Archive for Femme Metal

British metallers Training Icarus unveil first ever music video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Melodic metallers Training Icarus have unveiled their first ever music video for their song Stand Aside. The track is taken from the band’s album Stand Aside which was released through Ravenheart Records in October 2013. The song is the perfect listening for fans of metal that is melodic, dark and full of crunchy riffs. The video can be viewed below:

Training Icarus online:

http://trainingicarus.com
http://facebook.com/trainingicarus

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The Dames of Darkness Festival 2013 – Bilston, UK

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Delain, Visions of Atlantis and more
The Robin 2, Bilston, UK
Saturday 11th May 2013

For the first time in five years, The Dames of Darkness was set to return with one hell of a line-up. Featuring Delain as the headliners and Visions of Atlantis as main support, what more could be asked for? Well, how about six more bands from all around the UK and Europe, including Azylya, Ex Libris, Chemikill and more.

Beginning the day were melo-power metallers Incarna. Fronted by the innocent looking Emily, the four piece band stood out from other bands on the bill, dropping the use of keyboards (as is found with so many “female-fronted” bands on the scene) for a sound with more balls, more emotion and more crunchy riffs. Belting out enchanting melodies and a near operatic vocal sound, the 400 plus crowd were clearly mesmerized by Incarna; and who wouldn’t be after such a powerful and emotive performance? [5/5]

Chemikill brought a more thrashy, in-your-face sound with them – sort of what Megadeth would sound like if Mustaine was born a chick. The riffs were gritty and violent, contrasting with the ruthless drumming and the thundering bass and even during in the performance of the more calm track Wych, Chemikill were proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with. The band’s frontwoman, Natalie, certainly knew how to work the crowd; whipping them into a near-bloody frenzy, with fist pumping and chanting. Natalie’s vocals were definitely one of the most impressive things about Chemikill’s set; incorporating growls and cleans vocals, as well as a more belting style as well. [4/5]

Following Chemikill were the Dutch powerhouse Ex Libris (Latin for “from the books”), fronted by the soprano Dianne, who took to the stage like a Gothic Aphrodite. The band sound was heavier and darker than could have been expected for anyone who wasn’t familiar with their music and it was made more mystifying by the overwhelming vocal range of Dianne, which was demonstrated to its full an extent during in their softer songs. The use of the ethereal keyboard passages and melodic guitar sections helped to emphasise the band’s dark sound that was beautifully portrayed throughout their performance. [4.5/5]

Playing the UK for the first time, Azylya brought with them a heavy Gothic sound mixed with in frontwoman Jamie-Lee’s performance art. Jamie-Lee’s vocals came out a like a siren’s call, luring the crowd into the rocks that was the band’s guitar-driven sound blended with the more death metal-based vocals of Yohann. Disappointingly though, the keyboards that make up the Gothic part of Azylya’s sound were played back, though it still helped to the eerie atmosphere of their performance. [4/5]

Apparition, the host band of The Dames of Darkness, belted out their own distinct brand of darkened rock and metal, with vocals that resembled the likes of Floor Jansen, Amy Lee and Anette Olzen. The cumbersome use of bass differed from the calmer yet aggressive use of guitars, though there were parts during in Apparition’s set that the guitars were barely audible due to technical issues. Barring the tech issues, Apparition still played a blistering set. [4.7/5]

With powerful and refined vocals and stage presence aplenty, Whyzdom went down a treat. The French “philharmonic metal” sextet blasted their way through an aphotic set with staunch symphonic elements and colossal riffs. The male vocals weren’t very inspiring and sounded flat compared to grandiose sound of Whyzdom. Lead vocalist Marie appeared to be in her element as she kept the crowd entranced with her soothing voice, one that added a certain Cimmerian touch to the performance. [4.5/5]

This was the second time that Visions of Atlantis had come to the UK, but the first time that they played a British festival and they were definitely one of the most anticipated bands of the night. Despite the fact that Maxi mistook Bilston for Birmingham, she worked to the crowd to her favour as did co-vocalist, Mario. The symphonic passages had a certain hypnotising and overwhelming effect to them, strengthening the band’s overall sound and making up for a lack of bass. Mario and Maxi proved to be a great duo, vocally; adding a new depth of emotion to VoA’s music though there were some issues with the microphones that Mario was using. The guitar sections were played with razor-sharp precision and energy, working well with the keyboards and drums. [5/5]

And then came Delain, who proved to have a strong live presence as well as a solid live sound, that made their studio work pale in comparison. Playing a set that featured songs from all four of their albums, everything seemed to meld together in perfect harmony. Charlotte sounded to be on top form as the keyboards, courtesy of Martijn, beautifully accompanied Charlotte’s vocals. The guitar and bass passages belted out harder than a leather belt being struck across the face. See Me In The Shadows was definitely one of the best parts of Delain’s performance at Dames of Darkness, though some of their newer material was extremely enjoyable as well. [4.5/5]

The Dames of Darkness Festival certainly had some of the UK’s and Europe’s best “female-fronted metal” bands with a great crowd from beginning to end. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years for the next one. And while it might be a bit adventurous to say at the moment, with festival season only around the corner, The Dames of Darkness might go down in the books as the best UK festival of 2013.

