Review by Tony Cannella
I’ve always felt fortunate to have the opportunity to review bands. To me, the most gratifying thing is being exposed to music that otherwise, I am fairly certain, I would never, ever have the chance to hear. There are a lot of fantastic bands out there that I have come to find out and Italy’s Hybrid Resolution are one more band I can add to the list of quality bands, thanks to their debut demo. Their new demo starts off with the intro “Et Lux Est (Overture)” and segues nicely into the awesome opening track “Passion Lost”. Vocalist Monica Auditore is excellent at her craft as she effortlessly changes vocal ranges. She does have the opera thing going for her, but she also utilizes a non-operatic clean vocal style. At times Hybrid Resolution do remind me of Tarja era Nightwish like on the powerfully symphonic next track “Wait For Me”, and comparisons to Tarja are inevitable for Monica – but she is way more than a Tarja Turunen clone. “Free Me” is another symphonically powerhouse tune. This song is heavier but a mid-tempo track and once again Monica’s vocals are amazing. The 19-minute demo is brought to its conclusion by the up-tempo, “Soul Reborn”, and is a great way to end things. Hybrid Resolution really took me by surprise. The quality of the demo is excellent and hopefully Hybrid Resolution will get signed soon. This is one of the best new bands I have heard in 2011. Hybrid Resolution has many great qualities and is utterly impressive.
Rating – 95/100
- Et Lux Est (Overture)
- Passion Lost
- Wait For Me
- Free Me
- Soul Reborn
- Monica Auditore – Vocals
- Federico Truzzi – Guitars, Orchestration, Synths
- Lorenzo Costi – Bass
- Francesco Zanarelli – Drums
Interview by Matteo Bussotti
Absynth Aura just published their first studio album, “Unbreakable”. You may think they are all a bunch of newcomers, but…they aren’t! Having played on various tv shows and during some important festivals and venues, they delivered an album which is a good, solid piece of Metal. We just had to interview their singer, Claudia “Klod” Saponi, to hear from her how this band so quickly made their way into the italian metal scene.
Your first song is “Will Is Power”. It is a song written specifically for CESVI and its show “Virus-Free Generation”. Was there something in particular that convinced you to write a song for that show (organized by a charitable organization), in which you officially debuted as Absynth Aura?
I had already written “Will Is Power” a few months before taking part in the competition. The song was born as a “personal reminder”, it’s a way to face up to life, it’s my story and the lyrics make me never forget that. The perseverance, the strength and the determination of the song are the key factors to the success of it.
Talking about fans, I’ve seen that you post lots of things on your wall, as Absynth Aura, but also through your personal profile pages. How important is for you your relationship with fans? In which ways you try to “please” them (I’m thinking about, as I said before, participating in first person to your facebook fan page) and make them feel involved in your activities?
I like to keep my fans up to date with photos, dates of concerts and all the latest news. However personally I do not spend much time on social networks, instead my team-mates are real computer nerds eheh
Do you have any precious memories you can recall with some of your fans?
All my fans are always very nice to me. Sometimes they identify themselves in our lyrics and they talk to me about episodes of their lives… precious memories? I used one of their life stories to write the lyrics of a song of Absynth Aura.
Talking about your musical style…you obviously play metal, but it’s unique, and, as you stated, you are influenced by various styles (Funk, Prog, Rock, ecc.). What’s your personal stylistic evolution? I mean, how did each one of you evolved in their style, passing from one to another and how all those styles ended in Absynth Aura and its particular sound?
Every one of us comes from a different musical background and our influences put together have resulted in our typical sound. Personally I think that the musical knowledge that I acquired during the years, such as blues, funky and rock, couldn’t be ignored or hidden away so I decided, even though it was a rock-metal disc, to include it in “small drops”. The result? Well, you have to tell me eheh… I’m satisfied eheh…
What about you, Claudia? Tell us something about yourself, your story! What do you feel it’s your greatest achievement so far, and how did you feel when “Unbreakable”” was finally released?
I was born in a family where music reigns over all. Since I was a little girl I used to dream about doing this job and I thank God that I have the possibility to do something that I really like. To write, to record, to play over and over again, to sing and re-sing…I couldn’t wish for anything else. When I opened the first copy of “Unbreakable” I felt like a child with a Christmas present eheh… Years of work where concealed in that small box…fantastic!
Talking about the releasing of “Unbreakable”, how did you feel as a band? You thought “Now the cd’s out, now can rest” or more like “Our album is out! Let’s show the world how we rock!” ?
Without doubt “let show the world how we rock”! I never stop composing for Absynth Aura, I think that none of us know the meaning of the word “pause” eheh. I don’t consider the release of “Unbreakable” as a finishing line but as a first step along a road to walk down together.
How was your “video experience”? I mean, playing on Rock Tv and shooting your first video for “Desert Flower”?
The Rock Tv experience was awesome! Having the chance to play live in a program that discovers emerging Italian bands was an excellent opportunity for us to get known to the public, and making the “Desert Flower” video was real fun…we have recently made a video for “The Fire in My Eyes” and we’ll release it very soon so…stay tuned!
