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On disc: Emerald Mind

Tales Of Soveena - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Tales Of Soveena

Tales Of Soveena
(self-released - 2009)

The Russian band was founded 2003 as Diadema, but never recorded anything. In 2008 they renamed and became Emerald Mind. The line-up is working together since 2007. The quintet from Vladivostok - now living in St. Petersburg - is offering symphonic metal based on heavy riffing. At the opener The Ripper Svetlana Vysotskaya's angel-like voice is the counterpart to the heavy riffing. Some might think this is just another female-fronted symphonic metal band, but you should give them a chance. The album is available as a free download and I heard signed bands which didn't do as good as these Russians! Okay, they aren't innovative, but songs like The Flying Dutchman are well written and performed. And with twists and turns they can surprise the listener. Winter is a long track with more then 7 minutes, but they manage to keep the listeners interest. After the fast Gothmog, This Dying World begins slowly with keyboard. They create a dark atmosphere, full of melancholy, then the guitar seems to do the talking and the atmosphere changes.... Like suddenly there is hope. Guitarist Alexei Vaulin is giving the songs not just a heavy edge, he also adds some cool guitar leads. At Sweet Poison male vocals surprise you, then Svetlana takes over, a kind of conversation develops and the refrain they do together. The catchy refrain will hook you up soon. Revenge Of Princess Olga is a fast melodic track where Alexei could shine - again. But it wouldn't work without the solid framework of the other band members! The closer Lyric To My Soul is with 9 minutes the longest track and gives them time to show the whole spectrum of their sound and Svetlana's whole range. So there are slow passages where the vocals are up-front, faster parts where the riffs dominate and catchy symphonic passages. Actually the closer is the best tune to check them out.
Even if fans of Leaves' Eyes might want to shoot me, this self-released album is more interesting then the latest release of the blond Norwegian singer! At least to me. The classical reminiscences combined with heavy riffs are working well, but it's Svetlana's vocals which will win you over. She doesn't try to sound like Tarja or Sharon del Adel. It's obvious that Emerald Mind spent a lot time working on their songs and this album, soundwise there is nothing to complain. This isn't just another cheap-sounding demo! So I highly recommend to go to their website and download Tales Of Soveena!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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