Review by Luisa Mercier
Anti-M is a California electronica band formed by keyboardists John Wardlaw, Ruston, and Mark Rumer (who’s no longer with the band). This album is their third full-length release, all self-recorded, produced and released by the band. This album has a nice range of styles within its seventeen tracks spanning from hard edged goth metal tracks to dreamy ethereal interpretations.
The album is opened by the pulsating ethereal “Dreamin in Metaphor” who prepares us for the alternative gothic rock pieces “Let U In”. This features Barbara Mosely‘s melodic vocals over the guitars and sets the stage for other catchy tracks along this style like the title track (more-guitar-oriented), the sweet electronic ballad “Deep” and following the down-tempo, gloomy and sexy but edgy piece “Rage”. Later, “Little Things” also deliver itself as a nice example of female-fronted alternative rock style. Continue reading »
Label : Ravenheart Music Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Italy continues to be a major contributor to the Metal world, especially where operatic, symphonic metal is concerned. One of the latest is Silent Opera who have just released their debut album “Immortal Beauty”. Prior to releasing “Immortal Beauty”, Silent Opera also released a 5-track demo in 2008 and have since been signed to the burgeoning label Raven Heart Music. Silent Opera offers the listener a 54-minute ride with “Immortal Beauty” as the album displays a lot of heart and passion. “Mask Manor” kicks things off with a symphonic intro before the band joins in and helps to turn this into a powerful, fist pumping opening track. Vocalist Victoria has an ultra-operatic voice which offers a nice presence to the music. The lyrics are fantasy based and you can pretty much understand Victoria throughout most of the CD. Some ominous sounding keyboards lead us into the pounding “Chapter 7″. Victoria’s vocals are really the main focus point here as she really lets it rip on this track. The next track “Morningstar” opens with a traditional metal riff, but also includes symphonies and a choir. “Lilium” has a dramatic quality to it. This was one of the true highlights for me as the song goes through numerous tempo changes and some top notch performances by the band. The ballad “Farewell” is next and that segues nicely into some more traditional metal riffing in “Hidden Lies”. Undoubtedly the biggest moment comes with the albums closer. A nearly 10-minute epic called “The Silent Opera”. This is just a huge sounding epic that incorporates all of the positive things that Silent Opera has to offer. I would never assume that a band is influenced by this band or that, but in Silent Opera, I hear a definite Nightwish influence. Not so much with the vocals, yes Victoria has an opera style but sounds different to Tarja, musically is where Silent Opera, reminds me the most of Tuomas and crew. The music has that same thoughtfulness and drama in its writing and combines symphonic elements with traditional metal-isms to create a solid debut with “Immortal Beauty”.
Rating – 80/100
- Mask Manor
- Chapter 7
- Hidden Lies
- Always With You
- Introducing the Muse
- Your Muse
- The Silent Opera
- Lady Victoria (Barbara Vigolo) – Vocals
- Rain (Marco Clari) – Guitar
- Alexandre (Davide Papa) – Bass
- Shadow (Loris Volcizzi) – Drums
Label : GMR Music Group
Review by Tony Cannella
Ever since they burst onto the metal scene in 2005 with their excellent debut “In Distortion We Trust”, the Swedish all female metal band Crucified Barbara has become one of the best and most successful bands of the femme metal genre. There is a definite feeling of knowing what you are going to get with Crucified Barbara – let’s face it, they’re not trying to re-invent the wheel or heavy metal for that matter and that is always re-assuring to their fan base. They just continue to churn out high energy, raw and powerful metal with plenty of attitude. Why should their 3rd – and latest – album “The Midnight Chase” be any different? It is a new Crucified Barbara album but features the same intensity and enthusiasm as their previous two. The frenzied drum intro lead us into the opening tune “The Crucifier” and this is classic Crucified Barbara. It has almost a Motorhead feel to it and I picture this song opening their live shows on their upcoming tour. The whole album has a live feel to it and no shortage of energy and enthusiasm. Next is the powerhouse riffing that opens up the confrontational “Shut Your Mouth”. Lead vocalist Mia Coldheart is at her raspy voiced best. “Into the Fire” is next and another straight-ahead exorcise in heavy rock. “Rules and Bones” became one of my favorites and I found myself singing the chorus ‘rules and bones were made to be broken’ long afterwards – this is just an excellent song. “If I Hide” has great potential as a single if the band chose to release it as one. While still being heavy this is a really cool mid-tempo track. “Count Me In” is an acoustic ballad that has a cool melancholic and mournful vibe to it and is packed with emotion and heart. This is one of the few times that you will hear the tender side of Crucified Barbara. Other highlights include: “Everything We Need”, “The Midnight Chase” and “Rock Me Like the Devil”. “The Midnight Chase” is one of those albums that is not very hard to like. Sure, Crucified Barbara continues to follow the same musical path as their previous two, but what is wrong with that? “The Midnight Chase” should satisfy longtime fans as well as (hopefully) see the band gain more. I can’t really say if “The Midnight Chase” is better or worse than its predecessors, it is just a band that sounds like they are having fun and continues to maintain a high level of consistency. That is not a bad place to be.
