Astral Tears - Hypnotic review
|Release date:||April 2012|
02. Hate The Enemy
05. Behind The Curtains
06. Back To Life
08. Tell Me Lies
11. My Reality
12. End Of My Story
Rating supplement: Not the best I've heard in the style, but it makes up for it by not being a carbon-copy, so I'd recommend this to fans of female-fronted metal.
Astral Tears are from France and they play, according to their bio, "melodic metal with oriental influences". Given the stereotypical band and album name, I thought I wasn't in for anything remotely good, but Hypnotic is a solid debut. It's not strikingly original, but it has identity; it's not amateurish either. There is room for improvement, but the band won't be ashamed of their first release, no matter where their music takes them in the future.
Now, I'm sure a lot of your fancies are tickled with the promise of "oriental influences". A disappointment for some and reassurance for others, they are mostly restricted to the vocal lines. Mostly. There are some oriental and vaguely "exotic" sounds surfacing on the instrumental "plane" as well, especially on percussion. I'm the first person to admit that (Middle-)Eastern-influenced singing puts me off in metal, but Beyza (the band's vocalist) has got a pleasant voice and is as skillful as one can get, so the vocals didn't put me up for such a bumpy ride as I initially thought they would - by the time my first listen ended, I was enjoying them. However, the music is for the most part vocal-centric, so if you have a particular dislike for such a vocal style, it would be best if you sampled this before you went for the whole deal.
Riffs are generally nu metal-inspired, although there are some that stay out of that pattern. The band also tries to channel some of their more progressive influences, but such moments are rare and far apart - I probably wouldn't have paid a lot of attention to them had I not read they were inspired by bands such as Dream Theater and Periphery beforehand. Astral Tears could easily be compared to the likes of newer Lacuna Coil, but the Frenchies are already a more accomplished band, especially if we take their folk elements (which add some very necessary diversity) into consideration. Why? They're heavier. A real metal band.
But still, not nearly as heavy as they should and could be. Amp up the game! Unleash those solos! Bring forth some more playful riffs - I can't tell you how many times have I played "Tell Me Lies" to have some more of that verse riff. I'm aware that this is - pardon me for my awful generalization - the type of metal that generally doesn't rely on heaviness to draw listeners to it. But it would suit this particular band's sound. Moreover, we need more heavy bands in female fronted metal, if for nothing else, then for the purpose of a certain percentage of our younger generation being introduced to metal by actual metal bands. And for giving the middle finger to anyone that mocks you for listening to "metal for girls".
Then again, not that you need a reason to do that anyway.
||Written on 12.04.2012 by A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.|
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