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Ravenheart Archives: Archived

Reviews S cont (6)

STREAM OF PASSION.. 'THE FLAME WITHIN'

(Napalm Records) Reviewed 13th May 2009

Originally the brainchild of Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon etc), Stream of Passion are led by Mexican girl Marcela Bovio, and this is their second studio release. And my personal opinion here is that the band have matured enormously since their debut offering in 2005. 'The Flame Within' leaves it's predecessor in the dust. With this release, the band delivers the whole spectrum of human emotion - heavy riffs merging with romantic undertones, at times even sounding dreamy and melancholic. And Marcela's voice - truly magnificent. I liked 'Embrace The Storm' with it's subtle progressive undercurrent, but I like this even better with it's straight forward gothic metal approach. This is a must buy, and Napalm Records provide us with another cool album by a truly remarkable band. 9/10 (Reviewed by Aimee)

STREAM OF PASSION..'DARKER DAYS'

(Napalm Records) Reviewed 19th June 2011

The Dutch formation's third full length studio release, 'Darker Days', catapults the band from insider tip to one of the trailblazers of the gothic metal genre. The band revolving around Marcela Bovio exudes a self-assurance and maturity that spills over into the new tracks. And seeing how this band has progressed since their debut has been a real pleasure. The songs here are majestic musical gems that as a whole, deliver an unbelievably complex and sensuous end result. Metal guitars, beautiful melodies and symphonic arrangements build the foundation for Marcela's soulful vocals. This sweeping blend makes songs like 'Lost', the melodic and rather lovely 'Collide', and 'This Moment' offer passionate statements of romantic intensity. And I do love the simplicity of 'Spark'. Furthermore, the crystal-clear and impressive production adds the finishing touch to this well-rounded masterpiece. It very much seems that 'Darker Days' is another Gothic Metal winner from the House of Naplam that will appeal to all lovers of the genre. 9/10 (Dave)

STREAM OF PASSION...'A WAR OF OUR OWN'

(Self Released) Reviewed 16th May 2014

The flow of good music continues to hit Ravenheart Music to an extent where it is difficult to keep up with it all. Stream of Passion is Marcela Bovio (vocals and violin), Johan van stratum (bass), Jeffrey Revet (keyboards), Eric Hazebroek (guitar), Stephan Schultz (guitar) and Martijn Peters (drums) coupled with guest appearances from Ben Mathot (violin) and David Faber (cello). This 13 track and one hour spectacle of an album is independent from any record label, being funded by one of those campaigns that we see so much of now. But the popularity of this band is such, that the funding campaign only took a couple of weeks or so to reach and indeed exceed it's target. Being free from any label gave the band 100% artistic freedom, and this comes to the fore well on this album. Kicking off with 'Monster', this is a monster (no pun intended!) of a song with a catchy chorus too, a great way to kick things off. Next up, the title track is another awesome and powerful number with the piano being one of the main instruments that drive this song along. 'The Curse', a fave of mine is a familiar song from their live shows, while 'Autophobia' starts slow and emotional but turns into a powerful number, again the piano plays it's part - a great song. The heavy 'Burning Star' with it's progressive undercurrent pounds along and to be honest, so far there is little on what I am hearing, to fault. And that is how it continues, with further classic songs like the rather nicely presented 'For You', the heavy, melodic and riff tastic 'Exile' and the song 'Secrets'. But despite mentioning the above mentioned tracks, as you would expect from such a fine band, generally the whole cd is good from start to finish and is yet another must buy for that ever increasing collection of music - could be their best yet!... 9.25/10 (Dave)

SUB-DIVISION.. 'TEN YEARS BEFORE THE DREAM'

