Ayin Aleph - Ayin Aleph I review


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Band: Ayin Aleph
Album: Ayin Aleph I
Release date: June 2007

01. Hamlet
02. My Bloody Marriage
03. Aleph
04. Grey Ashes
05. Butterfly
06. Bridge
07. Valpurgis Night
08. Sebastian's Prayer
09. Army Of Love
10. My Bloody Marriage [goule version]
11. The Purchase Of The Cathedral
12. Black Roses
13. -
14. Es Muss Sein
15. Alcove Rhapsody
16. I Came
17. Greed
18. The End
19. I Miss You

Behind the Ayin Aleph moniker is a Russian girl, living in France for some years now. She's got a rich musical background, and is a talented piano player. Unfortunately, I missed the interview so I can't explain what is her metal background cause what matters today is this metal album, simply called Ayin Aleph I.

Accompanying Ayin are the bassist and the guitarist from Misanthrope, and if you happen to be familiar with the latter band you know that those guys are great musicians. But they aren't playing the same music with Ayin Aleph than with Misanthrope.
Here, the music takes a more avant-garde feel. While at first you may simply mistake this band with yet another female-fronted operatico-goth band, you would quickly realize they're a lot more than that, even vocalwise.
Cause Ayin's voice is rather odd: while capable of singing the operatic way (even though she studied piano more than singing), most of the time she's using a raspy, aspirated and intimate voice that reminds me of the pop/soul singer Macy Gray. Unfortunately, I never liked it when Macy Gray was playing on the radio... So it took me many spins before I actually get over that aspect of the music of Ayin Aleph. Given that one spin equals 18* tracks, the process is rather long and somehow painful. But it's worth it.

I have hardly heard something like Ayin Aleph I before. It's hard to describe so I'll try my best by saying it's sort of greasy, symphonic, gothic, slightly theatrically-driven and potentially disturbed metal. Or inspired symphonic goth metal? Ah, drop it. Just don't expect sharp thrashy guitar riffs (though some riffs are terribly cool and powerful) or linear power metal lines. No single song stands out as they are all equally good and most of them do include all the elements developed by the band.

It's common to say that you will either love or hate an album, although I would say I love and hate Ayin Aleph I. I love it for it's interesting, original and daring but the voice of Ayin turns me off way too often. If she could add a third main singing style that would be just "normal" and comprehensible I think I would just love it.
This make it very hard for me to rate this album. It IS great, obviously, but I won't listen to it that much... Though I can tell for sure that I'll be looking forward to hear the second part.

*Yeah, 18 and not 19 as the tracklist indicates. It's just that the 13th and unnamed track is 4 seconds long and completely empty. Also, there's a 40 seconds song. And finally, there are two versions of the song My Bloody Marriage (there are some differences, but there's no better or worse version).

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written by wrathchild | 14.10.2007



Comments: 1   Visited by: 8 users
14.10.2007 - 13:03
Sounds like a pretty interesting (and wierd) album. I'll keep the name in mine and give it a listen if I get the chance.
Good review that really made me curious

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