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Seduce the Heaven - Promo EP
CD Reviews
Written by Doctor T.   
Friday, 23 December 2011
Seduce the Heaven - Promo
EP Review
Seduce the Heaven - Field of Dreams

 

CD Info
2011
Independent Release
5 Tracks
English Lyrics

 

 

Ordinarily I don’t like to cover "Promo" or EP material, especially when word is that a full release is going to appear in the relatively near future. I mean, there’s enough full CD material out there to keep one busy night and day, and I do have a day job, much as I hate to admit it. But, there are those rare occasions when something comes down the pike that’s just too good to pass up. And that’s the case here with Seduce the Heaven. . . and isn’t that one of the finest names for a Gothic metal band you ever heard? So, when I came across a few raving comments regarding the band and the Promo, I decided to investigate. And the first thing I found was STH female lead vocalist Elina Laivera. . . on FaceBook. Now once you get past the pictures, you get to the music and that’s when you begin to recognize that this is some serious stuff, even if there are only 5 tracks on this limited product. Of course, my involvement with Elina and the band was quickly limited as my lovely colleague Robin Stryker jumped in to snatch the interview portion of the work from me, expect that interview, complete with pictures we all trust, in the relatively near future. But we can take a look at the musical work here, and expect a review of the full CD when it’s released next year, this is music you DON'T want to miss.

The band is a new project, I mean, how old can you be with a 19 year old vocalist. So, unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to link to on YouTube. But, there are a couple introductory cuts that give you a peak at the crunching sound, and, er, the eye candy. This one  does a little of both. And there’s another one here showing the making of the CD, with the participants in a little more of a working mode, less flash, more effort, maybe a little more real life. I really enjoy these productions, the give a feel for what the business is really all about, even if they do try to make it out to be more fun than work. I especially like the base players part, now that’s some axe work.

The focus of the work is an interesting interaction between the two vocalists; Vagelis and Elina. And one could argue that that interaction is the strength of the music, although, I might not agree. There is just too much good instrumental work for any one component to get the lion’s share of the compliments. But we have to remember this is just an introduction to the greater product that will be released, and, as a result, what we have here is a limited glimpse of what STH is all about. I was able to interact with the vocalist Elina several times, before Robin closed the door, and was provided some thoughts on both the band, the music and the vocalist herself. . . all of it interesting information. Elina talks about the music, saying, "We used melodic vocal lines, massively supported by rich backing vocals combined with growl vocals, massive guitars, hard riffing, atmospheric arrangements with symphonic features and keys. You can find technically demanding yet soulful stuff in this album. Imagine it like a bouquet of power, melodic/death, metal core features with slight doses of progressive metal. " Yea, I wouldn’t dispute any of that, but, somehow, it doesn’t entirely capture the essence of the sound for me. What we have here is aggressive material, attacking music that grabs you by the throat and tears at your reality. It’s hard, crushing metal that is enhanced by the vocals, but not led by the vocals. There is just too much solid metal underneath the music, drums that simply don’t let up, leading guitars that attack like a German Panzer division in winter. There are symphonics provided by keyboards but they don’t provide the emphasis that we get with other Greek bands. Maybe we’ll see more in the full production. So there’s a lot to talk about musically here, and, there’s something for everyone.

It’s a little difficult to classify this music. There are elements of a lot of different styles, maybe this could be classified as "cutting edge" in the sense that it takes the best of a number of directions and combines them. Certainly, there is a progressive feel to it, but there is too much of a thrash metal to the speed guitars to limit our definition to that extent. And, given some of the extreme vocal interaction, we almost need to come up with a different classification to describe it. This is especially true in Baseline Addiction, which I have a quick intro to here. This, in my opinion, is the highlight of this limited product. And vocally, it breaks new ground, wish I had a more complete rendition to point to. The track starts in a somewhat traditional manner, with a solid death metal vocal that becomes a duet with the female lead. And, this, in and of itself, is killer. Both vocalist provide their best work here, absolutely stunning. We get a feel for the intensity of the lyric:

ELINA:
I have to deal with whatever they do and whatever I see has been made off a baseless addiction
...the world you created for me is not fair, till the day I die!

VAGELIS:

Distant crying out / Dethroned the laughter.
Taking me over for all they have done!
Faces fade out / Causing a slaughter.
Keeping the hate everlastingly on!

This intensity continues until a point where the vocalists engage in a thrashing, screaming interaction that defies anything I’ve heard in this kind of music. It really breaks new ground:

V: It doesn’t matter…
E: No, not anymore…
V: Who’s the decision?
E: Partly is ours but it means nothing at all…
V: And who did the rest?
E: No, we’re innocent, you don’t understand…
V: But you could resist, couldn’t you?
E: No, didn’t know what to do!
V: Don’t you feel sorry?
E: Not half from my side, you hear me?!
V: I see they forced us all…
E: They promised everything…
V: Fed us with greed…
E: It’s totally true…
V: Killed the human inside,
E: Ahhh!!

Damn, when you’re done with this, you pretty much need a beer, that was effin’ intense. And, although this may be the high water mark of the work, it’s certainly not the only noteworthy musical moment, there’s a lot of them. Right from the intro, Illusive Light, we recognize that this won’t just be another CD. It cranks from the beginning, the intensity starts early and stays late.

Beyond the clearly outstanding musical and lyrical work this review would be remise not to mention the strong production work. Now you may have a little trouble with interpretation, although not as much as one would expect. Both vocalists are relatively strong in their English pronunciation but there are moments when the intensity of the delivery takes us back to some accented work. But, it’s hardly an impediment; you’re too busy enjoying some of the strongest metal you will ever hear.

So what we have here is the promise of something of note, and having this to listen to is hardly something to complain about either. You just don’t get something this strong coming along every day, and with all the promise 2012 has to offer, this work only enhances the excitement. I may not be Heaven, but consider me Seduced.

10 / 10 

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