(Danse Macabre) Reviewed 6th June 2010

Sub Division is a French industrial gothic rock Anglo/French duo comprising Fodge and Lol from Toulouse who have been around for about 10 years, hence the title. On this album they are joined by the saucy Dee from the band Atomic Tabasco (must be a hot band), In there own words they take their inspiration from ' The Downward Spiral ' by Nine Inch Nails and Prodigy's ' The Fat of the Land ', but I can also detect some modern Gary Numan. The outstanding song is the electro-pop dance floor filling opening cut 'Love Assassin', the rest of the album tends to be rather more experimental, full of industrial beats, weird synths and whispered menacing voices, with Dee appearing only sporadically. If you like your music more on the industrial side of the scale rather than electro pop, then this will be just the ticket. You will find them at their Myspace www.myspace.com/subdivision33. 7.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

SUHGARIM..'BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH'

(Independent Release) Reviewed 20th October 2008

This independent effort by South Carolina melodic hard rockers Suhgarim is mind blowing...totally mind blowing. And there is something about Trish Fleury's vocals that I find rather captivating. I will not say much about 'Between Life And Death'. But there are some awesome hard rockers here including 'Hate', 'Fall In Line', 'Deliver Me', 'Decisions' and 'Portland', plus guitar solos to die for. There is enough power here to light up the whole of London, and this album is an awesome band effort. A word of advice...surf to cdbaby.com and buy this album NOW. And then turn up the volume and annoy the neighbours. Awesome and I love it!..9/10 (Reviewed by Dave). And just a little footnote to this review. Their previous cd 'When You Bleed' ain't bad either, with some of the tracks being re-worked onto their latest effort. (Reviewed by Dave)

JANEY SUMMER..'ALONG THE WAY'

(Independent Release) Reviewed 30th September 2008

I daily go onto cdbaby.com to see what there is kicking around, and all I can say is what a little gem I have stumbled across here. Janey is from Bridgewater here in the UK, about 90 minutes down the motorway from Ravenheart Towers. And this girl serves up a very tasty morsel of melodic hard rock, with a voice to die for. Kicking off with 'Between Two Worlds' with it's near gothy intro, it is obvious from the start that we are onto a winner here, and begs me to ask the question as to why the major record labels seem to keep ignoring good rock/metal talent here in the UK! Second song 'Flame', is another awesome song which again showcases Jamey's amazing vocal style. Other total faves of mine are 'Seeing You', the slower 'Lie Along The Way', 'You Rock (My Chemistry)' and 'Sometimes' - what a way to end an album. These all feature on an album to be perfectly honest that is a rock solid release. Check out Janey's myspace site (www.myspace.com/summerock), and then buy the cd! Super stuff, 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

JANEY SUMMER..'TIME WILL TELL' (2 track single)

(Self Release) Reviewed 14th January 2012

I can say quite simply that Janey Summer has an awesome voice and deserves big things. This lass from the SW of England sure does rock. I reviewed an album of hers back in Sept 2008 - 'Along The Way' scored a cool 9/10, and I quoted in that review that Janey "has a voice to die for". 'Time Will Tell' is a two track single that also features the track 'On My Own Again' and this girl seems to have moved forward leaps and bounds. It is of no surprise to also learn that this single is picking up internet radio airplay, because quite simply, the track (as is 'On My Own Again') is totally awesome. 'Time Will Tell' features a cool instrumental intro, before Janey's totally mind blowing vocals carries the number into total dreamland. 'On My Own Again' harks back to the 70's and is a Hard Rocker's wet dream! It is difficult to score what is just a two track cd, but this is good, very good!! Effectively, this is powerful melodic hard from Janey (and her band!), so check her out here (Dave)

SUMMER LASTS FOREVER...'EVERY TIME I CLOSE MY EYES' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 2nd June 2013

Summer Lasts Forever started in Orem, Utah the summer of 2009. Within two months the band was in the studio recording their first EP, and playing gigs about twice a week around their home area. More recently the band has finished their first full length album which they will soon release, and a five song preview is available by way of this EP. The bands dynamic rock/metal music, coupled with the vocals of main girl Danielle Worwood and those of guitarist Travis Jones beautifully coupled with acoustic melodies, and sprinkled with some screams and Hardcore breakdowns makes for pure entertainment, in the vein of Paramore and maybe a lighter In This Moment. The band can also slow it down too on a couple of numbers, the rather cool titled 'Skin Heads On Lovers Lane' being one such song. This is a damn cool Summer time rock record which is a total blast and I must say I rather like it. Check them out at their FaceBook ....8.5/10 (Dave)

