Power of Diversity: exploring the world of Scarleth

The Ukrainian metal scene is not the most active on our radar but we can introduce you to one band which more than warrants attention. It is Kiev hailing melodic metallers Scarleth. The past decade has seen them share stages at numerous shows and festivals with the likes of Blind Guardian, Rage, Ensiferum, Rotting Christ, Leaves’ Eyes, and Kalmah. Embracing an array of rich flavours their sound has grown into an ear grabbing proposition which will reveal another fresh breath in the quintet’s upcoming new album. We had the pleasure to find out more about the band, release, and more with guitarist Victor.

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hello! Nice to talk to you 🙂 I’m Victor, leader and founder of the band.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and how you all came together?

The band was formed in 2005 by myself (Victor Morozov). First line-up included both of my sisters (Renata – vocals, Nina – keyboards).

After that, numerous line-up changes took place until current line-up has finally appeared:

Victor Morozov – guitar

Yana Kovalskaya – keyboards

Ekaterina Kapshuk – vocals

Igor Chumak – bass

Philipp Kharouk – drums

The band was originally formed in Donetsk, Ukraine. Basically, it was my idea to form a band. As a teenager, I was impressed by such bands as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, so I wanted to form my own band. Ritchie Blackmore was my hero, he is the reason I picked up guitar to play.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

SCARLETH is the first and the only band for Victor and Ekaterina, both of them haven’t played in other bands before.

Yana was in the following bands before SCARLETH: Stella Vespera (2009–2012), Luna Dream (2012-2014), Dante (2013-2015).

Philipp was part of these bands before he joined SCARLETH: B.W.N., Trapped In Tremble, Maleficar, Vyhr Grez, Kolard, Body Juice.

Igor played in few bands before SCARLETH, but that was too long ago to remember their names 🙂

Current line-up of SCARLETH has been around for about 2 years now.

I don’t think previous bands influenced us in any way; Scarleth has its own style which is constantly evolving.

What inspired the band name?

SCARLET was just a cool simple name which came to my sister’s mind 🙂 I only added “h” to the end of the word, so it looks more “metal”.

We also like this name because it doesn’t limit our musical style in any way. We can play anything we want under this title.

 Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

At the start, band was planned as cover band. But right after the start, our own songs begin to appear, so we’ve had short time with cover songs.

As for sound, we always wanted to sound different to others that is why we try to include as many different elements as possible to our songs.

And the same ideas and inspirations still drive the band when it was fresh-faced?

It’s the same – passion for music and wish to give good music to our fans and listeners. We never placed money or fame as main driving-force. Making good music which we like and playing it is most important for us.

 Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

It became heavier, more modern. The new album will be even more into this direction. But also it will touch pop-metal genre which is new for us. It will be interesting record, so don’t forget to buy it when it will be released and support our band.

And that has been an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

That is natural – we do not plan any changes. We just evolve as people, and our music evolves together with us. And this is really interesting journey. We are happy to be who we are.

You mentioned your own specific spark to make music and presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think life itself is main source of inspiration. Travelling, movies, computer games, anything we do – has its influence.

As for bands who has impact on us I can say – Within Temptation, Black Sabbath, Amaranthe.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

Yes. We start with simple melodic idea or riff then create song structure. Lyrics are created after that. Most of our songs are written this way. But not all of them, there are always exceptions.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

From life situations, from something that really grabs our souls. It may be scene from movie or just something happened to us on the road. Just about anything. Life has so many unexpected moments, you know 🙂

Could you give us some background to your new album?

Our latest release is called The Silver Lining, which was released back in 2015. It includes nine tracks we are really proud of, I think these are the best we’ve done so far.

All the tracks on the CD are very different to each other, so if you like diversity in music – we can really recommend to give it a try.

Album was recorded in Kiev in Morton Studio. Max Morton is our good friend; he is really professional sound engineer and sound producer, so we should thank him for great sound on this CD.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind its songs.

