Fireworks

Barbara Rubin - 'Under The Ice' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 15, 2011    
 
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A wonderful album from a very fine talent.

Back in Issue #42* I reviewed in very favourable terms the debut album by the Italian Prog Metal band Loreweaver who feature Barbara Rubin as their vocalist and about whom I commented in glowing terms about the quality of her voice being something rather special. At the inaugural Fused Festival I had the pleasure of seeing the band perform live when they proved to be one of the weekend’s highlights with Rubin delivering the songs superbly and every bit as well as she had done on disc.

I met Barbara before the band hit the stage and by way of a thank you for the review of the Loreweaver album she presented me with a copy of this, her debut solo album, which sees her presenting a different but equally impressive style of music and performance. Barbara isn’t just a vocalist either, because on this set of eleven songs (well, ten and a sort of short music backed poem) she also proves to be an extremely accomplished song-writer, arranger, pianist and violinist. Aside from a couple of songs, the material on this album is generally on the mellow side and feature piano and strings as the main instrumentation.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Across the board melody is high on the agenda with every song being strong in this area, as indeed they are with choruses. As for the vocal harmonies, they are fantastic. Every song has merit but for me the structure and melody of the title track make it one of the highlights and ‘Angel Heartbeat’ has a wonderful arrangement as it starts with a plaintive piano theme and voice before the pace picks up at just the right time. ‘Liar’ is more in the style of Loreweaver with a lovely gritty guitar, and on the track ‘A Place That Nobody Knows’ I can’t help but think of Tom Jones’ ‘Delilah’ when the percussive piano motif comes in. There’s also a synth solo that is pure Rick Wakeman, but it’s Rubin’s fabulous vocals that stand out, as they do throughout the album.

If you like well crafted female fronted Rock then this is most definitely for you. This is certainly a wonderful album from a very fine talent.

Gary Marshall

(* of Fireworks Magazine)

 

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