Did “Unbreakable” make you know any special person? Someone who helped you a lot for your career, or someone who made your road trips funny, or unique in a certain way? What do you think about being “on the road” to play some gigs?
During the “Unbreakable” tour I have met a lot a people and each one of them has left me something special. I think that the most emotional and fun part of our job is being on the road. There are hundreds of stories I could tell and maybe a few of them could be included in our future songs!
What was your best gig so far? And why was it special?
Each gig has something special, the public, the fans who follow us, the energy that we have on stage and the magic that is created each time we play together. It has been defined as the “Circus of Dark Fire Tour” because we have played together with a group of friends very well-known in the Heavy-Thrash Metal world, Arthemis. The public has seen quite a few eheh!
You got a lot of reviews for your “Unbreakable” but what was the one you liked the most? It doesn’t have to be the one from a famous magazine, it can also be a very moving comment on facebook from one of your fans, or something like that!
I was pleasantly surprised in finding out that the reviewers and the listeners have understood the intention I wanted to communicate in the disc, the emotions I wanted to get through have been felt and many people have approved certain style choices. Although the best words have been the ones of a female journalist who probably wanted to fly high the “girl power” flag when she said “all these male rockers will never get the better of you” eheh.
Final question: Any wish you’d like to make for the future? Any hope?
A new disc, a new tour, maybe even overseas and…my team-mates to share all this with me!
Label : Street Symphonies/Logic(Il)Logic
Review by Tony Cannella & Matteo Bussotti
The inception of Italy’s Absynth Aura goes back to 2007, and with “Unbreakable” has finally issued their debut album. Their style is guitar driven, modern metal with a serious groove and melody running through the songs. “Believe Me” is a pounding opener that shows off the groove side of Absynth Aura. “Desert Flower” and the excellent “That’s Why You Die” follow and continue in a similar direction. “That’s Why You Die” is ironically followed by “Smile”, a beautifully, accessible song that comes close to the ballad end of the spectrum, but not quite. I liked the singer Claudia Saponi a lot. Her style is just straight-forward hard rock, at times she can deliver a raspy style and at other moments her voice is more sensitive and passionate like on “Smile” which quickly became my favorite song. Guitarist Michele Vioni also deserves a special mention for his work on “Unbreakable”, especially with his solos. “Understand My Fight” starts off with a slow, deliberate, sludgy heavy guitar riff before the song shifts into overdrive and speeds up, and includes another smoking guitar solo, Michele Vioni could wind up being a legitimate guitar hero, and not to be out done Giorgio Terenziani adds a bass solo near the end of the song, which is also very cool. “Looking for the One” heads into full on ballad territory. Claudia’s passionate vocals shine through as she is accompanied by a piano. So, is there anything else good on “Unbreakable”? There sure is, in particular “Will is Power” and “Unbreakable” also became favorites of mine. “Life” is pretty cool too and features Claudia performing a duet with a male vocalist. The songs on “Unbreakable” are all infused with some great melodic moments and memorable songs.A funny thing happened when I was reviewing “Unbreakable”, I originally gave it a grade of 70 out of 100, but by the third listen I came to the conclusion that it definitely deserved a higher grade. “Unbreakable” really grew on me big time. A lot of times first impressions can be deceiving and “Unbreakable” by Absynth Aura is a perfect example of this. This is a very good debut from another great Italian band.
Rating – 85/100
Review By Tony Cannella
Italy’s Sinking Soul play an interesting mix of metal, progressive combined with unlikely influences such as baroque, jazz and fusion. It is a unique combination that all goes into the creation of their self-titled debut. You have to give a band like Sinking Soul credit for searching for influences in the most unlikely of places , this 7-track 27-minute opus is confirmation of this fact The opening track “Others’ Land” sets just the right tempo for the CD as the soaring vocals of Laura Marchionni join in. A good opener that also shows of the musical talents of each band member. The next track “Temptation” is on the heavier, more straight forward side of the musical spectrum, this song is also very melodic (as is the entire CD) and features a catchy, memorable melody and chorus. The next track “The Unknown” is a short (just over a minute) track that shows off the great vocal range of Laura Marchionni and serves as an interlude between the previous song and the next number, the great ballad “Returns & Flights” which is probably my favorite song that this CD has to offer. Just a great emotionally charged track that is definitely ready for mass appeal. The CD is concluded by a trio of equally strong tunes: “Sinking Soul 1431″, “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” (a cover of the song originally recorded by 70′s/80′s new wave band Ultravox) and the closing track “Into Your Arms”. Musically, Sinking Soul offer a little something for everybody. While the band is considered a progressive band, they offer so much more than just long musical pieces that is so often associated with progressive rock and metal, it is cool when a young band is able to transcend genres and with their debut Sinking Soul manage to do just that. A good first effort for this up-and-coming band from Italy.
Rating – 85/100
- Other’s Land
- The Unknown
- Returns & Flights
- Sinking Soul 1431
- Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
- Into Your Arms
- Laura Marchionni – Vocals
- Luca Riccetti – Guitar
- Giuliano Vangelista – Keyboards
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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