I think you are asking about lyrics? Lyrics of our songs are as diverse as is the music. You can find quite interesting stuff besides just regular “love songs” or “freedom songs”. I think I should avoid spoilers, so it will be more interesting for you to listen to the songs yourselves 🙂

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We like to finish everything before going to the studio. But sometimes great ideas appear during recording, so we take them with pleasure. It’s always cool not to know what will happen next 🙂

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We are big fans of performing our music live. It’s really important for us. When you play live, you can feel band’s energy and reaction of your fans. That is main value for us as artists.

Travelling to festivals may be not easy, but performance itself is always rewarding.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and across the world. How have you found it?

You are right – it is not easy, and we are still in the process of getting through. We can only suggest to believe in your own music, play it as much as you can and do everything for it to be heard. Never say die 🙂

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and access to your music is or is maybe out of your hands a little?

Internet helped us a lot. We can use those tools to get our music to the public, it is very important. However, illegal downloads are also take place, and that is not a good thing. But anyway, I think internet is a really good thing for band’s promotion.

 Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you! Listen to good music, be yourselves, just live and do what you really like 🙂 See you soon on the road!

Explore the sounds and imagination of Scarleth further @

http://scarleth.com.ua/   http://www.facebook.com/scarlethmetal   http://www.instagram.com/scarlethband/   http://youtube.com/scarlethband

Pete RingMaster 07/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Coburg -The Enchantress

If a title ever fitted an album and its lead protagonist then it is The Enchantress. The debut album from UK hailing symphonic rock outfit Coburg, the release is a riveting cauldron of adventure fuelled sound and melodic seduction; a fascination of imagination with a bite in its jaws and theatre in its flirtatious trespass.

Coburg is the creation of and led by singer songwriter/guitarist/actress/model Anastasia Coburg, an artist who has previously gripped attention through previous guise Jet Noir and as part of Naked Lunch. The London based band is completed by synth player Dean Baker and bassist Mark Spencer both of Galahad and Twelfth Night, rhythm guitarist Sarah Sanford, and drummer Pietro Coburg. Musically, Coburg embraces the gothic rock tones of Jet Noir into its grander and bolder symphonic rock soundscapes; a blending which simultaneously feels intimate and worldly around the emotively woven heart and expressively delivered lyrics of each individual adventure.

Straight away The Enchantress beguiles ears and thoughts, a tempting which only escalates track by track for a seriously potent lure starting from the first breaths of opener A Cold Day In Hell. As soon as the resonating touch of bass and keys fingers the senses the song, which was born in Anastasia’s Jet Noir exploits, has submission in its grasp. Swiftly, you can hear the growth and maturity which has blossomed in the song since its first impressive days a couple of years back, a new sense of drama and intensity fuelling stalking riffs and rhythms as Anastasia’s striking tones step forward. Erupting throughout with melodic flames, the song continues to prowl as that drama intensifies note by note. Apocalyptic in air, darkly romancing in character, the song is immense and unafraid to twist through unpredictable discord lined detours.

Its Middle Eastern spices are even richer within the following and equally exceptional Echoes In The Night. They emerge from the initial shadows of the song, dark corners and provocative ecclesiastical chants enticing as they are soon in union with the wiry tendrils of guitar. With Blancmange like qualities, those cosmopolitan essences dance seductively on the ear, keys and guitar weaving an entrancing beckon before the grittier tones of Anastasia walk the eager stroll. Her lead guitar prowess teases around and alongside too while rhythms share their excitable shuffle in a proposal which has the body as lustfully involved as the imagination.

Dark essences are never far from a Coburg song and coat the senses straight away as The Hall Of Ghosts steps forward next; its fiery and lively balladry a lithe saunter draped in flavourings hinting on the likes of Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Vajra. Its melodies have a childlike innocence but encased in a dark tide of further melodic suggestion and raw power. With bewitching harmonies sealing the deal, the great track is matched in success by the tenebrous atmosphere of Into The Darkness. Gothic rock again flows openly through the symphonic nurtured tapestry of sound, bringing a noir lit intrigue and in turn virulent infectiousness to infest ear and imagination. As with every track, each listen reveals a new twist and layer, the song evolving and growing from its stirring introduction into another major moment within The Enchantress.