Rating – 85/100
- The Crucifier
- Shut Your Mouth
- Into the Fire
- Rules and Bones
- Everything We Need
- If I Hide
- Rock Me Like the Devil
- Kid From the Upperclass
- The Midnight Chase
- Count Me In
- Rise and Shine
- Mia Coldheart – Vocals, Guitar
- Klara Force – Guitar
- Ida Evileye – Bass
- Nicki Wicked – Drums
Interview by Si Smith
Crucified Barbara will stomp across your skull and leave skidmarks, such is the impression they are having all over the world. Their style is balls-to-the-wall hard rock, no holds barred. Third album “The Midnight Chase” hits the streets soon so Femme Metal caught up with bass player Ida Evileye for a quick word.
First of all thank you for taking the time for this interview, and a warm welcome from all at Femme Metal Webzine. For those who are presently unfamiliar with the band, would you like to introduce the different members to us?
Yeah. We’re a four piece band and I (Ida) play the bass, Mia sings and plays lead guitar, Klara plays rhythm guitar and Nicki plays the drums.
Almost 15 years since your humble beginnings you are back with another powerful album. From the outset it is clear that you mean business, with opener “The Crucifier” giving it large 100%. For this listener it is a remarkable trip back into the early Motorhead days and punk-influenced heavy metal. Do you think the band in 2012 still reflects those kind of influences?
Absolutely, we love that type of music. We listen to a lot of different music (Mainly old school for me) and of course that shines through in our songwriting.
You certainly have a memorable band name – could you enlighten us as to where it originates from?
Actually “Barbara” in Sweden is the name for a blowup doll (a sextoy). We were at the Roskilde festival many years ago and we saw that somebody had pinned a barbara on a cross and it looked really evil and cool so that’s where it comes from.
You guys look great in all the promo shots we see and have a very distinct look that reflects your music style – how important is image to the band?
The music is of course the most important thing without a doubt but image is important too. I love to go to concerts and it’s always more fun when the band wants to entertain the audience. So that what we’re trying to do with clothes and makeup!
It has been a remarkable journey across three albums. What are the highlights of the journey for the band?
Oooohhh, there are soo many. The Motörhead tour, the Nuclear Blast deal, the Russian tour, playing at the Download festival, the Australian tour. Meeting Brian May, having a drink with Lemmy……the list goes on!
Throughout the band’s life your lyrics have touched on all the usual hard rock topics. Does this reflect your lifestyle? Who is the biggest party animal?
Hahaha, of course! I am the party animal. You can always count on me and Nicki!
Three years on from “‘Till Death…” , you seem to have a tradition of working a long time on your albums, what is it you are looking for in the final product?
We don’t want it to take so long time but we’ve toured a lot and there has also been business things that’s prolonging the releases. And of course that we don’t wanna release something that we aren’t 100 percent happy with!
“The Midnight Chase” has 11 well-crafted anthems. How does the song-writing process work for you as a band?
It’s different with every song. Some of the songs has been written by one person only and then we’ve worked on the arrangements together (“Kid for the Upperclass” in on example, Mia wrote that song). Other songs we’ve done based on a riff or a melody and we’re written it together (“The Crucifier”, “Shut Your Mouth”). So it’s different with every song really!
By the time this interview gets to you, the band will have just played the Sweden Rock Festival. How did it go?
Greaaaaat! It was fantastic, so many people and a really good crowd! We had a great time, I love that festival!
In July you are heading to Italy alongside Elvenking. That should be some good shows! How have you found the band’s reception in different countries? Have you a favourite?
Italy is really good for us and France is very good too. It’s been good from the beginning and it’s always so nice to come back, you feel like home!
You have also recently been booked for the Getaway Rock Festival in Sweden alongside bands such as Manowar, Saxon and Nightwish. What are your hopes for the festivals this year?
I really like that festival, it’s a bit smaller than Sweden Rock but a lot of cool bands are playing. So we’re gonna have a great show and then drink some beers and watch the other band, so it’ll be a fun night!!!
Finally, what is the next stage for the band? After all the touring this year is there a plan?
More touring, another album etc! This is what we love to do and we’ve just got started so you won’t get rid of us anytime soon!
Thanks for your time, we at Femme Metal wsih the band all the best for the rest of 2012.
Thank you! I wish you the same!!!!!!!
Interview by Roberta Ilaria Rossi
Dama is a gothic Italian band that is moving its own first step in the metal music business. I had the chance to exchange some words with the beautiful frontwoman, Barbara, who has explained me a little tricky things about her band and her passion for music. Follow with us what this wonderful lady told in the interview that follows here.
Hi Barbara. Welcome to Femme Metal. How are you doing?
Hi Roberta! I’m fine thanks and happy to talk to you..
You are the singer of the gothic italian band called Dama, band that was born in Milan, after a meeting you had with the drummer Pierfrancesco Tarantino. Could you please tell something more about you and on your band, for those who still don’t know your music?
Sure, the Dama project is born in lately 2007 when Pierfrancesco listened to a few of my songs and asked me a collaboration. we officially formed the band when the keyboard player and sound engineer Danilo Di Lorenzo, the bass player Roberto Gelli and the guitarist Cristian Comizzoli join in 2008. During that year we released a promo called “Dama” and we worked on the idea for our debut album “Eirwen” and here we are.
Talking about the name of the band: Dama is the name that you wanted to create for the band and I know that you’re a fan of gothic churches. What could you tell about it? Why have you decided this name?
I am a real lover of gothic cathedrals dedicated to Notre Dame. I studied their history, architecture, spiritual meanings, symbology and I visited most of them in France during a summer. When I came back from that journey I was totally in love and I decided to celebrate them calling my band Dama. I think Dama is an evocative word that well represents the world I was creating that period.
Before creating Dama, were you working with other bands or were you already thinking, in the early 2007, to create your own band?
I had a band in 2003 called Veil of Maya with Emanuele Rastelli from Magnifiqat, we played and wrote songs just for fun. Emanuele pushed me into writing and in 2004 we recorded a demo. One of those songs, “Alba”, written by my dear friend Federico Rebusso who played guitar in Veil of Maya, has been rearranged by Pierfrancesco and included in “Eirwen”.
Dama is not related to the metal world, but it is closet to a gothic rock sound, influenced maybe by some female fronted bands. Do you agree with this? Which words describe best the real Dama sound?
Yes, The Dama sound for this album is a mix of gothic, rock and also a bit of pop. It has something of the melodic symphonic metal from the north of europe too. We’ve freely used all the ingredients we needed to describe the world I got in my mind.. and that’s the result.
A few months ago, on June, your debut album “Eirwen” was released for Ravenheart Records. The album is based on gothic rock, symphonic, maybe also a bit “pop” sound, if we could say so. What was the feedback from fans about this record? Has it got good reviews?
Well, I can proudly say that “Eirwen” has got good good reviews, it has been the top album of SpazioRock in August and foreign people have appreciated the italian part of the album too, that was a challenge! I think that our artistic intent has been well perceived and the “Eirwen” world now has a lot of inhabitants:). What we’ve read mostly is that this album has a unique and elegant sound, and someone wrote I am a poet;) . I guess we could say that the feedback has been positive!
The title of the album, “Eirwen”, initially, only by reading, reminded me of something related to the Celtic worlds; but where does this name really come from and why have you guys chosen this for your debut album?
When we had to decide on the title of the album, I asked myself which language would have been the best since it is both in Italian and English, we thought that it had to be something which could be read in both languages or which on the other hand, shouldn’t be of any of the two. Given my passion for the the celtic world, I decided on an word with a celtic origin. Eirwen means “white snow” in celtic and is composed from the word “eira” which means snow and “Gwen” which indicates white and everything which is pure, absolutely the perfect title!
The album consists of “two sides”: “Immaginario”, which mainly contains tracks written and sung in Italian, and “Imaginary”, the English side. Why did you choose to re-propose the same songs in English? What did you want to bet when you recorded the album?
