of Chloé showcase an introspective, nightly face of female interpretation that will undoubtably endear any fan of female voices.
Rating - 88/100
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Cathrine from Trail of Tears. Cathrine Paulsen is the female singer of Trail of Tears. She did the female vocals on the “A New Dimension of Might” album from 2002 but did not appear on “Free Fall into Fear” from 2005. It was a big surprise when she did return to the band in 2007 after most of the Trail of Tears members had decided to quit the band.
The first question: Did you always wanted to become a singer?
Yes, I started to sing when I was 7-8 years old, and I knew from the very beginning that I had potential to develop my voice. I spend 4-6 hours each day singing and dancing in my room for several years, and I was very hard and strict with myself. I didn’t eat dinner or went to sleep if I wasn’t satisfy with my practise for the day. Then I had to practise until my goal was completed.
Did you follow singing lessons and what do you do to keep your voice in top condition?
No, I never took lessons beside a few once at school. Most of it I learned myself after hours and hours of practise. Beside of that I smoke cigarettes and drink whisky to keep the pro-condition hahaha. Usually I warm up my voice before a concert, and practise before going on tour.. but I practise less these days than in my younger years. Now it just comes naturally and I am happy to see that my hard work have payed of.
According to the biography of the band your are the soprano singer. Is that the only style of singing you do?
Well, there is a small misunderstanding about the soprano vocals. You see, soprano is not a style, but it is often linked to the opera and classic way of singing. I know many people believe that if you’re soprano it means you’re high in vocal range. The thing is that soprano tell something about the sound of your voice. If you have a clear light and bright sound you will be a soprano. If you have a darker sound you will be an alto voice. I have learned to switch between these sounds, so I can choose to have a darker or brighter voice. I will end up using the sound I feel express the music most. But I guess you meant to ask if I only do opera or classical style?? What I do on “Bloodstained Endurance” is neither of these styles, so the answer is no, it is not the only style I do, but I did a lot more of the classical style in “A New Dimension of Might”. To be a bit full of myself…I have practise enough to sing most styles in any way there is.
To what kind of music do you listen yourself and what are your favourite bands and songs?
It depends on my mood, but it will usually be some kind of metal. Sometimes I just like to listen to the radio with all kinds of pop/rock/blues music, but I never found pleasure in jazz. My favourite bands/songs are Emperor - “Inno a satana”, Strapping Young Lad - “Underneath the waves”, W.A.S.P.- “Charlies chainsaw”, Motley Crue, Korn, Ulver. I could go on forever..
Did you have any other bands or projects before Trail of Tears?
Yes, I played in Lucid Fear. I still do.
This might be a sensitive question, but why did you return to Trail of Tears after more than two and a half years of absence?
It is very sensitive and it’s a reason for that. It was never my choice to leave Trail in the first place, I never wanted to leave. It was very hard for me at that time, because the band decided that they wanted to make more aggressive songs and they didn’t think I could keep up with that. So I was kicked out over the phone without even been given a chance to participate in any discussion at all. I read in a website that we have all agreed that our styles went in a different direction. And it did hurt me, because I knew this was not the way things happened and I didn’t have a single opportunity to tell my side of the story. I have been asked that question so many times after I rejoined Trail and in the beginning I was very insecure how to put it. I don’t want to blame anyone and I don’t feel any kind of bitterness towards the past members. But it’s not possible to answer the question without going back to that time and tell the truth about what happened. After the band broke up, Ronny and I got in touch for the first time, after I was kicked out. He asked me if there was a possibility to work together in the future, but at that point it was not necessarily with Trail of Tears. We met and discussed what we wanted to do, and it came very clear for both me, and especially him, that we wanted to take Trail of Tears to a new level with a whole new line-up. So we started the search for the new members and I brought the guitarist (Bjorn) and drummer (Cato) from my band Lucid Fear. Cato played in Dimension F3H with Endre (bass) and brought him on board, and Ronny asked Pål (Guardiens of Time). After just a very few weeks, the band was complete once more, and after 3 - 4 month we went on the first US tour in the bands history. The reason why I rejoined is both because I am a musician in my heart and soul and the changing of the line up made it possible to do. I would never ever rejoined with the old line-up. So, I saw it as a opportunity to start where I left and to continue my vision with the band and my career, as well as Ronny’s vision with Trail of Tears.