Each song also feels like an individual tale and fresh chapter in the album’s journey, Requiem no different as it romances ears next. Though not quite having the sparks of those before it, the track is a heated flame of melodic and lyrical invention which captivates with creative ease before the album’s title track spins its own crepuscular web woven with the fingering enterprise of synths and guitar around smouldering but direct vocals. With electro and progressive rock invention joining its drama, the song is an increasingly compelling proposition, an essence which applies to all songs to be honest as proven by next up Thy Dagger. Its union of intimidating scythes of guitar and electronic revelry instantly grabs full attention, a focus rewarded with vocal and melodic dexterity as the track blossoms note by note into a magnetic slice of cultured rock ‘n’ roll

A haunting realm of suggestion and sound brings Till The Bitter End into view, its shadowed melodic lighting and veiled threats encapsulating the intimate yet broad depths of song and words. Personal tastes did not take to the track as easily as with its companions within The Enchantress but instantly it nurtured a want to go deeper whilst embracing the siren like harmonies and undisguised imagination bringing it to life.

The album is completed by firstly Warrior’s Blood, a song with steel in its skeleton and rousing invention in its evolving character. There are moments which mix the bite of Otep with the melodic fire of Within Temptation but just flavoursome strains in the individual emprise of song and Coburg before Rise closes things with its inflamed hope graced ballad. As if further proof was needed, the song is an emotive declaration of Anastasia’s quality as a singer and songwriter as well as the band’s craft and individual imagination.

Song by song The Enchantress captivates and stirs, growing as mentioned with every listen into something even more impressive whilst announcing Coburg a striking addition to the European symphonic rock scene.

The Enchantress is released October 24th via Evolve Or Die Records and available @ https://coburg.bandcamp.com/album/the-enchantress

http://coburgband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/COBURGtheband/    https://twitter.com/COBURGband    http://www.anastasiacoburg.com/

Pete RingMaster 24/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Great Adventure – Pretty Lies

The Great Adventure_RingMaster Review

Pretty Lies is the new single from Russian gothic metallers The Great Adventure, a band which maybe is unknown to you right now but taking their new offering alone as a suggestion, has the real potential to become a much broadly known and devoured proposition.

Hailing from Omsk and formed in the January of 2014, The Great Adventure consists of vocalist/keyboardist Christina Engels, guitarist Kesha Larionov, and bassist Alexey Danilov. Their sound fuses gothic and symphonic metal in a captivating, if not yet majorly unique, tapestry of resourceful aggression and melodic imagination. Aligned to that is the feistily alluring voice of Engels, a siren-esque tempting which coaxes the theatre and emotion at the heart of lyrics and song into a tempestuous roar of sound equipped with harsher backing vocal incitement. It is a mix which has seen previous singles and the To Begin To See The Truth EP well received; a success sure to be eclipsed by Pretty Lies, the band’s finest offering to date.

Featuring Ilya Sinitski, the vocalist of post-hardcore band Island Of Skylines, Pretty Lies needs mere seconds to stir ears with its swift wall of thick riffs and muscularly swung beats. Keys are a just as early and potent coaxing as they lay a melodic haze upon the attention sparking entrance. With the mellow and rich tones of Engels’ voice matching the lure of her increasingly inventive and resourceful keys, the song poetically swarms over the senses embracing hues of inspirations of bands like Dream Theater and Within Temptation to its creative breast. It is a skilled and potent persuasion which gets bolder and more voracious as it blossoms, the raw tones of Sinitski spilling causticity across the engaging scenery and the guitar of Larionov spinning lattices of sonic craft and enterprise.

Pretty Lies is the maturest songwriting and weave of sound and textures from the band yet and even if major originality is still in the waiting, the thoroughly enjoyable song shows that The Great Adventure is heading in the right impressive direction.

