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Absynth Aura Unbreakable
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Written by Doctor T.   
Monday, 06 August 2012
Absynth Aura - CD Review
Unbreakable
Absynth Aura - Unbreakable

 

CD Info

2011
Logic(II)Logic / Street Symphonies

11 Tracks

English Lyrics

 

Italy’s been bringing a lot of femme metal to the world lately, and I don’t just mean Lacuna Coil. Seems like I’ve covered about 10 releases recently and none have been any where’s near substandard. Well, this one’s good too, but the sound is a little different. We don’t get the symphonic approach, well, not as much, that most continental Europeans support, we don’t get an operatic vocal, and for the most part the Gothic lyric is in absentia. As a result, you might expect that with those deletions, I wouldn’t be particularly attracted to this work. But, that’s not really the case. This music has an attraction; there are other strengths to it although I’m not terribly interested in some of the territory the lyrics occupy. Not that they’re bad, they just don’t necessarily always speak to my reality, which likely has no correlation with yours I don’t expect. The music, on the other hand, is relatively strong across the board. Vocalist Claudia "Klod" Saponi is a songstress, a talented one with a range of styles in her arsenal. She can do the traditional metal, she can do some quite lovely material on occasion, and she can go down and dirty with the best of them when the spirit moves. And she has some interesting material to work with. This is some stellar musical composition, some quite complex and requiring sophisticated musical capabilities to pull off. Fortunately, "Klod", and I can’t imagine the need to call someone as lovely as Claudia "Klod", but no one asked me. .. anyway, she’s got a couple killer axe men to work with and a drummer who surely can lay down a solid baseline. But make no mistake; it’s the vocals that drive this train. The instruments provide solid tracks; they take us through interesting territory and insure a fine ride, especially the crushing guitar work of Michele Vioni. But, at the end of the day, you’ll be humming the vocal lines. And there’s enough variety to those vocals to provide something for everyone. On a fair number of those tracks you get a nu-metal sound, almost close to the screams of Nookie from the Russian band the SLoT. Others do a ballad, one over a relatively significant keyboard symphonic that’s kinda nice, in a pop sort of way.

One of the nice things about covering a release that’s been out a while is that you get to see what others think of it. This one has generally gotten pretty positive reviews; no one’s really saying anything negative. There are some complaints about it being a little too "pop" oriented but, hey, if Lady Gaga sounded like this, and worked a killer axe like Vioni’s into the act, me and my 5 year old granddaughter might be listening to the same thing. In fact, Gaga’s lyrics could be viewed as significantly more "adult" than these, not that I’m into the adult lyric, especially for my darlin’ little Ray of Sunlight. Of course, some outlets, being more pop oriented seem to see this as a little too heavy for the typical 14 year old girl so what cha gonna do? Personally, I view the material two ways, I am fairly positively impressed with the metal and the vocals generally. It’s certainly hard to fault that Apocalypse like guitar that occasionally erupts like Mt. Vesuvius and covers us in metal dust from the heavens. But, the vocals can sometimes stray into territory that is less than Nookies’s best. Of course, some may find that attractive, we never know exactly who the music is aimed at. Well, anyway. . .

The CD gets off with a rousing metal kick ass and get out of the way track that gives us pretty much what we can expect to see on the debit side of the ledger. Believe Me is a fairly long way from Lady Gaga musically. . . and maybe in terms of the wardrobe if that’s your thing. . . . but this is clearly strong metal. Beyond the always strong lead guitar line here you get a more pronounced bass that gives it a more pounding sound. Reminds me of the dance palaces on Miami Beach a decade ago where the assembled multitude of hipsters sent pyramids of Snow White marching powder up their noses in an effort to enhance the experience. Not me, of course, but that was the day of the heavy bass and it is a sound near and dear to my heart.

And Buana, the sound pretty much goes in the same direction for the next selection Desert Flower which is another guitar based rocker. One of the things that impressed me about the vocals on this release was the diction, the girl seems pretty good at English, in a rather "upper crust" kind of way, probably got it in England since it sure doesn’t sound like typical American. You get accents like that in the US in some places, especially in the South with the more "gentile" segments of the population. You know the sound, it’s a syllabic emphasis creating an iambic cadence, like lines taken from an Elizabethan sonnet, where the "r"s are so soft they almost disappear from the vowels and consonants surrounding them. I mean, I get the feeling Robert E. Lee spoke this way. But he didn’t do metal, at least not this kind of metal, the Lost Cause had their own kind of metal. Complete with a Rebel Yell, which does occasionally appear on this release or something decidedly close to it.

Understanding My Fight starts out with a truly unique beginning before jumping back into the more traditional metal direction. This is definitely one of those we would NOT classify as a "pop" track. It’s full of anger and pain, drums pound out a path over which that hate is voiced. Clearly, our vocalist has some issues, as do we all, for that person in our past who, through greed and avarice, has destroyed a part of our reality. That solitary being who can’t give it up, who clings to the silverware as the mortician drags him out the door. We hear:

You understand my fight
I try to find my way in this life
There is no whore who runs out of faith
Here and now I beg for your pain

Life is an interesting track, the only one with male vocals. Those vocals, done by Fabio Dessi, bring an entirely new direction to the music, a bit heavy on the emotions:

A lovely memories light is something I paint on ice
A caring maker of time proud of losing my mind
Tonight I whisper and pray to the season that made me wise
Now I can see the crime of having no one in mind

At some point those thoughts tend to occur to all of us. The friends and lovers of our youth, gone but still alive in some part of our reality. I get calls, late at night, during heavy electrical thunder storms, from voices I can hardly remember, long gone but alive in some place. . . and damned if they don’t call collect. But, this track goes in that direction, it’s a part of living we all come to grips with, some day.

The final track also takes us back, back to the 70s or thereabouts. My recollection of those days is hazy, too much time in those dance halls on Miami Beach. Zombie, originally done by the femme metal band The Cranberries from somewhere, damned if I can remember where, is probably an improvement on the original and I liked the original. And, it’s almost relative to the day, talks about issues too few musicians today want to address. So, in that respect, I tip my hat, and I tip it again to the flaming straight from Hell guitar solo at the end that pretty much brings the CD to a close.

Unbreakable is an interesting effort, most bands try to stay pretty close to home plate for an individual effort. Clearly, that’s not the case here. There may be a few tracks that don’t float my boat at the high water mark, but, you have to respect the courage to take chances. And there’s sufficient strong material here to make it interesting to a broad listening audience. But hey, it’s from Italy, what did you expect? Now, if I could just remember where the Cranberries are from...

9 / 10

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