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Rose Avalon - 'Northern Strengths' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/25/28/fc/rose-avalon-northern-strengths-36-1422819348.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 01, 2015    
 
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A highly promising start by a new girl on a rather crowded block.

With acting, graphic design and novel-writer already on her CV, Rose Avalon now adds singer and song-writer to her ever growing list of talents. Based in Barcelona, Avalon teamed up with producer Marcel Graell to work on her debut album with 'Northern Strengths' being the fruits of that union. With twelve songs clocking in at just under an hour, 'Northern...' will appeal to fans of Female-Fronted, Symphonic Gothic Rock with a style that leans towards the commercial side of Nightwish with the harder, Rockier side of Delain.

Avalon has one powerful voice with an operatic style in the mould of Tarja Turunen, even down to the heavy accent that does not detract from the music but stamps her own unique identity through the record. The production is rich and powerful with plenty of room to let the music breathe and dynamics that ebb and flow creating stirring and emotive musical passages. Avalon's voice on the likes of 'Earth' is one of sheer beauty, passionate and moving with a simple but perfect guitar refrain in the middle adding the icing to the cake.

What separates Rose Avalon (the band) from many of the other similar bands looking at breaking through is the ability to utilise instrumentation from pipes, flute and violin to create some medieval atmospherics without going too over the top; they actually enhance the music rather than clutter the listening experience. 'Life' is a perfect example as the gorgeous pipe melody makes way for a delicate piano and stunning Avalon vocal.

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RA toughens things up too when needed. The melodic opening to 'Seven Hundred Mile' is soon flattened by a huge, tasty riff while the opening axe work to 'Courage And Pain' wouldn't sound out of place on an Alice Cooper album.

Arguably the surprise package on the album is 'My Sad Martyrdom' that lulls the listener into a false sense of security before a Disco-beat, moshpit inducing chorus kicks in which brings to mind the long lost 'Gypsy Girl' by Cruella De Ville.

'Northern Strengths' is a highly promising start by a new girl on a rather crowded block but on the strength of this debut, we may be hearing more of her talents in the future.

Mick Burgess

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