Pretty Lies is available now.

RingMaster 26/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

St. Aria – August 21 EP

St.Aria

Last year, like for a great many, attention was pricked by We claim this aria, the debut EP from Swedish band St. Aria. It was a potent and potential laden offering which at times strikingly sparkled and in other moments simply provided an enjoyable proposition without lighting fires. It did though ignite an appetite for the band’s inventive ideas and the next stage in its evolution. That next chapter has arrived with the release of the August 21 EP, an evocative and vivacious encounter building on the qualities of its predecessors and realising the previously untapped but hinted at qualities of the band’s sound. Consisting of five adventurous and lively propositions, the EP is the sunrise of a sound and band coming of age, but still with more to come and discover.

St. Aria is the creation of lyricist/composer/keyboardist Alexander Platon, a project formed in the late 2000s which after a hiatus when Platon joined The Borderline Saints, returned in 2012. Taking inspirations from the likes of Evanescence, Within Temptation and Nightwish and guided by the intent to create emotionally resounding rock ballads, the Platon linked up with vocalist Jimmy Ferhm, also of The Borderline Saints and producer Emanuel Svensson to resurrect St. Aria. Initially it was just to remake a couple of the band’s early songs but such the interest in its members and fans things evolved. We claim this aria was the debut release and saw the three enlist numerous session musicians for its creation and subsequent live appearances. The EP certainly awoke good interest but as suggested earlier everything has grown and leapt forward with August 21. Firstly St. Aria is a complete and stable quintet, Platon and Ferhm joined by Oliver Sandberg (drums), Erik Jönsson (bass, vocals), and Jacqueline Hansson (vocals), whilst musically the raw edges and arguably success tempering aspects of the previous release have been resolved and woven into songs simply revelling in melodic beauty.

St.Aria - August 21 (Cover art)   The EP opens with the spellbinding Black Rose, a song which instantly has ears and imagination involved through the evocative keys of Platon, and increasingly seduced by the siren-esque tones of Hansson emulated in potency by those of Ferhm. Rhythmically the song is reserved yet striking enough to support the expressive narrative of vocals and piano as they colour the song with feisty elegance. It is a catchy and welcoming start to the release matched by the contrasting shadow wrapped presence of Deception which follows. Led by the mellow yet angst lined tones of Ferhm, the song cradles ears and thoughts in a provocative embrace of emotional balladry. The drums of Sandberg create a brooding drama behind the core refection of voice and piano, an almost epic shadow aided by the equally haunted lure of Jönsson’s bass, whilst all combined leaves attention and pleasure easily entranced.

A great bass growl opens up Here With Me, its darker presence soon smothered by the radiant light of keys and the paired vocals of Hansson and Ferhm. The song has a much lighter smile to its tone and character than its predecessor, a hope fuelled romance flowing through the nimble fingers and invention of Platon and the increasingly enjoyable vocal union, though all attributes reach new heights in the outstanding Hopeless Case. Strings and voice align to a tantalising tinkle of keys to seduce the senses from the song’s first breath and immediately has the appetite licking lips. As it opens up its energetic embrace, a country spicing and folkish revelry joins the inescapable infectious persuasion on offer whilst the duet of voices spills melodic contagion. Thoughts are conjured up of The Only Ones single Fools which saw the band and vocalist Peter Perrett link up with Penetration’s Pauline Murray in a mouth-watering duet, and though musically different, the textures, charm, and catchy quality is similar and just as impressive on the EP’s best track.

August 21 closes New Dawn, itself on a par with the previous song through the ever reflective and impressive vocals where this time Hansson leads the temptation with her seductive delivery. Shadows are never too far from the surface in most St. Aria songs, and here bass and keys bring a complimenting emotive shade to the golden tones of melodies and harmonies, a blend emulated in the lyrical prowess of the track. It is an enthralling end to an excellent encounter in which St. Aria has breached a new plateau in songwriting and sound. The band has pushed itself and sound to fulfil early potential and more, but now with a suggestion that there is even more within them to come it is fair to say there are exciting times ahead for them and us.