SUNCROWN...'YOU ARE NOT ALONE'

(Crysella Records) Reviewed 1st August 2014

Suncrown is a Symphonic/Epic metal band formed in 2011 by songwriter and keyboardist Oleg Biblyi (Ukraine) and vocalist Darren Crisp (USA). Female singer Juliana Furlani (Brazil) and drummer Tim Zuidberg (Netherlands) then joined and the first album 'Follow your Dream' was released in November 2012. Now with a fully established line up of musicians, we have the follow up 'You Are Not Alone'. Indeed this album has it all and delivers a bombastic and epic album utilising fully the use of orchestral elements. There are eleven tracks here including a cover of Rainbow's 'Gates of Babylon'. This is a consistent and cohesive release with 'Grandfather's Song' and 'Primordial Call' being two numbers I have rather taken too. Here is a link to their video and the opening track to the album, 'The Beginning Is Near': www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEvDa6gybwM. This band is well worth checking out whilst their albums can be purchased here..8.75/10 (Dave)

SUNDENRAUSCH...S/T

(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd April 2013

Sündenrausch is a rock band from Hamburg, Germany, formed in November 2011. Five professional musicians started writing and playing music together, quickly realizing the band's ambition and potential. And that potential shines through in this their debut album. Fronted by a young lass who goes by the name Kira, the band offer the listener 8 tracks on this album of catchy rock wih huge melodies, which are sung also in their native tongue - awesome! 'Alles' is a great opener, with 'Starker' an up tempo and hideously catchy tune. Third up 'Wolfe In Der Stadt' maintains the momento and is a heavier number, but equally as addictive as the opening duo. I am rather liking this release as these songs are right up my alleyway! 'Zerrissen' is a piano led power ballad, while 'Beiss Mich' is another slowish number with a rather quirky catchy chorus. 'Flammen' is a ballad, taking on a more acoustic feel, with 'Falsches Spiel', being yet another rather addictive tune to set your feet tapping. Closer 'Bis Mein Herz Nicht Mehrschlagt' is just a haunting piano led ballad with string accompaniment. This release is a very good effort from this German band and they are well worth checking out here. One issue - it is just a shame I have a limited understanding of the German language but great stuff nonetheless... 8.5/10 (Dave)

SUNDENRAUSCH...'SUNDSTOFF'

(Echozone) Reviewed 10th June 2015

Yay! This may be sung in the band's native tongue but this is good! Sündenrausch hail from Hamburg and this is a brand new effort from the band. The long work of singer and lyricist Kira and guitarist/producer Michael, this album was about a year in the making, and to me it is jolly well worth the wait. The results are powerful in your face rock songs with stacks of melody, and so so catchy. Although I do not speak or understand German, the lyrics apparently revolve around the different facets of love and passionate mind consuming sex! The opening four track salvo offers up a tsunami of tuneful rock music, great foot tapping stuff and sure offering chart potential in their native land. It slows down a bit for the instrumental atmospheric track 'Poesie' that is followed by the rather nice ballad 'Lug Mich An' - so far so good! 'Wahnsinn' ups the ante again and is yet another hideously catchy melodic tune, to get your ears around. 'Brenn!' pounds along, a real melodic thumper while 'Verstand Verloren' slows it down again, being a bluesy sounding number but with an uptempo chorus. The closing duo of 'Ewig Verbunden' and the bonus cut, the piano led ballad 'Narben', end what is a very good record. I do rather like this album from this German band - Well recommended... 9/10 (Dave)

SUNDENRAUSCH…’SCHWARZ WIE EBENHOLZ’ EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 12th June 2016

