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Evenoire - Vitriol
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Written by Doctor T.   
Friday, 24 February 2012
Evenoire CD Review
Evenoire - Vitriol


CD Info
Scarlet Records / ltaly
9 Tracks
English Lyrics


Several years ago a really interesting little EP crossed my path, bunch of young Italians. I gave it a listen and immediately put down the Nightwish, the Epica, the Within Temptation and just concentrated on the 4 songs presented on that EP. Wrote a review and hoped I’d hear a lot more from them and soon. Well, it didn’t happen soon, it’s been a while, but, the cute little singer with the big voice sure grew up, and so did the overall sound of Evenoire. When I got an e-mail recently from Robin Stryker saying there was an Evenoire CD available and did anyone have an interest I did some threatening and made it very clear it was mine and mine alone. It was a good call; this one builds on the EP in every conceivable dimension.

The little EP had several styles encompassed within its short 4 song set. There was some Gothic, some metal and some Folk / metal. You get a similar range here, with each of those categories included; you just get more of it and with a far bigger sound, more music, a stronger vocal, actually, a lot of strong vocals. If you like the symphonic, you get it here, if you like the female vocal, it doesn’t get any better than this, and, you get some really interesting lyrical development, mostly based on Italian cultural themes. The lead vocal is the lovely Lisy Stefanoni, that little girl who seems to have become a lovely lady. And her voice grew with her. The rest of the performers are a little different from the EP but it’s been 4 years, shit happens. So, you get some of the same performers, but, a somewhat smaller central cast, at least as far as I can see. However, that central cast is supported by a lot of "guest" musicians, some of whom you may be familiar with. For instance, on one of the best titles on the CD, Misleading Paradise, we are entertained with a combination of Lisy and Gaby Koss who you may be familiar with from her associations with Haggard, Equilibrium and Nota Profana. The sound produced in that title alone is probably worth the price of purchase. Other guest musicians perform on keyboards on a number of titles, and the results are spectacular. It should be noted that Lisy is an accomplished flutist and demonstrates those talents on a number of tracks.

Additionally, we would be remiss not to look at the lyrical work. Each of the songs has a theme, the material Lisy provided me carried a short note about each and, while my association with Italian cultural and historical themes is limited to non-existent, the short descriptions did serve to put those lyrics in some perspective. You have to appreciate work that makes use of a countries themes and histories for its stories. I’ll provide some of that background information as we look at individual titles.

And finally, a word about the production would seem appropriate. Clearly, the band went with some good names. The CD was recorded at the Dreamsound Studios in Munich, which, interesting enough, is where Gaby Koss resides. And, they had first rate people on the production team, people with credentials you’d recognize. And that first rate production is in evidence, although the label decided to make available a copy of the work at a relatively low quality bit rate which didn’t do much for the overall sound quality. Too bad, with a range like Lisy has to offer, you really want the high notes, they are just too good to miss. Hopefully, the label will reconsider that decision in future releases.

I recognize that there are always a number of variables that influence one’s perception of a work. Some like the symphonic, some like the operatic, and some like the lyrical content, on and on. None of us are exactly alike. So, I can appreciate that my overall positive response to this work reflects my interests. However, that said, some things are just higher quality, some vocals are better than others, some instrumental work is just superior, some lyrical content is more interesting and enjoyable. And, in my opinion, each of those circumstances occurs here. Lisy had a fine voice 4 years ago, today, she has a GREAT voice, outstanding tone, fine range, a classical approach which can move between that and the metal instantaneously. And the production folks have done their work with it; there is some fine layering of that vocal, and to masterful effect. The duet with Koss is also superb. There are some very limited male vocals, you might not catch them, but they’re there, just not enough to make a big deal about it.

What’s very consistent is the excellence across the board. I do prefer this symphonic approach, but we also get a bit of the green, a Celtic approach done in a folk / rock fashion, similar to the big track on the earlier EP. It’s significantly different than the other tracks, even the vocals sound like they’re straight from the Emerald Isle. The title is Minstrel of Dolomites and it demonstrates the band’s ability to go in multiple directions, and do it with an extreme level of excellence. This song would work in any Irish pub I’ve frequented, and I’ve frequented a few. But more to the point are tracks like Forever Gone, which pretty much stopped me in my tracks. If you treasure the intersection of the beautiful with the symphonic, it just doesn’t get much better than this. The keyboards on this, and most of the rest, pretty much drive the action although there are thundering drums and enough guitar to keep the rockers happy, they’re just not driving the action. And, this is one of those tracks where Lisy shows it off. This is just superb singing, no matter how you define that art form. And, beyond the very evident musical quality, is the story, the lyrics. The accompanying text points out that this song is "Inspired by the end of Queen Elena Ducas, wife of King Manfred of Sicily. Place: Castle of Nocera Inferiore (Campania, Italy)". There’s one of these little information tickets attached to the lyrics of each song, providing a little understanding to what follows. And, although you’re pretty much blown away by the music, the story is interesting:

All my dreams are forever gone / memories fill my head again
every moment I smiled / Night, breath of the sea
far lost melodies / will I see your eyes again
in mine?

But the conclusion of this track is one you won’t soon forget, Lisy hits the high notes here, and the sound is something to be treasured.

Misleading Paradise, the track with Gaby Koss, is another that falls into that Irish / Folk sound, at least part of the time. Here, you move to the guitars a little harder, and then to a more metal sound with the two featured vocalists. You get your money’s worth here, two top flight vocalists, working over some of the best symphonic metal you can imagine, all put together by some of the best production people in the business.

A Wise King provides another interesting component of the CD. Here we begin with Lisy on flute. It happens a few times and it does provide that little extra. And, on this track, it really works. The vocal is more metal in nature although there is the always devastating symphonic to ride over. Lyrically, we get a story "Inspired by the biblical meeting between King Salomon and the Queen of Saba." That meeting couldn’t have sounded this good. But, the lyrics provide an interesting interpretation:

She came here / just to relish / the wonders they said about him
Sheba left / with gold and gifts / spices and wood
she crossed the seas / to prove majesty /about brilliant mind 
of the wise king

Well, I honestly did suspect there was some greatness in that little 2008 release, the 4 song EP that caught my eye a few years ago. And, it’s certainly rewarding to see that I was right on that one. This is as strong an offering as you’re likely to get this year. Release dates are coming up, I’d be first in line if I was you. This one will sell real well.

10 / 10

Notable Links:
Scarlet Records
Evenoire Website
Evenoire Facebook

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