The August 21 EP is available now digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/se/album/august-21-ep/id971640265?l=en

http://www.ariamusic.se/     https://www.facebook.com/ariaswe

RingMaster 09/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

St Aria – We claim this aria

We claim this aria team, photo by Malin Brandt

We claim this aria team, photo by Malin Brandt

Weaving inspirations from metal, pop, and melodic rock into emotive metal ballads, St Aria make a potent introduction for themselves with the We claim this aria EP. Consisting of five piano led reflections and one feisty rock encounter, the EP is a striking proposition for thoughts and emotions to contemplate. It is a little mixed in success, often raising more questions than it has immediate answers for, but from start to finish and especially given plenty of attention, the EP emerges as a pleasingly refreshing and intriguing prospect.

St Aria is cored around Alexander Platon (piano, lyricist, composer) and Jimmy Ferhm (vocals, composer and guitar) who united with the intent to explore and evolve in a number of different styles through music marketing, live performances and studio recordings. Bringing in numerous talented musicians to collaborate in and realise their creativity, the pair set about recording We claim this aria at Sonart Production. The project itself began in 2012 with Plato, though initially a constant movement of members saw the band take an early hiatus with its founder himself joining The Borderline Saints. With Ferhm the vocalist of the same band and producer/bassist Emanuel Svensson, the trio resurrected St Aria taking inspiration from the likes of Evanescence, Within Temptation and Nightwish into their intent. Initially meaning just to remake a couple of Platon’s early songs, interest and an increased enthusiasm for the project saw an expansion in the band’s aims and subsequently the recording of the new EP with the additional contributions of Andreas Centervall (guitar), Sofia Rapp (vocals), Hampus Jacobsson (drums), and Frans Af Malmborg (percussion).

The EP opens with the riveting Running, the magnetic piano skills and caress of Platon coaxing ears and imagination evocatively. The Coverart - We claim this ariatwinned vocals of Ferhm and Rapp flow just as easily over the senses, aligning excellently together around the firm beats and melodic beauty which colours the passion of the song. It is a superb start to the release, a mesmeric and finely honed entrance by the band into a keen attention and an early appetite for their promise.

The following Her Song emerges on a just as potent and dramatic breeze of elegant and emotive keys, the hues bred by the piano a seed to the captivating rhythmic frame and vocal expression which again only impresses. With orchestral clad synth suasion and a reserved yet fiery glaze of guitar, the song though taking longer than its predecessor to convince, brews another absorbing premise and proposition. It is not as polished as maybe it could have been production wise and lacks a spark to truly ignite the passions, both something you can say about the whole of the EP, but the track still engages for a lingering and highly pleasing incitement.

Both By Your Side and Until Life Parts Us take thoughts and emotions on an enjoyable flight, keys and orchestral ideation making a seamless fusion with, especially in the second of the two, a rawer rock graze of guitar. Again neither quite inflames as the first does so easily but with the harsher side of the songs staying on the metallic side of melodies whilst leaving the enchanting to the piano and vocal harmonies, the pair given time evolve into captivating aural paintings for thoughts to explore and emotions to embrace.

Another Symphony is initially led vocally by Rapp, her sirenesque tones courted by the pungently persuasive piano charm of Platon and again melancholic stringed spawned keys. With layers of melodies and the assisting tones of Ferhm adding the right shade of shadows to the beauty, the track is a delightful warm kiss upon the senses to keep attraction for the EP high.

Final track Fly Away merges hard rock and rap into a symphonic canvas of sound, fusing numerous flavours and styles into an encounter which in some ways should not work but does quite successfully, though more concentrated rap using metal bands need not worry about a rival, not just yet anyway. With Jesper Svensson providing that rapping within the robust and vivacious electro/ melodic rock graced adventure, the track makes for a lively and stirring conclusion to a release which certainly nourishes thoughts and ears which are always in the mood for something different.