Kira Hempel is the singer with the German band Sündenrausch, and this is their new EP that the band crowd funded, and that Kira so kindly sent me. I must say that Sündenrausch do so happen to be one of my fave bands, with their catchy style of melodic metal. And this EP is no exception, offering up five tracks of totally awesome rock/metal to please these ears and hopefully many others too. Everything on this little album ticks all the right boxes from opener, the title track 'Schwarz wie Ebenholz', through the pounding and catchy 'Cinderella' to closing number, the awesome 'Wunderland'. I have to say that this album is right up my alleyway, so if you like your music, melodic, catchy and with a little oommmppphhh, not forgetting the awesome angelic vocals of Kira (similar to those of Liv Kristine) this EP is for you! Recording and production was done in the Chameleon Studios in Hamburg (produced by Chris Harms, Lord of the Lost). Kira tells me that they are not a typical metal band - they sound okay to me :) - website is at www.suendenrausch.de. The EP is available on the digital platform so buy it! 9.5/10 (Dave)

SVOVEL...'FADING'

(Self Release) Reviewed 2nd August 2016

I continue to be astounded by the amount of unsigned and damn awesome bands out there. But when anything comes my way from Scandinavia (in this case Norway), I am even more interested. Svovel is fronted at the mic stand by Karine Jaeger, and they ply their trade by way of Progressive Symphonic Metal, and in this case, rather good it is too. They combine heavy guitars, drums and bass with operatic vocals and Symphonic keyboard. The album kicks off with 'Fading Pt. 1' and although under three minutes, this opener is awesome, Karine's vocals reminding me of Tarja. 'Go Away' is more complex, Karine's vocals are awesome, and there is strong use of orchestration throughout this track. The complex elements continue into the track 'Ignition Point' and although there are progressive elements that come to the fore, the music is quite accessible and rather catchy. 'Lullaby' is a slightly more laid back and quirky tune and I now think I have fallen in love with the vocalist - a bit like Kate Bush on this number. 'Crimson Sky' continues in a similar vein, mid tempo and quirky with quite a lot going on within the confines of this track. Then that takes onto the closing salvo of 'Reflect The Energy' and the awesome epic 'Fading Pt.2', the former possibly one of the heavier and more up tempo cuts on the album - damn catchy too. Svovel's Facebook can be found here and it can be streamed on Spotify. This release is a pleasasnt surprise... 8.75/10 (Dave)

SWORDS OF DIS...'TIDES OF MALEDICTION'

(Self Release) Reviewed 25th September 2013

Swords Of Dis come from our own shores here in the Uk and to be perfectly frank, I have never heard of them before. But that is what I like about doing the occasional review, bands come along that are totally alien to me, but the music they offer up is rather good! There are nine songs on this release that runs in at almost 40 minutes and I suppose one would put the music into the Doomy, Atmospheric Gothy Dark Metal category. But what may keep it apart from other bands that explore a similar territory is the fact that we do not have any harsh/extreme male vocals here - the clean female vocals belong to a certain Ms Alice Collins. Her partner in crime being Richard Corvinus who covers all the instrumentation. The album sometimes ventures onto Death Metal turf regards the heavy riffage, and I upon first listen was expecting to hear male grunts, but keeping the vocals clean actually makes the record rather more accessible to the listener, and that gets a thumbs up from me. I rather like this recording, and it is a cd that despite it's gloomy dark atmosphere that it portrays, has became a pleasure to listen to, being not too over bearing in it's intensity. Their Facebook is here so check them out - rather good! 8/10 (Rachel Miller)

SYLVER MYST..'EMOTIONS REVEALED'