And what have you done in those years?
I still played in Lucid Fear and I also had some other projects. So I kept composing music, singing, writing and working.
“Bloodstained Endurance” is Trail of Tears latest album and will be released by Napalm Records. What was your part in the song writing of the album?
I made my own vocal lines and wrote my own lyrics. To make it short, everything I do on the record is my own work. Ronny and I also arrange our vocals and lyrics to fit each other. It have been a pleasure working with him and all went very smooth. It is a new situation for him, cause he has always been the one making the lyrics and decided how the vocal arrangement shall be. So I really appreciate him trusting my skills and giving me the space to release my energy, thoughts and feelings in the music.
“Bloodstained Endurance” is out now for a few months. How did the media and the fans react on the album?
The feedback has been amazing!!!! We have been given high scores all over as far as I know. Here is some of them: Kerrang 4/5, Metal Hammer 6/7, Rock Hard (Germany) 8/10, Aardschok 87/100, Orkus 9,5/10, Mindview 6/7. You’ll find it all and a lot more in our homepage, so check it out!!!
And what are your favourite songs on the album?
It’s changing now and then, but right know it is “Farewell to Sanity”, “Bloodstained Endurance”, “The Desperations Corridors” and “Take Aim, Reclaim, Prevail”.
What are your highlights with Trail of Tears so far?
We had a great time during the US tour, even when we where freezing as hell in the north. That tour made us find the true band spirit together and the trust and friendship which is needed. It was the best tour I’ve ever done. The recording of “Bloodstained Endurance” was also a moment of excitement and fun. You see, 4 days before my recording, I couldn’t even speak, eat or drink. My voice was totally gone and I had very high fever. This was in France, but luckily with help from the producer, we manage to get a doctor and he gave me anti-biotic right away. It turned out I had a strong inflammation in the throat. The highlight part in this story is that I actually got so much better, so fast that I could start the recording as planned and it went extremely well, I had so much fun.
And did you have any negative experiences with the band?
No, after the new start it has been truly incredible everything we’ve done together. The band has never worked this well and the spirit has never been this good.
As told before, “Bloodstained Endurance” is out now for some time and there will be a tour in October. What can we expect?
It will start 22 of November in Athens and we’ll be touring with Gothminister and Magenta. It`s named Darkness, Bloodstained and Accidents European tour. We’ll be performing tracks from “Bloodstained Endurance” and from previous records as well. You can expect a powerful show full of energy and quality performance!!! We also have a tour in The Netherlands with Epica in January. So once again…check out our homepage for dates!! Don’t miss it!!!
And will you visit more countries than The Netherlands (twice), Norway and Belgium (At the Metal Female Voices Fest)? Yes, we will visit Greece, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and some other countries which ain’t official yet. I think that was pretty much it. But I would like to use this moment to tell that I’m concerned about our environment and how it develops. It is important for me to encourage everyone, included myself to take responsibility in our way of living. Links
Yes, we will visit Greece, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and some other countries which ain’t official yet.And the last question, is there anything the reader should know that I have not asked?
I think that was pretty much it. But I would like to use this moment to tell that I’m concerned about our environment and how it develops. It is important for me to encourage everyone, included myself to take responsibility in our way of living.
Interview by Connie Bach
Hailing from Madrid, Crownless carries a sound all its own, which is tough to describe. With its mix of Nane’s clean, strong vocals, combined with Sergio Mena’s sinister growls offers a lovely contrast. “Lost Inside” is from their self-titled album, “Dark Evolution”, that will be released next year and is on the Femme Metal compilation coming out in October.
Hi, Vanessa. We are so glad Crownless decided to contribute to “Beauty and Brutality”. I’m just curious, where did the name Nane come from?
Hi! Nane is a nickname that a good friend of mine started using about eight years ago to call me. It seems that Nane is the way some Spanish children say Vane and Vane comes from Vanessa. My friend thought I was like a child and I use that name since then.
Though this is Crownless’s first release under that name, can you tell me about the band’s creation and history under the name Anzeray?
