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On disc: Annabel

- Santa Maria - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars

Santa Maria

Santa Maria
(self-released - 2008)

The Czech band Annabel is from the city of a hundred spires - Prague. The quintet was founded in 2002 and they released 2 demos and an album already. Now they are back with a new demo called Santa Maria.
They kick off with the title track Santa Maria. A heavy rocker based on hard riffs - seems to be influenced from 80's heavy metal. Singer Kamil 'Netos' Vanek is adding the vocals which are in Czech, but as reference to the Spanish titles have some Spanish lines - like the second tune Buenos Aires. At Buenos Aires they wove in the legendary words "don't cry for me Argentina". Cool idea. The sound of Annabel is a bit old-fashioned, but for fans of the 80's heavy metal it's still interesting. But with a better production it might get a bit more modern. The guitar solo at Buenos Aires isn't bad at all! With the Czech title Ostrov Pokladů they speed up a bit. The title means something like 'Treasure Island' - as far as I found out... If it's inspired by the novel of Robert Luis Stevenson I can't tell. But this song is showing them a little more diverse, especially the lead guitar parts are well done. With Zkon Ďzungle - roughly translated: law of the jungle - they add some heaviness. Sharp riffing is accompanied by powerful and partly aggressive vocals. The refrain invites you to sing along - which is way easier when you know some Czech. ;)
The last track is called El Dorado and as their last demo called El Dorado, I guess they have overdone this one...
Well, I think the guys delivering decent heavy metal, but have to develop a more unique style and perhaps become a bit more modern... And the production should be better, but for a demo it's quite okay. You can download the songs at the bands website at the download section, so listen and make up your mind!

6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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