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Sonic Cathedral - Sirens Sampler
CD Reviews
Written by Toine van Poorten   
Sunday, 09 December 2007
Sonic Cathedral - CD Review
Sirens Sampler

CD Info

2005

Sonic Cathedral

15 Tracks

English lyrics

Sonic Cathedral - Sirens Sampler

This compilation cd contains fifteen bands with female vocalists, worthy of almost eighty minutes of a diversity in music. Before I start writing this review, I must say that I always like these kind of initiations. Especially because you get to know a lot of different bands at the same time. Well, here you go...

The cd starts with Crisis, pounding out "Nomad". Brutal female vocals with a thundering rhythm and strong riffs. Karyn screams her lungs out on this one. That’s the way, I like it!

Then we continue with "In The Bodiless Heart" of Peccatum. What a change in music style! Acoustic instruments, choir vocals. Music to sit down and relax. But not for long, because when the guitars take off, they unleash the power as well. Creating an atmosphere, which feels like the band is playing in your living room, quiet and cosy and at times a little rebellious.

The Gathering is on next with "Broken Glass". Their experimental music sounds a bit odd to me at times. I’m from the heavy metal generation, you know. But despite this, Anneke has got a very lovely voice. Although their music does sound a bit psychedelic, especially at the end of the song.

Antimatter continues in this style with their rendition "The Art Of A Soft Landing". Experimental parts topped with the beautiful voice of Michelle Richfield. Oh, and Anathema fans can lend their ears to this song as well without any problem.

Subteranean Masquerade is a band I’ve never heard of before. They present us their song "Suspended Animation Dreams". It’s a nice continuation of the music style, we heard by Antimatter, with the exception that they add a bit more Pink Floyd-ish accent in their guitar solos here and there.

Star Of Ash is also a new name to me. "Death Salutes Atropos" is again rather experimental, which puts the progressive parts next to industrial-like sounds. Think about Skeptical Minds here to get an idea.

I was nicely surprised to see Cirrha Niva on this sampler as well. The band continued without their female bassplayer/vocalist, who pursued her career in Dial. This is from the latest album they recorded with her, a song called "Le Parade". It already contains the atmosphere, that Liselotte wants to create in her songs. A big surprise to your ears, topped with some high quality prog rock musicianship, constantly asking the listener for their attention.

The best song for me so far. Oathean didn’t ring a bell to me either. Their "Scent Of Longing" sounds atmospheric at first, but after the violin puts some more energy into the song, it turns into a melodic doomy, black metal tune, including some male grunting. The band was originally called Odin and rather surprisingly to some people, they hail from South Korea. Yes, even there they have discovered melodic black metal. Vocals are done by Do-Su Kim, the female member of the band.

Madder Mortem are from Norway. This dark doom, gothic band is a good mix of male maniacal screams and a normal sounding female voice. Not the angel-like or emotional soft voice, but a normal singing voice. The repetative riffs add a heavy ingredient to the dark sound of this band. "Jigsaw" is the song added to this compilation, which sounds a bit like Evanescence in the vocal parts.

Aina is another atmospheric rendition, including some piano music. The short but sweet song is called "Rape Of Oria".

If you’re more interested in a Within Temptation-like gothic metal approach, then I can recommend the Asrai song "Pale Light" to you. An uptempo song and in your imagination you can see the long hair of the fans waving, while they bang their heads to this music.

After Forever are the kings and queen of bombast (next to Epica, who are also on this release), and prove is already given at the beginning of "Beautiful Emptiness". Bombastic orchestration, beautiful female vocals of Floor Jansen, a brutal male grunt and heavy riffs are the main ingredients, that closes the emptiness, whatever they are singing about in this song. A weird ending, by the way.

After that, we’re "Coming Home" with Amaran from Sweden. Meaning, that the speed goes up and the power, too. Power metal is what we get here. I like their sound very much, it adds even more variation to this compilation.

Epica needs no futher introduction. One of their most well-known songs, "The Phantom Agony" is already a classic in the gothic metal scene. And another great bombastic anthem from the low lands.

The cd closes with "The Delores Lesion" of a band called Lilitu, who disperse their dark, melodic death metal messages here. The band hails from Atlanta, USA and this is the title track of their debut album.

The main conclusion I would like to add to this review is, that there is such a wide scope in the metal scene. But this compilation almost covers it all. It definitely proves, that female musicians have spread their wings and they are anticipating in all the different music styles available. They’re no longer restricted to gothic metal only. Instead, they belong to brutal death and black metal, as well as atmospheric experimental music. "Sirens" refers to a synonym for a female voice, in my opinion. Maybe not all the songs will be music to your ears. But if you want to hear a good overview of what the input of the female voice in the metal scene is all about, than "Sirens" is a very good start. It leaves out the bigger names like Within Temptation and Nightwish, but don’t we all know them already? It also gives you the opportunity to check out the lesser well-known bands, that are interesting enough to listen to.

9/10

Metal Maidens
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