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Lorelei : Угрюмые волны студёного моря


Albeit not perfect, Lorelei’s debut full-length is a worthy addition to the collections of dedicated Gothic Doom lovers.



Lorelei from Russia have signed a contract with BadMoodMan and play Gothic Doom. Sound familiar? Well, the music on this album does, too. Just last year, the same label released the debut of fellow Russian band Aut Mori which certainly was one of the better albums in the field these last few years. It is hardly surprising that Угрюмые Волны Студеного Моря is similar in many respects, relying largely on the same formula and even sharing the exclusive use of Russian lyrics.

The first thing that struck me is the question why a Russian band uses the name of a German rock and/or the myth surrounding it. Since I do not understand Russian, I can only speculate whether the myth is addressed in the lyrics in any way, but whatever the reason for this choice of name may be, there is one connection I can make: in terms of atmosphere, the music could very well be the soundtrack to stories of a siren-like entity who causes tragic shipwrecks. Then again, this could be said about most bands in the genre. A description of the band’s style seems almost redundant – if you have heard Aut Mori or the Ukrainian band Symphonian, you know the drill. Those two acts are a good point of reference in terms of quality, too. None of the usual elements are missing, but you won’t get much beyond that, either: midtempo riffing, mournful lead guitars, ever-present synth strings and a contrastive alternation between growls and soprano vocals…

Speaking of which, the vocals are the central point of criticism here: even though the growls are very strong, they are also very monotonous and fail to convey any emotional nuances. The soprano vocals, on the other hand, often seem over the top with their extreme vibrato. This is most apparent in “La Vita Fugge E Non S'Arresta Un'Ora”, a short, classically inspired piece consisting of keyboards and soprano only. It almost seems to be intended as an opportunity for the singer to show her abilities, but it actually makes her shortcomings all the more apparent. Fortunately, though, she sings in tune and her vocal lines are very good, adding a lot to the sense of drama which pervades the music.

So basically, Lorelei’s debut has everything a good Gothic Doom album needs: memorable lead guitar melodies, good songwriting, effective vocal lines (if you can live with the vibrato) and an epic atmosphere of tragedy. But for the band to become one of the leading names of the scene (if only of the Eastern European subscene), they will have to bring a little extra something to the table next time. When listening to Угрюмые Волны Студеного Моря, one cannot help thinking that there could (and maybe should) have been more heartfelt tragedy, more depth, more identity and variation. As it stands, it remains ever so slightly behind Aut Mori’s effort and still a rather long way from the interesting songwriting of European idols Draconian. Interestingly, though, the songs become more and more convincing towards the end, suggesting that there is still a lot of unexploited potential. Besides, we have to cut these Eastern European bands some slack for rarely sounding quite like Draconian: the atmosphere generally seems to be more epic, the tempo less doomy, and the border to actual Gothic Metal becomes blurred on occasion (but never actually crossed). This makes for a typical sound which some will love and others will despise. If you love it, you should definitely lend an ear to this band: they take their Gothic Doom seriously, and their album is among the few in the field that I enjoyed enough to keep them in my private collection.


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Reviewer's rating: 8/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. Холод Безмолвного Зимнего Леса…
3. Тенью Безликой…
4. Угрюмые Волны Студеного Моря…
5. La Vita Fugge E Non S'Arresta Un'Ora
6. Не Ведая Темных Пределов Печали…
7. Холодный Призрачный Рассвет…
8. Рай Потерян…
9. Outro

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Lorelei bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-12-12 by Dominik Sonders
Thermal Mass
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