Voices From Within
8/8/2008 - Review by: Raising Iron
Distorted have returned with their second gripping and elegant release. If you're not aware, they are a female fronted gothic metal band from Israel. Lead vocals come from the beautiful and talented Miri Milman, who really knows how to control the dynamics in her phrasings, and this pairs well with the growled vocals from guitarist Raffael Mor who regularly adds his sinister but easily understood lyrics to the songs.
So this begs the question, "what's different here?" The metal community is literally littered with female fronted gothic bands now, many of which have become generic, formulaic, and stale. Distorted's attack is fairly fresh though. The reason being is the songs are written around the guitars with a very riff-based approach. Slight traces of old-school thrash even appear from time to time. There really isn't those long, meandering, atmospheric, keyboard driven passages you typically find in this genre. The songs are very tight and focused, including melodies written with a bit of a pop sensibility.
The overall atmosphere of the album is what makes this gothic though; very introspective, emotive, and enrapturing. There is a lot of light and shade created with very little overdubs. They've let the music itself create the ambience of the album without using a lot of studio wizardry. Production is crystalline, with nothing getting buried in the mix. The one very major complaint to be levied against this album is the complete abandonment of the Middle-Eastern folk influences which made their debut, Memorial, one of the most unique gothic releases of 2006. I get the sense the band wanted to go for a more streamlined and accessible approach with this effort, which is fine, for it's a positively wonderful disc, but the lack of the folk elements is a let-down.
Distorted therefore have made a really good album that stands above much of the gothic metal genre, defining and nailing it down instead of just merely imitating it. Overall, the song-writing has certainly sharpened since their last release. Now, if they only combine the skills they've displayed on this album with their middle-eastern heritage from the first one, they could very well become a top tier band in the genre.
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