Album Review: “Rhapsodies In Black” by Exit Eden

18951120_415097612216750_3197680066864352688_nSo I have a new band for you, they’re called Exit Eden! If you are into the symphonic metal scene then you might know some of the ladies in the group. Oh yeah, all four singers are WOMEN! You know, there are a lot of female fronted bands that don’t like their bands called “female fronted” but I think it’s awesome! And I love the fact that these four powerhouses that have either fronted or were background singers for other well-known bands is amazing!

American singer Amanda Somerville and Brazilian vocalist Marina La Torraca have both worked with the Dutch heavy metal band Avantasia, while French soprano Clémentine Delauney has previously fronted Serenity but is now working with Visions of Atlantis. The last member of the group is German singer Anna Brunner is also the newcomer too, although I have yet to find if she’s worked with any bands yet or released her own material, she definitely has a strong voice to lend to the ensemble.

The album consists of 11 songs, but they are not singing their own songs. They’re actually covering a very interesting and unique blend of songs. I found it odd that they are covering more songs from the early 2000’s than maybe the 1980’s, but maybe there is copyright issues and were only allowed to do so many, but I still think the setlist is good though. I will say there were a few that I had to look up and see who they were originally by, but I’m hoping who the real artist is won’t cloud my judgement!

We start with Depeche Mode’s single “A Question of Time” and I didn’t know what to expect, but I sure liked it! I imagine the original version is very heavy, so the fact they is somewhat soft is fun. The song itself is very commanding so it works with the slight change of adding more symphony sounds and the male choir in the background. All of the ladies have different tones, but I really like Marina’s fierce vocals in the choruses. I apologize in advance if I get one wrong here and there. I’ve only figured out Anna and Clementine’ voices so far. The second is Rihanna’s hit “Unfaithful” that came out before she went bad. I liked the original a lot, but I’m not going to lie when I heard this one, I was shocked and happy all at the same time! I liked the raw string introduction and I really love Anna’s voice on this track. She has a strong, 80’s power-metal type of voice. It’s gorgeous! Majority of the heavy metal singers do not write personal songs so it’s a little strange to hear something that may not exactly be about them or their struggles, because half the time the music they do is more fantasy, folklore kind of stuff.

Third is another shocker and one that I really tried to keep an open mind about because they went and covered a Backstreet Boys song. Thankfully, not one of their bigger 90’s or 00’s hits, but still it’s a boy band song! However, it’s not bad! I liked the fact they kept the same slow tempo and didn’t destroy the essence of the song itself. I will say I do prefer the BSB version but this is a good effort! Next is Shontelle’s “Impossible” and I thought this was a different one. I remember it was a big hit in 2011 I think but didn’t think I’d ever see it on here. The melody’s not bad and I do like the addition of the guitar solo, but it is a hard song for me to listen to in any version so unfortunately I don’t like it as much as I wish I could and it has nothing to do with Exit Eden!

I wonder if it’s hard to do a Madonna cover? I mean, think about it. If you have listened to a song for years, know all of the words to it. How does one decide they want to not only cover it, but instead of keeping the pop sound, you change it to metal? I feel that would be difficult, but again I like the effort. This is Madonna’s “Frozen” and it’s hauntingly beautiful! Honestly, it could have been better without the beginning part of the guitar solo but that’s my opinion! Now we’re going to talk about a song that when I first heard it, I thought the original artist had covered it. No joke! It was Bryan Adams’s “Heaven” everybody has heard some version of this song at one point in their life! I have to say this is the one that I didn’t care for as much. I think there is too much and it’s mostly in the sound itself, I think the ladies were amazing but it lacked the same flair.

Keeping with the pop theme, we have Katy Perry’s “Firework” and even though Amanda Somerville is the only American singer in the group, and she seems to do most of the vocals, I think they managed to make it sound more Americana. Between Amanda and Anna’s voices, the vibe is unreal. It sounds so simple too! I don’t know how they did it! And then we have a shocker, it’s Adele’s “Skyfall” but it has become another song that has become a real hit as far as covering. The Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation also covered it in 2013. I liked the sound, it still has that powerful sound but I think it would have been better if it was only Clementine and Marina’s voices on the track.

This next one is one that everyone has heard, maybe in the right way. Several of us have only heard the crazy version on the snack commercials, like moi! It’s a good thing my mom doesn’t read my reviews! The song is Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and it does sound roughly the same, the duo vocals between a male and female, but I have no idea who the guy’s voice is. It could be another singer of a band or their guitarist voice. I’m not really sure! I think the song itself is very good though! And then we have Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and I love the playful mobile sound at the beginning before switching to this sharp metal sound. I love Anna’s disornated voice during the bridge. I love the high vocals in the choruses – they’re going to be a bitch trying to hit once I figure out the melody again! It’s one of my favorites on here! The last song is Visage’s “Fade To Grey” and this was another song that I did not know at all. For the last song of the album, it definitely had the vibe “let’s go out with a bang” and I definitely approved of that! However, it does go a bit quiet once the verses start but it’s still very interesting though!