Nico Davidson

Lost Effect – Salvation Of One

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 20th December 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Lost Effect
Album: Salvation Of One EP
Release year: N/A
Genre: Melodic Metal/Femme Metal/Yorkshire Metal

Hailing from the historic city of York (well, near York), come female fronted melodic metallers Lost Effect. Formed in 2008, the Yorkshire quintet have grown to fame in the North Yorkshire area, supporting acts such as Cryptic Age and Morpheus Rising. Following the departure of former frontwoman Beth Parkinson, Emily Burt joined the band in September. Since then, Lost Effect have gone to record their new upcoming EP “Salvation Of One”.

The first track of the EP is none other than the title track “Salvation Of One”. While Lost Effect have a modern sound, I was surprised to hear a hint of classic metal influences in Steven’s guitar work. The keyboard melodies by Dave work wonders alongside the guitar riffs. The biggest shock I found with this track was the eerie similarities between Emily’s vocals and those of Cristina Scabbia. Dave’s vocal work reinforces the Lacuna Coil-like sound of the vocal sections.

“Whispers” is the longest track of the EP, featuring a very symphonic sounding introduction, similar to that of bands such as Epica and After Forever. The bass work is damn powerful with its strength being reinforced by the hypnotic drum work of Pete. The ‘beauty and the beast’ vocals create a very Gothic sound but the song retains its metal sound. The EP comes to its grand finale with “Martyr”, bringing the thunder back after the softer melodic intro section. Though being a heavier track, there is still a sweet use of melodic riffs that blend well with Emily’s vocals. However, I will admit that I found some of the guitar work towards the end a tad bland.

It’s always nice to see more female fronted metal bands appearing on the metal scene, especially in the UK. Though I don’t think “nice” is the correct word to use for Lost Effect. “Salvation Of One” is one of the best releases to come out of the British metal scene. Though the vocal work is similar to that of Lacuna Coil, Lost effect have done well retain their own unique sound considering how many influences the members have. Epica, Lacuna Coil and maybe Within Temptation fans should definitely give “Salvation Of One” a listen.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson

Don’t forget, Lost Effect are playing the Valkyrian Music Birthday Bash 25th February @ Hollywood & Vine, Hull. Entry is free.

Band Of The Month [November, 2011]: Aonia

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , , , , on 1st November 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

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Following recent revelations involving the voting being rigged, we were forced to randomly select a BOTM for this month [November]. We are pleased to announce that Aonia are this month’s Band of the Month!

In the Greek mythos, “Aonia” is the place where muses dwell near Helicon mountain. Though their name is derived from classical mythology, Aonia’s music is far from being classical. With riffs that roar like the thunder of Olympus and strong operatic vocals provided by their front woman Mel, Aonia have been on the rise for the past few years sharing the stage with the likes of Evil Scarecrow and Scarlet’s Wake.

Unlike most female fronted bands, Aonia lack a heavy emphasis on the symphonic element, helping add to their unique and mythic sound. f you like bands and artists like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, ReVamp, After Forever, Leaves Eyes, Delain or Tarja then check out Aonia.

Aonia will also be playing Valkyrian Festival later this month with Cryptic Age, XIII, Infernal Creation and many more.

Rating: 5/5

Links:

Official website: http://www.aonia.co.uk/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AoniaUK/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/aoniaband
youTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/AoniaBand

Aonia – City Of Shadows EP [2009]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 12th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Aonia
Album: City of Shadows EP
Release year: 2009
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Power Metal

Aonia, named after the land held sacred to the Muses in Greek mythology, are a six piece female-fronted symphonic/power metal band from Worksop, United Kingdom.

The title track “City Of Shadows” is the first track of the EP. The introduction is very dark sounding, with a combination of a dark symphonic section and a light guitar riff. The track only gets better when the guitars turn aggressive. The drums give the track that extra edge as well. The vocals have are greatly contrasted from high-pitched operatic vocals to more hard rock-styled vocals. The guitar solo keeps the track interesting as well. “Gift of the Curse” comes next with a melodic intro riff. A second guitar, keyboards and drums soon join in leading into the onslaught of metal that is due to come. The drums are extremely intelligently played on this track. The guitar solo is masterfully performed on this track. It’s good to see that the epic sound from the first track has carried on.

The next is ”Prophecy of the Fallen Kingdom”. The intro, straight away, sounds sagaic. The riffs are powerful and astounding. This track, in terms of vocals, has more emphasis on the operatic vocals, which is a pleaser for anyone who is a fan of operatic vocals in metal. The fourth track of the EP is “Rabbit Hole”, which begins with a different sound to the previous three tracks. The riffs sound slightly more violent. Piano medleys can be heard through out the track, which contrast well alongside the cutthroat riffs and aggressive drums. The piano medley just over half way through is perhaps the best section of the track, bringing a certain calm before the storm that is the guitar solo shreds its way in.

“Liberate Mei” is the second to last track of the EP. The guitars domineer their way in straight from the start, along side the drums. The vocals contrast beautifully from an aggressive styled vocal section to the angelic operatic vocals. The guitar solo is expertly performed, making the track more fast paced and brutal. The final track of the EP is “The Song”, which starts with a heavy, slow-paced melodic intro. The track eventually turns fast paced, with some technical sections from the guitars. The keyboards bring a very symphonic sound to the track, working well with the brutal onslaught on the guitars and drums. The vocals are still going strong as well, thankfully.

It would be a mistake to describe Aonia as a band similar to Nightwish, as Aonia clearly have their own defined sound. With masterfully composed riffs and powerful vocals, City Of Shadows is a must have EP for any fan of female-fronted metal.

5/5

Nico Davidson