Well, this is a question that people usually ask. Three of the actual members of Crownless were in Anzeray but that’s the only relation between Crownless and that band. I mean, we had great times and we did great music together but Crownless is a new band, with a new musical approach and a different concept not an Anzeray’s evolution. When Anzeray broke up, time went by and one day Jorge Escudero phoned me and told me “Hey, I’m thinking in a new band, would you join me ?” and the rest is well known.
What forced so drastic a line-up change in 2006 and why the name Crownless?
The new line-up is a consequence of all we were talking about before… CrownLess is a new band, not an evolution so, in fact, there have been no line-up changes by now. Why CrownLess? There was a list with… about ten different possible names for the band. All of them had some kind of symbolism about our feelings or about our purposes. Crownless is a very representative name for a band that doesn’t believe in kingdoms. We voted and Crownless won.
Where did you learn your vocal skills? What is it like, working with a duel vocalist like Sergio?
My mother taught me the basics when I was a child but after that I continued learning by myself. I really can’t remember my life without singing. I have had lots of microphones since I was a child. I loved singing, everyday and everywhere. Sergio is a very talented singer. I really love the sound of his voice. And I think that we are a great vocal couple. The contrast between our voices and the different ways we can sing make us very versatile and, I think, attractive. I’m very proud of that.
Nane, what is your personal history with the band, and the metal music scene?
I’m very very VERY shy, haha. Even though I love singing, I never thought about being part of a band until I was about twenty years old. I started singing in a cover band called Gargoyle. We played greatest hits from bands such as Stratovarius, Skid Row or even Manowar! Haha. It was nice but Manowar really wasn’t my style XD. After that, some years after, I joined Anzeray. That was the time when I started learning classical technique by myself. With work, I managed to combine this operatic approach with my clean vocal skills. Then Anzeray broke up and I started again the “looking-for-a band” process…and finally, CrownLess came into my life. Before Gargoyle I sang and played guitar for friends, but never imagined something like this.
Turning now to the album, how was it “born” and how did the creative process go?
Well, the song “Lost Inside” is an exclusive version for the compilation, so the album is not released yet. We are at the studio at the moment. There is, however, a demo cd that was released in 2008 named “CrownLess”. That was our “introduction” to the metal scene. The creative process for the album is being hard, because we want to give our best. Anyway, we are proud and we are sure you’ll like the results. We’re looking forward to showing it to the world.
How does the process of building an album and a following, change the relationships within a band?
I think all this process is giving us the possibility of knowing thoroughly the rest of the band members. We talk a lot and we spent a great part of our time together, recording, creating, changing lines… working to make a dream come true. I’ve always said bands are like a love relationship and an album is the fruit of that union.
As far as the song “Lost Inside” goes, what is the concept behind it? How does it relate to the rest of the album?
“Lost Inside” talks about anguish and death, about those nights in which you cannot sleep, and then, you start thinking about your existence. We live everyday with death around us but we decide to ignore it because that makes live something easier to deal with. “Lost Inside” talks about the moment when someone realizes that cannot ignore that anguish. I think the album will be a dark album in almost every aspect: composition, arrangements, lyrics, album art… Anyway death is something that comes to us as life does, so there will be moments for hope as well.
How do your songs relate to your life, and the lives of the band members?
Music is an expression of the soul. When I’m sad, I always sing. That always comforts me and helps me to go on. Also when I’m angry, when I’m in love or when I’m happy. I think in CrownLess we all need music and we have lots of things to say to the world, as our listeners do.
Metal fans can be quite crazy. How do you like to connect with them?
We love them! We are logged at CrownLess Official Forum and we chat there with fans. Also we try to meet and chat with them on gigs. When I’m on stage, singing, I love to see their faces and notice that they are feeling what I’m saying the same way I do. There’s no money to pay what they can make you feel only with their eyes. It’s awesome.
What is the most memorable thing a fan has done to show support? What was your reaction?
They have done t-shirts, play cards, they’ve come to gigs far away from their cities…but the most hilarious thing I remember now was when they bought some horrible underwear, wrote on them support and love phrases and threw them to us when we were on stage. We couldn’t believe it. What a moment! Hahaha.
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.