Published on Saturday, 01 March 2014 13:05
Band: The Strigas
Album title: A Poisoned Kiss To Reality
Release date: 28 February 2014
Label: Southern Brigade Records
02. Until You Surrender
03. Sorrow Queen
04. Falling Down
05. Dream Again
06. The Box
08. Sweet Bitterness
09. No Tomorrow
11. Waiting For Glory
12. Fade Away
I could easily make this the shortest review by simply putting my effort into three words: Italian suomi metal. With the prominence of bands that have risen in the metal scene in the 90s of the previous century, coming from Finland and carrying out an eerie version of depressive sounding metal, this musical style seems to have emerged through the limits of its motherland. And we need to welcome this with opened arms, since suomi metal has been on a decline in the last decade.
The Strigas is a fairly new band, formed in summer in 2010 by Fabio Ficarella on vocals and bassists Liboria Tesoro, eager to compose some music. Their self-produced EP was aired enough on the local radio stations that the band got the attention it needed and thus in February 2014 the debut, with a heartbrokenly painful title A Poisoned Kiss To Reality was born. The combination of words “Poisoned” and “Kiss’” immediately tell you: yes, we’re there! A lyrical theme that is a must in suomi metal alike music is pain and despair. Lots and lots of pain and despair. I mean, you just can’t go wrong with pain and despair. Broken hearts, unsaid words, eternal pain, inner despair, never forgotten memories and…. Well, you get the picture. Love metal style and such. The Strigas is not immune to that.
But it’s not all about the lyrics. A Poisoned Kiss To Reality is, to be honest, nothing new and exceptionally exciting. The main idea of the album is to carry on light-weight guitar riffs, easy drumming; they pitch in some catchy keyboards to create a little ambient every now and then, accompanied by the clean vocals. The album opens with a half-minute lasting industrial-like intro “Alone”, which is incredibly similar to the very beginning of the epic "Age Of Shadows" from Ayreon’s 01011001. This is odd in a way, since Ayreon is pure progressive metal, whilst The Strigas drifts far away from that. The first half of the album is not dark enough to appeal to gothic listeners, not angst enough to make it to MTV, not aggressive enough to appeal to metal heads. But then, with the track "The Box" we’re in for a pleasant surprise. With songs such as "No Tomorrow" and "Fade Away" the album delivers a bit heavier sound, with some screaming on the vocals that gives it edge and sharpness. The vocals are overall good throughout all songs, very focused and clean. But with the exception of the mentioned escapades, don’t bring much atmosphere to the music.
With their first full length album, The Strigas definitely gives us some quality and shows potential. Even though very heavily influenced by bands such as Entwine, Type O Negative, Lacuna Coil and HIM, it is shown the band does have some good ideas. But something is missing. I miss the gloomy atmosphere some great gothic and suomi metal vocalist bring to their music. I miss songs with doom driven slow temp guitars. I miss haunting and depressive keyboards. Time will show, whether the band is going to take their ideas and talent and push it to its limits, break the boundaries, try experimenting with the sound and add something special to it, which will make them instantly recognizable. Something that will strike a raw nerve.
Rating this album is nonetheless a very ungrateful task for me, since I was not impressed by the originality. But the guys and the girl need to get commendation of their performance. So I’m going to give it a 7 as a compliment of showing great effort and encourage the band to go further. The Strigas is a baby band that needs its rebellious teenage phase: to grow and go deeper and darker.
Review written by: Ines