Review by Vard Aman
Pesante formed in 2008 in the city of Tver, about 160km North East of Moscow. In 2012, they were joined by their new vocalist, Natalia Sibilskaya (aka Alvane) – a Moscow based vocalist who was at the time also the singer of Sunwalter, and “Overplayed” (which was recorded as an earlier EP) was [re]released in 2013. “Overplayed” is regarded as an EP, but with 6 songs and at just under 40 minutes in length, I think it would be more justified to regard it as a full length album – an album that gives the listener a full taste of Pesante‘s versatility and creative song-writing talent. On Sunwalter‘s debut, “SETI Evidence”, Natalia mostly used her “rock” vocals and her operatic vocals just once, albeit very effectively. On “Overplayed”, she uses her full repertoire, and she uses it equally, if not more effectively than on “SETI Evidence”. Pesante is a different kind of offering to Sunwalter – Sunwalter creates vast alien Sci-fi soundscapes that you could easily get lost in if you lost concentration; Pesante is more versatile and variable overall, and hits hard enough so that you wont be able to lose concentration even if you tried. Sunwalter is more galactic, Pesante is more earthbound. Two different styles for two different occasions. But then, it’s hard to put Pesante into any particular style at all: they move from pure Gothic Metal (and I mean real Gothic Metal here – just listen to “Prozium”) to Melodic Symphonic Metal to Extreme Metal and to everything in between with smoothness and ease. But, despite the temptation, I am not going to make this a song by song review – I am merely going to try to whet your appetites instead.
I have always regarded melody as music’s most important criteria, and Pesante are certainly masters of this. However, it must also be cooked in the right way and have all the right ingredients to be 100% effective; and once again, look no further than Pesante. The full range of Natalia‘s vocal abilities unleashed on these well crafted melodies and vocal melodies, and well written lyrics, is not something that anyone will forget in a hurry. Trust me on that. There are many places throughout this album where this combination provides some real gooseflesh moments (in a good way), perhaps the most prominent of all of them being the buildup to the final chorus and the final chorus itself of “The Evil Twin”. Right now, if I had to choose just one sample with which to demonstrate the true untamed power of music and the effect it can have, that is the one I would choose. It is also the part I would choose as a perfect example of what an operatic vocal could and should sound like in Metal.
“You should tear off the palls from your mirrors
And see the pallid face of the Dark Queen!”
When I reviewed “SETI Evidence”, I rated Natalia‘s vocals quite highly; but after listening to “Overplayed” it turns out that I had actually underestimated her… Remember that “asteroid” I talked about? Well, you have no idea just how big it was and the power it could unleashed! But you will after listening to this.
Rating – 95/100
- The Evil Twin
- Ghost of Sorrow
- Shame. Fear. Denial
- Natalia Alvane Sibilskaya – Vocals
- Daniil Zykov – Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
- Konstantin Smirnov – Guitars
- Vladimir Lisitsyn – Guitars
- Pavel Migal – Drums
- Alexander Kudryashov – Keyboards