Published on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:49
Band: Aria Flame
Album title: A World Of Silence [EP]
Release date: 11 October 2014
01. My Muse
02. Realm Of Hate
03. A World Of Silence
04. My Own Little Hell
05. The Lonely Phoenix
06. Divine World
My expectations about this West Michigan (USA) based band were quite high but... you know. Ok, let me tell you that this female fronted band, self described as neo-classical metal, who were formed in 2011 by mezzo soprano singer Aziza Poggi and percussionist Erik Sales left me somehow disappointed. It might be a bit pardoned as the release in question is their debut one, yet self-released and it's heard that the band has the talent and all needed nozzles for making big things, but they lack, not in ideas, but how to put everything together.
Aziza is a good singer, she can sing in many different styles, be it operatic, high pitched, in low tones or in her trademark mezzo soprano, then behind the rest of instruments you have some very professional instrumentalist, for example Eric is a drum virtuoso, then guitar job is really fantastic, and of course I can't go past the significant bass lines that often reminded me to those in Korn. My biggest interest was drawn by fantastic gothic-theatrical keys and piano thankfully keeping the atmosphere gloomy, occasionally creating a circus like ambiance and adding another dimension to the whole thing. But like many times before also Aria Flame is a fine example that it's not everything on the technical side, you must know how to put all those things together to make the listener blown away. Compositional part is very important and this quartet simply didn't meet the demands of the genre they are into. A World Of Silence and its six featured songs have many bright parts, especially when the band after struggling with complicated structures finally reaches kind of drive, but when you almost think that you are there they are masters in ruining the feeling. For example in "Realm Of Hate" the band finds the balance but then with some compositional twists goes in the directions that I would't expect, maybe they wanted to add kind of an avantgardish/experimental feel to everything, Canadian band Unexpect comes in mind and I didn't liked them just because of the same reason, yet they want to save everything with kind of circus like vibrations in the title track but the things get even more confused. The right balance between the vocals and the rest of instrumentation is rarely reached, maybe in softer, or balladic segments, like in dramatic picturesque and quite emotional "The Lonely Phoenix", but otherwise to often everything works out so teared up.
Aria Flame with their dark version of hard rock and metal, mixed with gothic, some progressive and symphonic sounds, with addition of neoclassical elements and theatrical vibe, should stay away from trying to experiment with things they are not experienced in and to deliver nowhere leading dense, harsher or upbeat things like are present in the opener "My Muse" or in "Divine World", at least not with this kind of production, mix and mastering, and note that the mixing was done by award winning-Grammy producer Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Judas Priest). This is another example that big names behind the buttons are not always the right decision for the job, as the final result in here works out a bit out of pace, or at least vocals and the rest of instruments are like two separate things each one coming from different universe. After all you must know that Aria Flame can still be an enjoyable experience if you are not expecting of the music you are listening to to be taken away by the flow, to be mesmerized by catchy melodies, and you like just to enjoy in professionally played instruments or if you are eager to hear some unique ideas, then again if you like bands like are ReVamp, Korn, Unexpect, later-era Therion, etc, then go for it, maybe it's a thing for you, but from my side I'll keep an eye on them and expect better things as they are certainly capable to do them.
Review written by: T.V.