We claim this aria is arguably not exactly over flushed with new sounds but definitely offers a new ideation in its design and thought to awaken a strong appetite for St Aria. It will be interesting to see how the project evolves ahead but it is something definitely very easy to look forward to.

We claim this aria is available now @ http://staria.bandcamp.com/

www.ariamusic.se

7/10

RingMaster 15/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Excalibur: Dusha

      l

     Emerging from the Russian underground scene, symphonic metal band Excalibur and their excellent new album Dusha make the most agreeable and powerful persuasion as to why they deserve a much wider and heavier recognition. The release is an inventive, dramatic, and beautiful sounding album which without opening up new avenues for the genre captures the imagination with craft, grace, and melodic temptation.

From the city of Oryol, Excalibur incorporates the rich essences of bands like Nightwish, Epica, and Within Temptation within their own warm enveloping voice. Formed in 2009, the quintet of vocalist Valerya Nikiforova, guitarist Vitaly Okoneshnikov, bassist Svyatoslav Bykovsky, drummer Andrey Nazarov, and Ksenya Aranchey on keys, has made a strong mark within the metal underground of their homeland through the In the Fate Hand’s EP and their debut self-titled album, both in 2011. Now with the release of Dusha, translated as Soul, the band is looking to push the envelope of awareness around them further afield, something the accomplished sounds and open grandeur of the release should find as no obstacle.

With each song sung in their native song it is hard to fully absorb the full strength and depth of songs, the lyrical inspiration we are6FHedJ4CvEk led to believe coming from inner feelings and experiences for a personal passion, but the emotive strength and descriptive quality of the music goes a long way in inspiring imagery and thoughts in the listener, their relation to the songs unimportant but wholly connected to the melodic warmth and stirring passion created by the band. The opening track Kadans Vremeni is a prime example, the portentous brewing whispers of the instrumental a haunting and striking sense of foreboding and suggested bedlam to leave emotions startled, unsure, and enthralled. There is a deep sinister breath to its presence which intimidates yet seduces as it makes way for the following Zhazhda Zhit’, a song with a core of sinewy riffs and testing rhythms wrapped in a heated and bewitching melodic expanse driven by the outstanding voice of Nikiforova, her tones as mesmeric and golden as the sounds surrounding her. With the keys adding their own distinct enchantment the song is a vibrant and captivating pleasure matched impressively across the whole release.

The likes of sonic temptress Doch ‘Vampira and the magnetic title track lead the senses and thoughts to the same dawning rapture instigated by the previous tracks whilst Zakroy Glaza and the excellent EVOE give and reap even greater rewards. The first of the pair has a fiery surface and intent to its almost operatic stance with the vocals for once adding a darker shade to the melodic flames whilst the second is a powerful instrumental which ignites a furnace of satisfaction. From an opening emotive piano touch the piece erupts into a reign of dramatic aural narrative sculpted by a hungry intensity, highly charged riffs, and colourful keys. The song is a canvas for weaves of imagery and emotions and with each immersion into its stunning richness inspires a new journey of thought each and every time.

Further highlights emerge in song such as the commanding Simfoniya Zabveniya and the slightly bruising muscular Labirint as well as a final triumph Kto Logo with a delicious snarling bass chewing at the senses to bring a darker edge to the sonic fire. There is no real weakness on the album though, each track a rewarding and thrilling companion to which returning is as easy as walking.

Whether Excalibur will have to embrace the English language to fulfil their already flourishing potential time will tell but with Dusha you sense the band will at some point find a much larger enthusiastic awareness.

8/10

RingMaster 06/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Ashes You Leave: The Cure For Happiness

Croatian band Ashes You Leave as shown by their new album The Cure For Happiness, just get better and better. The release is their best to date and looks set to thrill many more new hearts with its muscular doom and gothic metal sounds. Following their acclaimed album Songs of the Lost of 2009, the new album sees the band unleashing their heaviest and arguably darkest collection of songs, reaping the energy and intensity of darker heart borne realms without losing the melodic invention and shadow fuelled passion they are renowned for. It is an impressive return for a band which is no stranger to strong applaud and enthusiastic attention.