(Sirenette Music Industries) Reviewed 16th October 2006

We will just get something straight here. This cd will not have you dancing on the floor, getting the air guitar out, or tapping your feet. Don't expect an Evanescence type melodic rock album. Cos you won't find it here. But what you will find within the wrappings of this cd is some very intelligent music, that produces something new with every listen. OK, it may take a few listens too, but live with it. This is what I would call 'thinking man's music' (or 'thinking lady's music'..sorry Aimee!). A little bit of goth, a little bit of rock, a little bit of metal, even progressive in places too. This record ain't bad, in-fact with successive listens, it is actually quite good!! 7/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

SYMPHONIC DESTINY…’THE FOUNTAIN OF ETERNAL LIFE’

(SD Records) Reviewed 18th October 2015

Symphonic Destiny come from Temerin in Serbia! What a band!! Fronted by Timea Santa, this band has released one helluva debut full length album here. There are 12 tracks on my version of Melodic Symphonic Metal to feast your ears upon, and I have to be honest and ask myself if I will hear a better debut album in this style of music this year. This is a massive record running in at well over the hour, and not a duff track to be found. This band on this record has all the ingredients to make the big time. Kicking off with the appropriately titled ‘The Beginning Of An Adventure’, that is sure what we have got here. There are Symphonic belters like ‘Light In The Darkness’, ‘The Magical Sphere’, the atmospheric ‘Voice Of Temptation’, the belter ’Witch’s Cottage’ and after all that, there is the awesome pen ultimate 15+ minute title track that is the cream that tops this little lot off. And let us not forget the ballads, ‘Garden Of Eden’ and the beautifully crafted ‘Well Of Souls’. Everything here hit’s the spot! A massively beautiful debut that has surely propelled the band into the Premier League at the first attempt. The band’s website is here.. 9.75/10 (Dave)

SYNFUL IRA...'BETWEEN HOPE AND FEAR'

(logic(il)logic) Reviewed 19th June 2012

Italian Band Synful Ira was born in April 2007, by the original idea of Fabio and Laura Balducci (guitars). It all began as an Evanescence and Nightwish tribute band. In April 2011 Synful Ira with the tribute project a thing of the past, began the recording of 'Between Hope And Fear'. This album is inspired by a true story offering a mix of very different sounds: melodic parts with an extensive use of piano and acoustic guitar, symphonic parts with orchestral arrangements, and heavy parts with strong guitar arrangements, intertwined with very modern and attractive electronic keyboard riffs. Fronted by the nice looking and nice sounding Letizia Chiozzi, this is an awesome offering - 12 tracks of Gothic infused Rock and Metal influenced by a whole host of bands - Delain, Nightwish, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Sirenia, Unsun and Sonata Arctica just to name a few. Listening the first time and it was the guitar parts that hit me - some awesome solos. Upon second listening, the keys hit me, and indeed, the musicanship from all those concerned is mind blowing. A spoken intro leads us into the melodic 'True Lies', adamant proof from the off that this band means business. Letizia's awesome vocals are possibly more from the school of rock than operatic, and damn good they are too, fitting the music like a perfectly formed glove. 'Behind The Suspect' ups the pace a little introducing a little of the Symphonic to proceedings, and confirming what great guitarists this band has, compliments of founding members Fabio and Laura. 'Shining Tracks' just continues the excellent start with another great guitar solo for all you air guitar freaks out there, and I must say that there is not a filler on this album. 'Revenge of Mind' takes the Melodic Metal route with some awesome riffs and a great keyboard solo, while 'My Friend' offers up a little electro to mix in with the heavy guitar riffs. 'Hope' chugs along rather nicely, and is a very commercial Within Temptation/Delain influenced number, while I was quite taken by the solemn piano led '8.45', that merged very nicely into 'New Love'. 'Fatal Temptation' and 'Destiny' close this rather nice record. This band is continuing proof that Italy is the hot bed of Rock and Metal, and on this showing, long may it continue. I like this record a lot, but please check them out for yourselves at their Facebook. Highly recommended!!!! 9/10 (Dave)

SYPHERION..'FLAMES OF THE IMMORTAL HEART'

