Label: Sound Age Productions
Review by Vard Aman
My introduction to Andem (whose name is derived from a combination of Angels and Demons) came with the release of their debut album, “Маятник Жизни” (“Pendulum of Life”), in 2008. It was an album that was very well received among many Power Metal fans across the world, but failed to win me over completely; it was their second album, “Дочь Лунного Света” (“Daughter of Moonlight”) that did that, with a sound of their own (a style of driving Power Metal with touches of Gothic and Symphonic Metal thrown in) consisting of monster riffs, catchy melodies and well controlled vocals perfectly suited to the music, as well as unforgettable songs such as “Хранитель Мечей” (“Keeper of Swords”) and the title track. “Грааль” (“Grail”) followed in 2011, a four track EP that consolidated their style and showed progression at the same time (re-recording two of the highlights from “Маятник Жизни” for the EP as well), with vocalist, Yuliana Savchenko, showing a lighter side to her vocals to add to her potent Power Metal style. Their latest album “Зимние Слёзы” continues the progression from where “Грааль” left off.
Andem‘s evolution has been fairly subtle, so there is no mistaking this album for any other band, but overall the sound has generally gotten lighter and somewhat more commercial since “Дочь Лунного Света”. There are still some driving (and catchy) Power Metal songs such as “Слёзы” (easily my favourite song on this album), big heavy sounds such as in “Я не Верю”, and intricately written pieces such as in “В Плену Снов”; but despite its moments of brilliance, as an overall album I’m afraid to say that for me “Зимние Слёзы” does not quite live up to the standard of “Дочь Лунного Света” or “Грааль”. Sound wise as well, on the version that I have here it sounds like there are fluctuations in the production from tracks 7 to 9, mostly in EQ. It’s not overly noticeable, but noticeable it is, especially on “Я не Верю” where there is much more high end than on the other tracks. In the case of “Я не Верю” it is not a bad thing at all because it suits the heavy crispness of the guitars in that song really well. “Вечность” and “В Плену Снов“, on the other hand, seem to be lacking in sufficient high end.
So, with that said, should you get hold of “Зимние Слёзы”? Yes, absolutely! If you are an Andem fan, or a fan of fairly catchy Power Metal in general, then this is an album that you would want in your collection. If, however, you are not yet an Andem fan and you want an album that will introduce you to the band and make you fall in love with their music, then rather buy “Дочь Лунного Света” and/or “Грааль” first before getting “Зимние Слёзы”; after which the first scenario will begin to apply to you as well.
Rating – 85/100
- Вступление [Vstupleniye – Intro]
- Небо Упадёт [Nebo Upadyot – The Sky will Fall]
- Слёзы [Slyoziy – Tears]
- Сакура [Sakura – Sakura / Cherry Blossom]
- Реки Безумий [Reki Bezumiy – River of Madness]
- Серебряные Зимние Слёзы [Serebryaniye Zimniye Slyoziy – Silver Winter Tears]
- Вечность [Vechnost’ – Eternity]
- Я не Верю [Ya ne Veryu – I don’t Believe]
- В Плену Снов [V Plenu Snov – In the Captivity of Dreams]
- Жить Без Тебя [Zhit’ Bez Tebya – Living Without You]
- Ex Animo
- Yuliana Savchenko – Vocals
- Sergey Polunin – Guitars
- Natalia Ryzhko – Keyboards
- Andrey Karalyunas – Bass
- Petr Malinovsky – Drums