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Godyva - Alien Heart
CD Reviews
Written by Doctor T.   
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Godyva CD Review
Alien Heart
Godyva - Alien Heart

CD Info


Scarlet Records / Southern Brigade Records 
 11 Tracks

English and Italian Lyrics


This is a new release for Italian Gothic Metalers Godyva, we covered the last one  and this release may or may not be out, depending on where you are and who you are. By the end of March, it should be widely available, and, good as the last one was, this one is immensely better. Vocalist Maria Christina, or Lady Godyva, should you choose that nomenclature is one of my favorites. . . .and she’s a banker, go figure. Well, as long as she stays away from Wall Street we’re good. But this release takes us to a new level of musical excellence. Now I know there’s been a lot of really good stuff coming out this year, remarkably so, but this one is right up there with the best. And, as is often the case with the really good bands, this one adds on to what was already a solid sound. You get more metal, a LOT more symphonics, more work with the vocals, just a far larger sound than previously presented. . . and that works for me, ain’a.

Beyond the sound, there’s also some solid Gothic lyrical work. The Italians seem to have a feel for that direction, much like the Norwegians. Now these may not reach Cadaveria territory, but they’re solid and worth paying attention to, I’ll cover some of them to provide examples. When you have something worth talking about, you quickly capture my attention, when it sounds this good, it’s particularly hard to ignore. But, with this release, it’s the combination of the two that is what you’re paying for, interesting ideas, nicely developed lyrically, and put to outstanding music.

I might like to start with a cover, which is, I believe, a new direction for the band. The track is I Feel You (Ti Sento), which is a cover of a 1985 release by the Italian band Matia Bazar. Now, I believe that release was in Italian, this is in English, mostly. And, this brought up an interesting issue. There are a lot of bands, not only Italian, who perform in Italian, it’s a beautiful language, much like Spanish which is my second language. And, I love to hear it, it can make a release for me. I asked the Lady about that, she replied (in caps and I’m too lazy to change them): " I LOVE ITALIAN LANGUAGE BUT I HAVE SING JUST FEW WORDS IN ITALIAN ON I FEEL YOU BECAUSE I WANTED TO REPRESENT OUR COUNTRY AND THE ITALIAN BAND MATIA BAZAR WITH SOMETHING IN ITALIAN LANGUAGE. MAYBE ONE DAY WE WILL CREATE A SONG ONLY SINGING IN ITALIAN" Well, in the humble opinion of this marginally educated music critic, that particular part of the CD is the highlight, for more than just a few reasons. It’s not just the Italian at the end that sets this one apart; it’s the vocals which take our lovely Italian into new territory. I haven’t heard this range before, and it’s devastating. More Italian like this sure couldn’t hurt.

Well, overall, I have to say that the biggest thing I have to comment on here is the BIG sound. They always did good metal, but here, there’s just so much more, choral work, lovely, heavenly sounds from some Gothic pyramid in the sky, technical work that seems aimed at taking you to places only the top European sounds can approach. I was really blown away at first listen, and, after all I’ve heard this year, that takes some doing. Again, I asked about the mid-course correction, "YES, A DIFFERENT SOUND FOR DIFFERENT GODYVA. THAT'S WHAT WE WANTED TO DO FOR OUR MUSIC, SOMETHING NEW AND MODERN, MORE ROCK AND METAL, SYMPHONIC AND WITH MORE ORCHESTRATIONS." OK, I get it, it’s all about evolution of the sound, we got that with Visions of Atlantis, we got it with some other sounds. But, it’s hard for this ol’ rocker to handle this level of change. When you take something really good and make it that much better, it’s a little more than "the next release". I asked about how that sound was achieved, were there more musicians involved, " NO, MUSICIANS ARE ALWAYS 5 MEMBERS BUT WITH OUR NEW GUITARIST AND OUR NEW PRODUCER AND WITH ORCHESTRATIONS WE HAVE DONE A GREAT WORK, I THINK". She did acknowledge the production folks, with technical engineer and producer Giuseppe Dentamaro of Golem Dungeon Studios getting a call out.

The lyrics also provide some interesting ideas. The Italians always do a good job here; I sometimes wish they’d do writing classes here in America where the thinking seems to be framed in some asylum for the truly demented with a low vocabulary. The Lady commented here, "ALL LYRICS ARE SIMILAR, MAYBE THERE'S SOMETHING IN THEM LIKE A CONCEPT THAT SPEAK ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD AND THE HUMAN BEINGS, BUT WITH A BIG HOPE IN OUR HANDS (SEE THE HEART IN THE COVER OF THE ALBUM) THAT THINGS CAN BE CHANGED IF HUMANS WANT. ALL LYRICS SPEAK ABOUT POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THINGS, ABOUT THE END AND A NEW RESTART, THIS ALBUM IS DEDICATED TO THE DECAY OF THE WORLD AND ITS REVAMP." Beats the "how I beat my girlfriend" theme that drives so much American music.

The production is bookended by Apocalypse Fire, I and II. And they fookin’ rock. We begin with a pounding guitar / drum sound that is augmented by an overpowering symphonic. You know you’re not in Country Western anymore. And the Lady can recount a tale. The first track begins:

I had never dreamt my death before / Sudden, hot and instant
In flames I tried to grab your arm/ touching you before dying
It has been a moment to live / It has driven me over the world
But also it brought the peace in my heart
It has driven me over / It’s our Apocalypse Fire
Burns all around the world

There’s a couple that have to be mentioned, Everything is Over being high on the list. I know this is Gothic, I know this is symphonic, but, making things interesting is what life is all about. And this one, along with some interesting lyrics, takes a side road into something akin to Hip Hop. Now this ain’t exactly Snoop Dog, but it’s definitely in that direction, maybe a little more along the lines of the Kottonmouth Kings. Ah, sorry about that, but it is a favorite and, since it’s too early to get videos from this release, I had to give ya something to up tha boggy. The Hip Hop part goes something like this:

Enter my game and try to find the way / When you will arrive
Open the door if you’ll survive
To see the light / This is the key
Of the chamber 33

This Light provides a haunting sound, some nice keyboards introduce things and take us to the vocal. The Lady has an interesting voice, not usually in the operatic mode, but way down the line from what we might expect from a banker. And this one, although it does rock, still has a focus on the voice. Again, truly interesting production work here, nicely put together. And the lyrics again take us to a dark place:

I cried for my lost soul inside / In the dark mornings of my life
I was scared by the ghost in my heart / And then nothing exists anymore
Only you live in me now

Well, the Lady has put together some really nice material. She’s got a solid bunch of musicians behind her, some great production help and the message is worth the time to pay attention to. A little more Italian and it’s everything I could want, but, until then, this will truly satisfy.

9.5 / 10

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