(AE Distro) Reviewed 22nd Nov 2011

Symphonic progressive metal band Sypherion were created by virtuoso Spanish guitarist Fabio Di Angelo in 2008, and they feature the superb soft operatic vocals of lovely Ruth Garlet. This seems to be an album of two distinct halves, one I would attribute to Fabio, the other to Ruth. The opening very impressive instrumental 'The Battle of Thermopylae' appropriately sounds like the soundtrack to a sword and sandles epic as this was the famous land and sea battle fought between the King Leonidas's Spartans and Xerxes's Persians in 480BC that features in the film '300' (and 'Meet the Spartans'!). The next three songs appear to be Fabio's, they follow this epic historical theme and are far heavier and more Kamelot esque prog metal. The thundering 'God of War' is sung by Manu Esteve from the band Hardreams who reminds me of Mats Leven, featuring some scintillating shredding by Fabio and keys man Jess Espejo, then the stomping Egyptian flavoured 'Visions of the Soul' sung by Ruth that flows seamlessly into a splendid baroque ending, followed by the rampaging 'Flames of Osiris' sung by both of them using a weird distorted vocal processing effect. Ruth and her keyboards then take over for the final trio, 'Immortal Dreams', 'Pieces Of My Heart' and 'Inside my Sorrow ' are all awesome, Nightwish/Tarja esque, catchy, melodic, rocking and ultra commercial symphonic pop-metal numbers that show off her superb voice and Fabio's ear for a great tune. The orchestrations throughout are most excellent and sound very realistic, and the pristine production is suitably mighty and crystal clear (perhaps the snare is a bit overcooked). This reminds me of the good old days of vinyl when you often had shorter more accessible numbers on one side, with a more adventurous concept epic on the other. Although it seems short, and I could do with at least another of Ruth's numbers to balance it out, it does weigh in at a perfectly respectable 38 minutes. If you love prog and symphonic metal then you will have the best of both worlds in one package, and in Ruth they have a potential major star, 'Immortal Dreams' would be a perfect video showcase. It is available now on all digital download platforms, and their website is here, an impressive 8.75/10 (Phil)

SYMFOBIA...'WAY OF THE QUEEN'

(MOLIX, s.r.o.) Reviewed 21st January 2016

Fronted by the rather pretty Erika Strečková and with a keyboard player that looks like an American pro wrestler, Symfobia come from Slovakia, and give the listener a rather catchy and melodic style of Symphonic Metal that to these ears is rather good. The music actually reminds me particularly in the orchestration dept., of Danish Metal Kings ROYAL HUNT, a band I do particularly like. The whole package is awesome from the rather cool opener 'Dragon', through the bouncy and bombastic 'Bloody Wings', the epic awesome title track, the 7 minute plus emotional power ballad 'Last Teardrop', to the closing appropriately titled 'Finally'. You know what?, this has totally blown my mind!! It was released a few months ago and has been sitting in our catch ups pile. If you have not already got this, my advice to go, buy and enjoy! The band's website is here... 9.5/10 (Dave)

SYNERGY PROTOCOL…’ODD TO GET EVEN’

(Self Release) Reviewed 11th October 2016

Yes, my dear readers, we are talking about yet another Dutch female fronted metal band. But… this time we are talking about a truly Progressive Metal band with an 80’ies twist. Unlike so many other female fronted bands these days, Synergy Protocol first and foremost affiliates with bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Queensrÿche, Opeth and Ayreon. During the first 18 months of their existence the vocals were taken care of by Laura Guldemond. After her sudden departure the band is currently getting back to speed with their new and amazingly talented new vocalist, a Mediterranean lass going by the name of Laura Martínez! 8 tracks on this album all fitting awesomely into the Progressive Metal category coupled with enchanting melodies that remain essential once heard. This is what I call thinking person’s music and damn cool it is too, with the 80’ies twist coming from early influences like Iron Maiden, Queen, Toto, Metallica and Rush. The opening and closing tracks run in at over 10 minutes, the music however is never boring, but certainly captivating. The band’s website is here… this long player is well worth checking out….8.5/10 (Dave)

