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8/10 Avi
 

SCARDUST - Shadow - CD - Indie - 2015

This debut EP by the Israeli band Scardust (originally named Somnia, but forced to change name) got us overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the band's impressive technical chops, overwhelmed by the versatile performance and especially overwhelmed by the incredible, prominent female vocals, ranging from operatic singing through natural singing to growling, bestial rants.

If you like modern metal, you really owe yourself to listen to the opening "Tantibus." The operatic vocals are proficiently and naturally blended into more visceral singing, and when Noa Gruman sings "hearing a melody trying to comfort me" for the first time - it's one of the most heavenly vocal takes you'll ever hear. This song is storming and immediate, melodic yet powerful, and has Symphony X written all over it. We do, however, feel that it ends a bit too soon, and a closing instrumental section could have come in handy.

Then, there are the three parts of the EP's central piece "Shards". The first part starts with a somewhat melodramatic vocal section that could have been lifted from a musical show, but soon the symphonic, progressive metal is restored. There are a few too many staccato-like breaks/outbreaks that fracture the melodies and introduce a typical progressive metal edge - sounding a bit mechanical and unimaginative; it would have been advisable to cut down on these technical showcases. The vocals are a bit too excessive as well, but they have Yemenite twists and curls weaved into them, making the singing attractive and exotic despite its over the top leanings.

The second part ("Shadow") has a glorious folk metal feel into it, reminding us of Wuthering Heights, and Part III features a disillusioned climax that is quite effective yet a bit messed up.

So, yes - we are overwhelmed; but we are overwhelmed mostly because Scardust chose to overwhelm us. It might be a good tactic for a first release, in order to grab listeners and labels' deserved attention, but for a longer, lasting mark we suggest that the band teams up with a good producer who will be able to balance the excessiveness in favor of the songs. Scardust is a rough diamond and with a proper polishing it can turn into a leading force in the global metal scene. (8/10)

Listen or download the album here.

 

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ISSUE 78
ALBUM REVIEWS

(A-B)  (B-D)  (D-G)  (G-K)  (K-M)  (M-P)  (P-S)  (S-ST)  (S-W)  (W-Z)

PROSPEKT
The Colourless

PYRAMIDS ON MAR...
Echo Cosmic

REGARDE LES HOM...
Exile

ROCK CANDY FUNK...
Groove Is King

SCARDUST
Shadow

SCHNELLERTOLLER...
X

SCHON, NEAL
Vortex

SECTION 37
Legion

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