Forming in 1995, the Rijeka band has risen from a time when music let alone metal had no expectations or credible chance of success in a worn torn country, to the biggest metal band in their homeland and leading force in the whole of the Eastern European region. Through the likes of Desperate Existence, Fire, and Songs of the Lost, all albums making big impacts, the band has forged itself as a name with wider recognition well beyond its borders but The Cure For Happiness, their sixth album, should be the one to thrust them to an even greater standing in world metal. It is a release which is as intriguing as it is immediately and forcibly engaging, offering new experiences and whispers with each and every journey within its imaginative sounds and melancholic breath.

Over the years the band has gone through line-up changes, especially with the position of lead vocalist, and the Rock N Growl Records released The Cure For Happiness is no exception. Despite having to search for a new voice three times, the band always has had the insight and skill to choose ladies which have added something different whilst contributing an impressive level of vocal craft and expression recognised with their sounds. The new album is the first with new singer Giada “Jada” Etro and again the result is openly rewarding for them and us. Italian songstress Etro has a riveting voice which can mesmerise whilst nipping at the senses within songs which do exactly the same, and alongside the snarling and ravenous additional vocals of guitarist Berislav Poje and bassist Luka Petrovic, makes the perfect enchanting conspirator and foil.

The first touch of the album comes with lone keys within a brewing atmosphere which soon expands into a busier yet still graceful presence. Opener Devil in Disguise again steps back into the shadows as the voice of Etro accompanied by the impacting piano begins the unveiling of the heart of the song. It is with the emotive violin of Marta Batinic though where one is truly inspired to accompany the song with personal feelings upon its journey in answer to his impassioned caress upon the ear. The track is soon evolving and moving through melodic enterprise, powerful energies and notable invention to escalate the engagement and as the song emerges as a stirring blend of metal and melodic rock with symphonic leanings and gothic intent it leaves on engrossed and open for the rampaging climax with the scything guitar riffs of Poje and Matija Rempesic pushing the intensity further to a thrilling finale. To be honest the first time the song played it did not capture the imagination as instantly as other songs further on but given time to make its persuasion it becomes one potent pleasure.

Only Ashes You Leave and For the Heart, Soul and Mind step up next and take the enjoyment even deeper, both a continuation of tone from the first song whilst bringing different shadows and depths into focus emotionally and musically. The first is a heated expression of melodic and sonic craft driven by charged riffs and the intimidating rhythms of drummer Sasa Vukosav. Again the strings of Batinic play with emotions whilst the keys of Darko Terlevic explore their deepest corners within the inciting creativity. The rabid ending of male vocals and riffs makes way for an irresistible bass welcome from Petrovic for the beginning of the second of the two, a track which delves into the black of life further and with relish.

As a whole the album flows perfectly with a linking atmosphere across its expanse though there as to be expected are particular peaks. The first is the just mentioned track which is equally matched by the glorious Summer’s End, a song where the band pus everything they have into an imaginative wrap of melodic beauty and triumphant enterprise. Both though are surpassed by easily the best track on the album, Reality Sad. This song opens up the shadows pervading the album to draw even darker energies and emotions forth. It is a haunting and almost insidiously seductive embrace which ignites the fullest passion. Rippling with danger and venomous essence the song is immense and a flavour one hopes the band use more of ahead.

Reality Sad does highlight that for personal tastes the album falls a little short of being the classic the track suggests was within their grasp, the other songs despite their might in the shadow of this particular magnificence, but without doubt The Cure For Happiness is a thoroughly enjoyable and openly impressive album which fans of bands such as Within Temptation, Epica, and Nightwish will eagerly welcome into their dark bosom.

www.ashesyouleave.org

www.facebook.com/ashesyouleave

RingMaster 29/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright