Madrid, Spain-based female-fronted dark gothic metallers TEARS OF MARTYR have inked a deal with Germany’s Massacre Records. The band’s second album, “Tales”, will be released on April 26th. The CD was recorded in August 2012 at the New Sin Studios in Loria, Italy, with Enrik Garcia and Luigi Stefanini.
Commented TEARS OF MARTYR: “We are happy and excited to work with Massacre Records. We are looking forward to the release of ‘Tales’ and we hope you’ll enjoy it!”. Connect at Facebook for more updates.
Interview by Robin Stryker
Originally from the Canary Islands, Tears of Martyr now calls Madrid home. For those craving a dose of dark gothic metal, the band’s new release “Entrance” will feed your hungry metal beast. Mmmmm, a delicious helping of shining soprano vocals (a truly fine voice) paired with light-eating death metal vocals. Femme Metal sat down with Berenice Musa, female vocalist for Tears of Martyr, to get the whole story. Dig in!
Hello Berenice and welcome to Femme Metal. For those who have not heard Tears of Martyr’s first full-length release, “Entrance”, how would you describe it?
Hi Robin, I would like to start by saying that I am really excited about this interview and that for me it is a huge pleasure to answer your questions and introduce Tears of Martyr to the Femme Metal readers. “Entrance” is an invitation to anyone who wants to experience the world of Tears of Martyr. A journey through many emotional states, like anger, despair, revenge, wrath, resignation against hope, salvation or self-esteem. We regard each song as a unique play, with characters, who develop through the story, and at the same time each song contains a message open to any personal interpretation. “Entrance” isn’t a paradigm or a utopia; it’s our personal view of the human being and its reality, whose existence we compare to a chessboard controlled by fate.
Your soprano vocals on “Entrance” are beautifully pure and clear. What type of musical training have you had?
100% classical training. I started studying classical singing in Gran Canaria and moved then to the Netherlands to finish my Bachelor’s Degree. Nowadays I continue studying with private teachers and repertoirists in order to improve my technique and work on new repertoire. For me, singing is like a long distance run; you always have to be prepared and in shape, and it is dangerous to allow yourself to rest on one’s laurel.
Please introduce the other members of Tears of Martyr, and tell us a little bit about them.
How did a classically-trained soprano become the female vocalist for a metal band with extreme male vocals?
Favourite vice? Chocolate!! Believe when I tell you I can’t resist the temptation when it is about chocolate!!
Most embarrassing album/artist in your collection? I actually listen to a wide variety of music styles. If you could take a closer look to my CD collection you could find from metal to classical music, pop music, jazz, chill out, etc… But none to feel embarrassed of.
Cartoons, yes or no? Definitely yes: Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad but also older ones like Maya the Bee, The Pink Panther and an old French cartoon TV production called “Once upon a time…”. It is a compilation of cartoons that covered issues like the human body, history, the outer space or science. I really liked this one when I was a child.
Any pets? A dog called Ozzy
If you were not a musician, what would you want to be? Historiographer
What are Tears of Martyr’s plans for 2010?
Thank you, Berenice, it’s been a pleasure talking with you. Do you have any last words for your fans?
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.
Label : Lausan Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Spain’s OffTopic has existed since 2006. Following up their impressive “Backstage” EP, OffTopic releases their fourth full-length album titled “Impacto”. Unlike their previous EP however, OffTopic has returned to singing in their native Spanish language and the result is very good as the album cruises along on the strength of some truly powerful classic metal style guitar riffs and the ever more assured vocals of Rosa Ibáñez. With the powerhouse opening riffs of “Cuarto Sello”, “Impacto” simply explodes with an intense, ferocious brand of heavy metal. The bombastic headbanging riffs keep coming with the thrashy “Fuara de Si”. The next track – and my favorite – “Siempre” is more of a mid-tempo song that has a great, melodic vibe to it. I simply love the vocals of Rosa Ibáñez as she continues to grow in confidence and ability and does just an amazing job throughout “Impacto”. The next track “El Elagido” has sort of an AC/DC style vibe at the start – in fact the opening kind of reminded me of “Whole Lotta Rosie”. “El Elagido” is a bit of a departure from the rest of the material but it is no less effective. The beautiful power ballad “Albrázame” is another one that grabbed my attention. Other highlights include: “Pierde el Control”, “Iberia” and “Sigo Viva”. With “Impacto”, OffTopic continues to grow and emerge into one of Spain’s best metal bands.
Rating – 87/100
- Cuarto Sello
- Fuara De Si
- El Elagido
- Pierde el Control
- No Hay Nada
- Veinte Años
- El Caminante
- Hoy Tocas Para Mi
- Sigo Viva
- Rosa Ibáñez – Vocals
- Toni Sánchez-Gil – Lead & Rhythm Guitars
- José Luis López – Bass
- Cristian Millán – Drums
Review by Tony Cannella
From Spain, Crownless plays a dark brand of symphonic power metal. The band was formed in 2006 and released their initial demo in 2008. In 2011 they released their debut full-length “Dark Evolution”, and here it is. Crownless is fronted by the strong soaring female vocals of Vanessa Nane and sometimes male vocals are provided by bassist Sergio Mena.“Lost Inside” opens things up and the vocal dynamics between the two singers is well evident, Vanessa has a very diverse voice and Sergio has a strong clean vocal style that meshes well with Vanessa’s. “Dark Embrace” is next and Vanessa shows her ability to sing in a semi-operatic style as well as more of a power metal technique. Next is “Ravens in the Storm”, this song is one of my favorites and it is just a darkly beautiful tune. “Omen” is next and features guest vocals from Raul of the band Cripta. Other highlights include: “Fading Dreams”, “Silent Tears” and “Freak Garden”. For the track “Thorns” Crownless are joined by Mats Levén (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion, At Vance, among others). This is one of the heavier songs here and Mats’ presence helps propel this one into being one of the better tracks on “Dark Evolution”. “Dark Evolution” is concluded by the hugely epic 13-minute “Mirrors”. The song is enormous in scope and is divided into five parts: “Eyes of Sand”, “Not Me”, “Shards”, “Solitude” and “Eyes of Sand (reprise)”. This is just a great artistic statement for a young band to make and a great way to close the album. There are a lot of really cool power metal bands emerging these days. I don’t think I have ever seen such quality associated with any one genre in metal. There are some bands who are rapidly climbing to the top of the genre, and with “Dark Evolution”, Crownless is one such band.
Rating – 88/100
- Lost Inside
- Dark Embrace
- Ravens in the Storm
- Fading Dreams
- Silent Tears
- Freak Garden
- Vanessa Nane Ramirez – Vocals
- Jorge Escudero – Guitars
- Sergio Mena – Bass & Vocals
- Pablo Sanchez – Keyboards
- Pablo Bazan – Drums
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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