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Alive - Before The Dawn (2012) - Review

Band: Alive
Album title: Before The Dawn
Release date: 30 September 2012
Label: Self-Released

Tracklisting:
01. Zdes I Seichas
02. Survive
03. Before The Dawn
04. Stain
05. Believe In You
06. Redemption
07. On My Own
08. Navsegda
09. Tears And Scars
10. Dreams
11. Sweet Amber (bonus track)

A recent flood of bands from ex Soviet Union countries has given us some nice surprises, but also some really failed performances and recycles of different genres. Alive are somewhere in the middle, they offer a good performance, but they fail in the sector of showing some original ideas and are settling themselves in many times played and replayed musical formula. Formed in 2009 this Moldavian six piece band plays kind of alternative gothic metal, enriched with nice harsh black metallic screams and surprisingly good guitar work.

What starts in a great manner with the opener "Zdes I Seichas" sangt in their mother tongue, with top notch gothic metal performance, amazing atmospheric keys, diverse vocals, from growls, screams and rather annoying clear singing. A great sense for creating marvelous and captivating melodies, thunderous drumming performance is spoiled soon with poorly performed next tracks, specially because of vocal duties from their main singer who should, rather than sing in English, stick to approved formula from the first track. Still we can enjoy nice screamed backing vocals and I repeat great drumming performance, plus some enjoyable guitar leads. What I was most afraid of comes with the album titled third track "Before The Dawn". A typical so called "love metal" song in the vein, let's guess, HIM. Also "Stain", "Believe In You", "Tears And Scars", "Dreams" and especially "Redemption" show nothing else than many times replayed Suomi formula. Neither black screams from Anastasia Iliciova can save the overall picture, it rather works like kind of forced use of harsh elements to make songs more dynamic, but no, imagine HIM or Rasmus with black metal vocalist in the background and you'll get the image. "On My Own" in its rather alternative rock form and nice but short acoustic ballad "Sweet Amber" are not bad, also another track sangt in Moldavian "Navsegda" gives some nice moments, but not enough to say that this record is above the average "eastern love metal" production. Like I said many times, it's a waste of talent and time of some capable musicians when they recycle music like this. I have nothing to say against the sole production, as you can hear all the instruments very clear.

Alive, nevertheless shows some good compositions, great melodies and you can enjoy in some nice atmospheres created by gloomy keyboards. If nothing is good enough for you then there is still nice and sexy cover photo...

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 6,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Bands: Apocryphos, Kammarheit, Atrium Carceri
Album title: Onyx
Release date: 08 September 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

Onyx is one of the dark ambient albums that we will still be speaking of in 10 years. The level of workmanship on Onyx can't be understated. The intricacy of each layer is astounding. There is attention to the minutest details given throughout the album. It has no beginning and no ending; it stays with you once you have experienced it. One track will induce a calm meditative state while the next will unnerve you just enough to feel the evolving emotions yet not be jarred from the experience. Onyx is an instant classic of the dark ambient genre. The talent of the individual artists throughout cannot be understated, and the mastering work and vision of Simon Heath bringing it all together at the end is possibly the best yet on Cryo Chamber. Onyx is a nonstop pleasure from beginning to end and a must have album for any fan of the dark ambient genre. The dynamics on some tracks and slow progressions on others showcase the breadth of sound arrangements which fit into dark ambient and the ability to blend them all together for one epic release. This album is sure to send reverberations through the genre, as it has through me.

Read a full review HERE