We only wanted to play what naturally came from us.. when I write the songs at the piano they come out with a linguistic identity; Some of them come out in Italian, some in English and I know that some can be played in both languages and some absolutely not. And that’s what happened. Italian is a beautiful and evocative language and it’s been fundamental to create the “Eirwen” world.
Who of you does it write the music, basically? Which has been the resounding part of recording this album? How much of yourself is there in the record?
I wrote all the music and words by myself at the piano, except the music of “Alba” (“Breaking Dawn” in the english part of the cd). After the composing step we worked in studio together where the magical mind of Pierfrancesco has created all the arrangements. Finally Danilo as our soundengineer has refined the original intentions working on the sound. We’ve had great, great moments! I can tell that in this record there’s all of me thanks to my partner’s work.
What does it mean, for you and the guys, this album? What is its real meaning?
“Eirwen” as I said is a world, a world made of ice, passion, love, whispers, woods, nights and rebirth. A story of an “emotional defreezing” through the rediscovery of love. It’s been a deep and intense work for us… I think we’ll remind those days forever!
You’re the main writer of the lyrics. Where does the inspiration come from, in order to create a very good lyric?
Inspiration comes from life, experiences I live and fantasies I have… The books I read help me to find my own way of writing too. For example the song I called “Eliot” has been inspired by Thomas Stearns Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland”. I write instinctually, words and music often come out together… even though sometimes, when I define the lyrics, I get stuck with a word for days!
How many autobiographical sides are there in “Eirwen”?
“Eirwen” is completely autobiographical
Last year, your first videoclip has been released, “Regina d’Inverno” (very nice video). What can you tell about it?
Thank you! I loved the shooting, it’s been a great day! We were in a suggestive place in the reserve of the casentinesi forests, the director Stefano Bertelli has made a very good work and we ‘ve had a good time. The location was perfect for the atmospheres of “Regina d’Inverno” and helped me to feel in the right mood to perform.
In this album, there’s also a song by Madonna: “Live to Tell”, rearranged in a gothic key. Why did you want to make this song?
I decided I would be an artist the first time I saw Madonna performing live.. I was 6 or 7. I’ve been loving “Live to Tell” since I was a child and this cover is a tribute to an artist who enhanced my passion for art during the childhood.
Barbara, I should say that I’ve been quite impressed by your voice. How did your music education/music growth happen?
Thank you again Roberta, I began to approach the piano when I was about 11 and at the same time I discovered my voice and I tried to compose my first songs. I took my first modern singing lesson when I was 18 and I’ve never quit!.
I know that you had the great pleasure to cooperate with Anastacia. What can you tell about this cooperation? Which are your impressions about it/about her?
I’ve written and performed the main part of the soundtrack of the movie “All You Can Dream” in which Anastacia played herself but I’ve never met her personally. I guess I’ll have the pleasure to know her when the movie will be released in theaters in April. “All You Can Dream” is a family movie and I’ve had to write songs really far from my “artistic habits”, it’s been funny… as a songwriter I love writing for different situations and for different genres, it tastes like playing different roles for an actor.
Have you ever thought of cooperating with some other musicians in future? Who would you like to cooperate with?
I love to have the opportunity to collaborate with other good musicians ’cause it always allows you to learn new things. Recently I’ve recorded a song called “Berenice” for the death metal band Wake Arcane which will be included in their debut album “The Black Season”. For the future I’d like to collaborate with a foreign artist or band, I really, really would love it!
Which are the bands or the musician that have influenced you the most and that, now, still influence your music tastes?
Tori Amos and Kate Bush above all! I obviously love female fronted bands as Evanescence, Within Temptation, Epica, Nightwish, The Gathering and Lacuna Coil. I am an omnivorous listener, from classical music to grunge.. I love russian composers in classical and on the other side indie bands and songwriters from all over the world. I got an open approach, everything touches my emotions is welcome to my playlist!
Now that the album has been released, will you focus yourself on some other new project?
We are working on a soundtrack for a book of a young italian writer, it’s a very interesting project! You’ll listen to our new song called “Echoes” soon, I can’t wait…
Thank so much, Barbara, for the very nice chat. You have the chance to speak to Femme metal users and to Dama fans. What would you like to say?
Thanks to you and to all the Femme Metal Users! Have a great 2012 and Keep supporting Dama!
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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