SYRENS CALL..'RAGING WATERS'

(Pervade Productions) Reviewed 24th November 2010

This is the brand new third album by the French band described as progressive metal, but their first in six years. Before you non proggers run off I should hasten to add that this tells only half the story, imagine instead a mash-up of Nightwish, Meat Loaf, Angtoria, Muse, Pendragon, and I:Scintilla and you might be in the right ball park. This is a band who are NOT afraid to drag you kicking and screaming onto the dance floor for a darn good mosh, and then let you sit down and catch your breath while you enjoy the stupendous guitar and synth instrumental passages, there really are some truly fantastic flourishes throughout the album, just listen to the incredible instrumental 'Relapse' . If that was not enough, then the stunning Soraya Hostens has an extraordinary deep rich golden brown voice like liquid chocolate that adds an unique dimension to their sound, at times music and voice melt into one gorgeous homogeneous whole. The first five numbers are some of the most ridiculously catchy numbers you will hear all year, or any year come to that, they will have you dancing around the room like a loon. They the shift up a gear for the next four tracks as they turn proggier and heavier, but no less marvellously melodic. It culminates with the jaw dropping 13 minute epic 'The Dance of Light' which has anything and everything before ending with a Mike Oldfield style sing-along, incredible. To round things off the production is truly top class, what a sound. Intelligent prog metal with dance-ability and thumping great choruses, what a combination. With the right exposure so that people can experience for themselves what this band are all about this could become massive with the potential to cross over into the mainstream, just put songs like 'Hang On To Life' and 'Perfidious Paradise' (great title) on every radio station in the known world. Follow the raging waters to www.myspace.com/syrenscall, a terrifically torrential 9.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

SYRYNX..EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 4th April 2011

Teenage sensation Mikki Straatsma has been a young lady whose fortunes I have been following since before the release of the angelic sounding 'Becoming Jane Doe' in 2008 (under the name VIVEYNNE). A great 8 track album in the vein of a laid back Evanescence or Within Temptation. Now Mikki leads the Canadian Metal Band Syrynx, and this is a totally different little cookie. Mikki's distinctive vocals are still apparent, but the band let rip on this record, offering six tracks of melodic and in yer face metal, with even occasional harsh vocals (compliments of erm...the young lass too - cool!!). And what I like about this release is the vocals of Mikki. This is not a critiscm, but so many female fronted metal bands can occasionally sound samey in the vocal department, but Mikki has this distinctive style of vocals that you know right away are hers, and no one elses. Great tracks from the bold and up front 'Crawl Space', the brief instrumental 'Just Think About It' (harking back to the debut), the pounding and catchy 'Another Life' (great track) and the closer 'Under'. I really do like this girl and her band, and with the right promotion and backing she must surely go far. I just hope Mikki handles the fame and remains a lovely level headed lass, because festivals and the aforementioned fame Stateside or elsewhere surely must beckon, there is no justice in the world if they don't. I highly recommend checking out this six track EP, but first, take a trip to their Facebook site to find out what I am talking about!..8.75/10 (Dave)

SYTERIA…’WAKE UP’ EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 1st April 2016

An email dropped in the other day from Jackie Chambers (Girlschool) offering me the new EP from her other band SYTERIA. The band comprises of Jackie (Guitar, Vocals), Julia (Vocals), Keira (Bass Guitar, Vocals) and the lucky guy Pablo (Drums, Vocals). Well after a successful pledge campaign, the band on this EP throw at the listener three high octane tracks of some rather decent Punk orientated Rock Music, 'Sheeple (Model Citizen)', 'When I Get Out Of High School' and 'Reflection'. A kinda throw back in time to the heady hazy days of crowded boozy clubs and pogo sticks :) This is like the output from Jackie's other band rather good, so how about becoming a model citizen and check out their website here, and subsequently make a purchase!.... 8/10 (Dave)