I was really surprised when I listened to this. I had been looking forward to it because I follow both Amanda and Clementine on Facebook, so finally I got to hear it officially was very satifasying! I almost got worried because it released in Europe first and I kept seeing on the band’s Facebook page that it was on Spotify and I kept having to check like every other day before I released we’d be second in line! I felt like an ass afterwards!

Have you heard of Exit Eden yet? Did you listen to the album too? What are your favorite(s)?

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Song Review: “Don’t Say a Word” by Xandria

I was literally thinking about this band the other day. I kept thinking “I wonder when their new EP was supposed to be out?” And then like two days later my Spotify restarted for me and my notifications lit up with the number 15. Some of it was just the usually “songs added” onto the playlists I followed from either Spotify and other users. The rest are from artists and bands updating their music profiles. That’s when I noticed that the band Xandria was on there as I was scrolling down!

I love Xandria, like a LOT! I had fallen in love with the band while Manuela Kraller was the lead vocalist. Now that she has left and they have Dutch singer Dianne van Giersbergen (who also a vocalist for the band Ex Libris’) taking over the vibe has changed. I think with each singer they have, it gives a different, but good sound. Everybody is unique in their own ways! Dianne has more of a softer voice, but can hold her notes longer and she’s definitely more powerful from the rest. As for this song, it’s actually not one theirs. It’s a cover of the band Sonata Arctica that will be featured along with another cover song on their EP called “Fire & Ashes” that it’ll be out at the end of this month. I may or may not do a review of it, just depends on how I feel that week!

I don’t usually like to hear the original version of songs that are turned into covers and remixes. I have read the original lyrics though and it is a long song but it is beautiful! I love the powerful dymatics  of Dianne’s voice. I love the sound of the gritty guitars and I don’t usually like solos very much because I feel like in rock/metal song I heard there was one in every song I listened to and after a while, it got a little annoying! This time I didn’t have that cringey feeling that I’m used to feeling in the middle of the track. I actually can’t until I hear the rest of the EP because I need to learn more songs!

If you’re a fan of Sonata Arctica, do you think this a good remake of their song? What is that you liked or disliked about it?

Tune Tuesday: Russia

tunetuesday

There are some countries were I wish I had more music suggestions from their countries. Sadly, this was one of them. I love Russia, it’s definitely on my list to visit one day. The band that I have selected to talk about is a “new” band. I found this band I think last year or the year before that, I get random follows on Twitter every once in a while and I think this band gave me a follow. Or they probably sent me a tweet to follow them on Facebook, because I don’t have them on there anymore which is okay! The band I am talking about is called Revontulet. The band consists of Alexandra Revontulet who is the lead vocalist and  Sergey Zorg on drums. The main reason of how I came about them is the fact that they’re a symphonic metal band. I am always looking for more symphonic metal bands! When I found these guys I was very intrigued to hear them, but for some reason I didn’t hear any of their stuff until earlier this year. I know I’m a bad fan, but when you constantly look and find different artists and bands, you’re liable to lose track of others as it all piles up. Ah, the life of a music addict! It never gets old but it does get frustrating though! The band just recently released their debut album, which is called “Hear Me” this year. I have listened through the whole album a few times and I actually love it! Alexandra’s vocals are amazing! It’s so amazing of how somebody who sounds they belong on stage singing traditional opera can turn a hard banging metal sound into something so strange but good at the same time.

Hear Me by Revontulet

Mile In These Shoes

There are two things I will never get use to and they are the wondering eyes of teenagers and adults. The second is judging others on looks and not giving them a chance to change your mind about them. These are the things that bug me always, because a lot of people just don’t let go. I put up a pair of shoes and titled this “Mile In These Shoes” because I thought it fit the whole post.

Whenever I go places I get a lot of wondering eyes. Sometimes I feel like a celebrity just not without a lot of security and I’m not known for anything but one thing. It was forever ago. I haven’t gotten stopped for it since 2003. Anyways, I get these eyes everywhere I go and when it’s kids or elder people I don’t usually have a fit about it. When it’s kids ages 10 and up and adults just staring at me bugs the crap out of me. I cannot stand it. It’s like they don’t have any manners at all whenever they do that.

I am all about not judging a book by its cover, however I do it all the time on books. People are another subject. I’m very into meeting new people. I don’t care about what you look like or what you do. I’m going to be a better person than certain people on this Earth do on an average day. I’m not like other people who will just look at you and wonder. If I get curious enough I will either give you a smile or talk to you. Seems like nobody wants to smile to people anymore. They really should too.

You shouldn’t judge a person before you know their life story. Until you walk in their shoes then you can decide if you really want to judge them. In 10 times out of 10 you won’t be judging them again. If you judge me on who I am, God help the both of us. I’ve been told that I have a bit of a temper sometimes. I have no control what comes out of my mouth when I’m pissed off. I’m only in control of it when I’m around my parents, but that’s normal. So I definitely wouldn’t try it. All you have to do is give me a chance to change your mind.