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On disc: My Black Light

Human Maze - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars

Human Maze

Human Maze
(Massacre Records - 2011)

My Black Light is a young female fronted band from Italy, they attended some contests and got positive feedback. The album Human Maze was digitally released in late 2010, later they signed with Massacre Records and so about a year later the CD gets in stores.

Musically they started off from gothic metal, but due to different preferences and influences they head into different sounds. With Monica Primo on vocals they fit into female fronted metal. But the music varies from melodic symphonic metal to dark / gothic metal - partly spiced up with electronic sounds - to modern metal. Due to keyboarder Rodolfo Coda Bertetto adding growls at some songs they show similarities to their fellow countrymen Lacuna Coil - in their early days. At Detriny you get heavy riffs combined with bombastic keyboards, growls and Monica's soprano. Even if this might make you think of Epica, they are different. At The Abstainer Monica reminds me a bit of Anneke van Giersbergen, even musically this one differs. My guess is that the songs have been written over a longer period and kinda document the bands musical journey. Monica Primo adjusts to the different styles and manages quite good. But the variety of sounds make it difficult to get into the album, it shows that they are on track, but need more time and perhaps a good producer to make it work. At the atmospheric A Lie For Eternity Rodolfo Coda Bertetto joins in and his 'clean' vocals remind me of Novembre... Unfortunately at this tune it's most obvious were Monica Primo's limits are, but that's something one can work on. The piano-based opening of Ideal is more suited for Monica, but even when heavy riffs set in she can keep up. Okay, she should avoid the high notes, coz her voice isn't strong enough.

The last two tracks are cover versions and especially Ti Sento (Matia Bazar's hit in 1985/1986) works very well in the metalized version and shows that the band has potential, but needs time to grow. The closer is a cover of Un-Break My Heart, a song Toni Braxton made big - and one of my favorite non-metal tracks. I find it difficult to get into My Black Light's version, especially as I miss the intense emotions of the original. But it shows one thing that Monica shouldn't go for the high notes! The more mezzo soprano-style fits her way better! Okay, some of the passages don't work for me at all, but's usually when she dives into the soprano / opera-style. In my opinion they should go for the warmer and less operatic vocal style, not just because it fits Monica better, also because there are already countless sopranos out there and so it will be difficult to stand ground for a new band.

6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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